In Memory of Ted Wu, July 1, 1933 – April 25, 2017

We at the Coalition are saddened by recent death of our founder, Ted Wu. Herewith the obituary from the Los Angeles Times:

Ted was born in Shanghai, China, the eldest son of Tseng-Yu and Rosy Belin Wong. He was a retired Architect and Graphic Designer; attended Hong Kong University and graduated in Architecture from the University of Brasil in Rio De Janeiro using two separate dictionaries to navigate from Chinese to English, then English to Portuguese. He earned earned a second degree in Industrial Design, a member of the first class at ESDI (Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial), in Rio. His work spanned being on the team that designed the capital Brasilia under Oscar Niemeyer, the office of Charles and Ray Eames, and prior to starting his own practice, a teaching position at the Art Center College of Design. Working with his own team, projects included the Tom Bradley International Terminal as well as the ’84 LA Olympic Press Center.

He was a consummate designer, though his career came second to his love for his family and friends. He was as warm and charming as he was critical and irascible, and made friends easily wherever he wandered. He delighted in gathering people for meticulously planned meals and festivities, partnering with his beloved Brasilian wife, Mia, to put on beautiful parties at their home. Ted was a keeper of memories, which he archived in the Helvetica-labelled family photo albums.

An account of his remarkable life, The Wus is available on Amazon. He was a devoted activist against visual pollution, and a lifelong adversary of the Billboard Industry.

He is survived by his wife Iracema (“Mia”), daughters Dafna (Jess); Debora (Jeremy); Lena (Felipe); and grandchildren Ruby, Amalia, Naia, Tai, and Iliana. He is also survived by his sisters Ana, Lillian, and Vickie. He was predeceased by his granddaughter Isa Leah and brothers Tony and Bill. He lived by the late Massimo Vignelli’s credo, “The life of a designer is a life of fight; fight against ugliness”. Ted fought the good fight with passion and humor. He leaves us heartbroken, but in a world made more beautiful for his having been here. Donations in his memory can be made to Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight (CBBB) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Contributions by check made out to Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight should be sent to Patrick Frank, 1622 Crescent Place, Venice CA 90291. A Memorial celebration is being planned.

Patrick Frank, President

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