Robert J Olsen
Robert Olsen is an inventor, designer, custom finish carpenter, and entrepreneur.
Mr. Olsen graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1970 with his senior project being the Parsons Cube, which received publicity in a half-page article in the New York Times, was seen on the “What’s My Line” TV show, and was patented in the U.S. within a year. There is a U.S. Information Agency movie that was seen in 83 countries and that can be seen on YouTube.
In 1971, Mr. Olsen graduated from the NYU School of Education.
As the Design Director on a Signs and Decal project for the New York Transit Authority in the 1980’s, Mr. Olsen worked on the 50 ft. aluminum ring and the large figure 8 signage on the subway concourse at 599 Lexington Avenue, those being the most notable of many lighted sign projects in which Mr. Olsen participated.
A mahogany lounge chair with waterfall designed by Mr. Olsen was given the Hammacher Schlemmer Personal Care Invention of the Year award in 1996.
In 1997, Mr. Olsen and his partner started Sci-bore, a business that manufactured high-carbon steel tubes for the aerospace industry.
Mr. Olsen’s most recent patent is for the Puzzle Cube, a play form that contains over 14 different functional seating possibilities.
RJO Design Studio Inc.
For the last 25 years I have had a wide variety of industrial and interior design positions. Upon graduating from Parsons School of Design I patented my first furniture design, The Parsons Cube furniture received international exposure and had it selling in Bloomingdales. Moving to Manhattan in 1978 I started designing and building custom cabinets, there with a partner I also started a full service painting and interior design business handling clients all over the city. Later, being interested in larger projects I joined Karco-Davis to do space planning and handled moving the Transit Authorities Engineering Dept from 2 floors of the World Trade Center into a renovated 6 floor building at 40 Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn. Upon complication of that project I worked with Steven Leigh Associates assisting with HVAC, lighting, furniture design and detailing. We did retail space, smaller offices for international companies and exclusive apartments. When Steven Leigh moved his offices I found an interesting job with Signs & Decal developed and designed large Electrical Signage. Starting with one lighting structure at One United Nations Plaza, I went on to work with HRH Constrution to design and manage installation of a 50 Ft lighted ring and lighted Figure Eight in the lower concourse lever of 599 Lexington Ave.
I started RJO Design Studios Inc. designing and builting cabinets for clients on the Upper East Side on 5 Ave, Park Ave and Lexington. During that period I invented, designed and patented my second furniture design the Waterfall Lounge Chair. After prototype testing I started manufacturing the lounge for the Spa industry and also won the Hammacher Schlemmer Personal Care Invention of the Year in 1996. I continued selling my furniture to Spas from California and Colorado to Kentucky and Florida. In Europe while designing a piece of custom furniture, I was offered the sales distributorship of the USA for an English tooling manufacture to the electronics industry. With a partner I built our company Eurotubes USA saleing all over the US Mexico and Canada. Being challenged to either sell out or close down We designed and build a manufacturing plant in East Orange NJ and started selling tooling direct to an exclusive group of fortune 50 companies, Ford, Philips, Siemens, Sony are some. We eventually were direct competitors to Eurotubes . Later I sold my shares to the other partners to focus on smaller interesting interior design projects like combining apartments 6K-L at 350 Bleecker St.so the client could have a direct view of the empire state building.