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Design Institute of America

Design Institute of America was originally established as Winzeler Pacific, Winzeler South and Acme Metal Products in Montpelier, Vt., where founder Robert Cameron Winzeler, Jr., affectionately known as “the Big Chief” by his employees, served as CEO from 1970 to 1997. The company was renamed Design Institute of America (DIA) in 1971. Winzeler was instrumental in opening doors for quite a few artists and furniture designers. Known for its modern and transitional furnishing and accents, DIA collaborated with such designers as Vladimir Kagan, John Mascheroni, Rick Berry, Milo Baughman and Michael Wold to produce unique, stylish tables and curios. Both clear and colored glass were used in the company’s designs, and DIA developed dozens of different metal surface finishes through acid dipping and electroplating, beyond the simple powder coating process used by most other manufacturers. For many years the company held a prominent place in the mid- and upper-end table market. Its products also included a wide range of dining chairs, lounge chairs, mirrors, serving carts, curio cabinets, etageres and other décor. Although the company closed its doors in March 2005, its smart glass and metal productions—in styles such as Modern, Danish Modern, Vintage Modern, Mid-Century Modern and Postmodern—can still command high prices in today’s market.