Tucker Viemeister (born 14 August 1948, and named after the car that his father Read was designing at the time) is an American industrial designer who helped found many important design businesses: Smart Design, frog design's New York studio, Razorfish's physical design group and Springtime-USA. He was more recently chief of Studio Red at Rockwell Group in New York.
While at Smart, he helped design the influential and award-winning Oxo "Good Grips" kitchen tools. He holds 32 US utility patents, and his work is represented in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt; National Design Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; and the Staatliches Museum, Berlin, Germany.
Tucker has also been a friend of REMO and a key collaborator for almost 35 years. His designs for REMO HERE.
We’re not here to talk about Tucker’s accomplishments over many years, but rather the global toothpaste collection that adorns the bathroom wall of his loft in New York’s West Village.
Toothpaste has been around for a while. Since 5000 BC, the Egyptians made a tooth powder, which consisted of powdered ashes of ox hooves, myrrh, powdered and burnt eggshells and pumice. The Greeks, and then the Romans, improved the recipes by adding abrasives such as crushed bones and oyster shells. In the 9th century, Iraqi musician and fashion designer Ziryab invented a type of toothpaste, which he popularised throughout Islamic Spain.
Tucker’s international collection is truly something to behold, and our favourite thing about it is its functionality. Each tube of toothpaste is clipped and hangs from a nail. He can choose to brush his teeth using any one of the 439 toothpastes currently on display.
Some ideas are really quite wonderful, and it’s not always easy to articulate why.
Finally, and by way of providing an apt ending to this story, the beautiful big smile REMO Smile design from 1995 was originally lifted from a tube of Italian Kemphor toothpaste hanging on Tucker’s wall that was given to him by shoe designer Martha Davis.
1. Tucker in his bathroom with toothpastes, April 2023
2. International Toothpaste Collection
3. Remo inspects the wall
5. Smile Design at REMO | 1995
6. Smile Crown Street Window at REMO in 1995
7. Kemphor Toothpaste with Smile
8. See also Dude With Sign