Meet Resident Ted Bell: Top Notch Industrial Designer and Woodworker

This month’s featured senior resident spotlight is Ted Bell – Father, husband, and former industrial designer. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and grew up in Gastonia, North Carolina where his dad worked as a pharmacist. As a young man, Ted became infatuated with how different things looked and were designed, and wanted to design products himself.

Ted Goes to the Big Apple

From there he decided that he would do whatever it took to become an industrial designer, so he started reaching out to companies like General Motors and Ford to find out how their designers got there.

To Ted’s surprise, they wrote him back and gave him suggestions on where to study industrial design for college, and one of those schools was The Pratt Institute. Located in the Big Apple, The Pratt Institute is one of America’s top art and design schools and admission is quite competitive. Ted was accepted, however, and earned a four year degree in industrial design in 1959.

A Career as an Industrial Designer

So what exactly is industrial design? It’s the process of mapping out what a product will look like, how it will be made, and what materials it will be made out of. It’s about figuring out the appeal of a product, and making it even more appealing with cutting edge design. Ted has designed everything in his career from a missile to a sweeper, and even a car wash. Plus, he got to take his own car through it after it was built. What a great experience that only a select bunch will have in their lifetime.

Mr. Bell spent much of his industrial design career working at a firm called Peter Muller-Munk Associates (PMMA), a premier industrial design firm known for its iconic midcentury modern designs. Because the firm is based in Pittsburg, they were in the middle of designing Point State Park in downtown Pittsburg when Ted joined the team.

Aside from industrial design, Ted has always had a passion for woodworking. He and his dad would buy machines and tools together, and eventually Ted had enough to make his own woodworking shop in his basement. Woodworking is just a hobby for Ted – he sometimes makes things for his family or himself when he has time – but he’s pretty darn good at it! He crafted his own nightstand and magazine holder that sit in his room here at The Inn at Belden Village.

A Devoted Husband and Father

Mr. Bell met his lovely wife Nancy in Pittsburg, as they both went to the same church. He had seen her around before and finally decided to ask her to a church outing, and they were a couple ever since. Sadly Nancy has passed, but Ted remembers her fondly and keeps pictures of her around his room. “She was such a good wife,” says Ted of Nancy. The couple were married for close to 50 years and had two children together – Karen and Kevin.

Ted has been with us at The Inn at Belden Village for just a short while, but is enjoying it so far. “To live here is great, I don’t have any complaints!” says Ted of The Inn. We’re so glad to have Ted staying with us, and we look forward to the time ahead.

To find out more information about The Inn at Belden Village or to request a free lunch and tour, contact us today.