Industrial Design

Researchers in industrial design investigate experiences and products that affect human and environmental wellbeing.

Close up of bright green organic shape against black background
'Hydrophytes', digitally generated 4D aquatic 'plants' created by Nicole Hone in the MADE research group

Industrial design responds to human experience, behaviour, needs, and desires by creatively engaging with mass and batch production processes and materials. This field is being driven increasingly by digital technologies

Researchers in this area investigate experiences and products that affect human and environmental wellbeing. We create original, useful, and meaningful products, such as furniture made from recycled plastics and medical prosthetics tailored to fit individual people.

The Industrial Design Research Group works collaboratively with a variety of interdisciplinary academics and professionals with strong connections to industry partners and research organisations. Current research interests include innovative applications of additive manufacturing (AM), such as Computer Generated Objects (CGO), 4D printing for synthetic biology and a circular economy, and emerging digital platforms of making.

Research topics

Research topic Staff who can supervise research in this area
3D fabrication Doug Easterly, Anne Niemetz, Leon Gurevitch

3D fabrication and Māori narratives

David Hakaraia

3D fabrication for fashion and textile applications

Hannah Goldblatt, Edgar Rodriguez

4D printing for a circular economy

Simon Fraser, Tim Miller, Jeongbin Ok, Ross Stevens,

4D-printed synthetic biology

Tim Miller, Ross Stevens, Bernard Guy

Computer-generated objects (CGO)

Tim Miller, Jeongbin Ok, Ross Stevens, Leon Gurevitch

Emerging digital platforms of making

Simon Fraser, Jeongbin Ok, Bernard Guy, Edgar Rodriguez

Academic staff

Name Research interests
Doug Easterly
  • Designing and fabricating physical objects using traditional and digital techniques; narrative and physical objects
Simon Fraser
  • 4D printing for distributed upcycling, bio-based polymers, large-scale spatial and adaptive structures
  • 3D printing for co-design, open-source products and new models of manufacturing
Hannah Goldblatt
  • Textile design and soft material manufacturing using digital fabrication—robotics, 3D printing and knitting, CNC weaving, laser cutting
Leon Gurevitch
  • Designing and fabricating physical objects using traditional and digital techniques; narrative and physical objects
  • Procedural and generative modelling for voxels, 4D-printed sensors and meta-materials

Bernard Guy

  • Multi-property dynamic voxel printing for soft robotics, medical applications, and special effects
  • 3D printing for co-design, open-source products, and new models of manufacturing

David Hakaraia

  • Māori narratives using digital fabrication—3D printers, CNC machines, laser cutters

Tim Miller

  • Multi-property dynamic voxel printing for soft robotics, medical applications, and special effects
  • 4D Printing for distributed upcycling, bio-based polymers, large scale, spatial and adaptive structures
  • Procedural and generative modelling for voxels, 4D printed sensors and meta-materials
Anne Niemetz
  • Designing and fabricating physical objects using traditional and digital techniques; narrative and physical objects
Jeongbin Ok
  • 4D printing for distributed upcycling, bio-based polymers, large-scale spatial and adaptive structures
  • Procedural and generative modelling for voxels, 4D-printed sensors and meta-materials
  • 3D printing for co-design, open source products, and new models of manufacturing
Edgar Rodriguez
  • Textile design and soft material manufacturing using digital fabrication—robotics, 3D printing and knitting, CNC weaving, laser cutting
  • 3D printing for co-design, open source products, and new models of manufacturing
Ross Stevens
  • 4D printing for distributed upcycling, bio-based polymers, large-scale spatial and adaptive structures
  • Procedural and generative modelling for voxels, 4D-printed sensors, and meta-materials
  • Multi-property dynamic voxel printing for soft robotics, medical applications, and special effects

Design Research Labs

MADE

MADE (Multi-property Additive-manufacturing Design Experiments) focusses on innovative design applications of 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing materials, technologies and processes. It aspires to establish a globally recognised design research expertise in the currently undersubscribed niche of multi-material printing.

For more see MADE.

Study options

The following postgraduate programmes allow you to pursue research in the area of industrial design:

Master of Design (MDes)

The MDes allows you to further develop your critical thinking and discussion skills, increase your understanding of design, and learn to express your own ideas and conclusions within a theoretical framework.

Find out more about the Master of Design (MDes).

Master of Design Innovation (MDI)

The MDI delves deep into the process of innovation, from conception to design to construction. Through independent research, you'll gain the specialist skills and knowledge you need to be a successful professional in the design industry.

Find out more about the Master of Design Innovation (MDI).

PhD

On our PhD programme, you'll produce an original body of research that expands the design discipline. Your work will be largely independently driven, with two supervisors available to advise you. Typically the PhD is studied on-site, but in suitable cases it may be studied by distance.

Find out more about the PhD.