Stefan Lie is a designer and academic based in Sydney. While quite enjoying the lockdown, Stefan’s family tried to make it fun. His journal documents morning and afternoon tea food faces, books he recommends and other insightful observations.
“The kids didn’t like going back to school at all.”
Stefan Lie is a product designer and design academic with an interest in material interaction and sustainable design. His work is focused on next-generation bio-derived 3D printed polymers with the aim of transitioning product design practice away from petrochemicals.
Stefan conducts research in material interaction with a focus on the relationship between humans and materials based on an object’s form, surface and texture, and its resulting contribution to cultures of overconsumption and waste. His interest in this area, coupled with his growing body of research into bio-derived plastics in small-batch 3D printing, sits at the intersection of product interaction and sustainable design.
As a researcher, Stefan works extensively with industry, producing a diverse portfolio of products that drive sustainability outcomes. Key projects include a partnership with Street Furniture to reduce the company’s resource footprint through the use of 3D-printed replacement parts, and the design of a 100% recyclable compost aerator for Compost Revolution. In partnership with Visionearch, Stefan produced a recyclable 3D-printed screen distancing device used in the assessment of vision impairments in research institutes and hospitals; the development of this product on a small-batch basis resulted in a reduction of waste associated the Vision Search assessment process.
Other research partners include IKEA, Cleantech, the NSW Department of Corrective Services and ARUP, among others. A former furniture designer, Stefan is known for the iconic Ribs Bench, now part of the permanent collection at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. In 2008, he won a Good Design Award from the Shizuoka Chamber of Commerce in Japan for his Origami Slippers. He is a member of the Australia Design Centre’s Future Work Think Tank and the principal judge for the Australian Design Centre’s annual Workshopped Design competition. Stefan completed his PhD at UTS in 2020 with a thesis that explored the strength and surface texture of 3D printed polymers. He is the director of the Product Design program in the UTS School of Design and a co-director of the Material Ecologies Studio.
View Stefan Lie's journal here:
Image: Stefan Lie, Design/Isolate Journal (detail), 2020.