Brian Lee

0 Years at PolyU Design
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Brian Lee



Brian Lee is a design educator and practitioner on product design discipline, with specific expertise in ageing & healthcare product design, sustainable lifestyle & consumption analysis in Chinese contexts, participatory design/ co-creation approach, and with an interest in which the emerging material, cultural & technological integration, artisanal practice, production methods and consumption practices intersect.

Born in Hong Kong, Brian studied at School of Design, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and gained his Degree in Industrial & Product Design at end of 90’s and a Masters of Arts in Design after years of professional practice. He is currently pursuing PhD study (cooperative prototyping through visual-spatial thinking techniques) at the same school. He had worked in design consultancy firms in HK and Germany for developing medical equipments, OBM design for lifestyle products, watches & clocks and jewelry, and was a Design Director of a furniture manufacturer & retailer in HK & Shanghai. Lee is currently Assistant Professor of School of Design at PolyU. He is the leader of Asian Lifestyle Design Research Lab and takes up administrative role as deputy discipline leader of BA (Hons) in Social Design which carries social innovation for products and services development of the society in a sustainable and responsible manner.

Brian plays active roles in servicing professional and non profit organizations for instance three terms of services as vice presidents of Industrial Designers Society of Hong Kong (2011-13, 13-15, 15-17), panel for Deisgn Incubation Programme at 2015-17 (Hong Kong Design Centre), advisory committe for Hong Kong Smart Award since 2013 (Hong Kong Exporter's Association), and judges for various types of design competitions.

Research area

Brian’s research anchors in design and visual thinking within people, material and cultural transformation. He is actively in exploring design for active ageing, lifestyle & material culture, sustainable product design approaches, and methodologies on development of craftsmanship, furniture design and interactive product design.

Three interweaved pillars of applied design research works are being established by Lee recently to forging the holistic understanding of design activities in response to emerging societal problems. First, the approach of user centered design is adopted and advocated in which participatory and co-design methods supporting community development in particular for elderly and marginalized people are being explored. Second, new production and consumption models are discussed. In search of emerging societal development and impact of new product design development (e.g. rapid prototyping, 3D printing), new design methodology exploring the argument from the conventional critique about concept of customization v.s. mass production, to the system thinking on local production and local consumption are carried out. Third, the fundamental global environmental problems caused by current production and consumption patterns are addressed in the line of Brian’s works. Formulating new design processes and methodologies enriching sustainable product development has been explored for years.

Teaching area

Co-creation Workshop Design, Design with & for Elderly/ Communities, Product Semantics in Chinese Contexts, Product Design for Sustainability, Furniture design, Interactive Product, Transforming Traditional Craftsmanship.