Tsai Lu Liu, IDSA

Tsai Lu Liu, IDSA
Department Head, Graphic and Industrial Design
North Carolina State University

Professor Tsai Lu Liu, IDSA, is head of the Department of Graphic Design and Industrial Design at North Carolina State University, where he and his students have been working on user research and product design projects for companies such as Bosch Appliances, Coca-Cola, Eastman Chemical, IBM, Johnson and Johnson, Lowes, Under Armour and more.

Before teaching, Liu managed new product/service design and marketing for 12 years in the toy, healthcare, gaming, semiconductor and communications industries. With a user-centered approach to innovation, his teams successfully brought several products to international markets through comprehensive research, design, engineering, production and marketing endeavors.

He holds an MBA in marketing from Georgia State University and a master of industrial design from Auburn University.

You Think You Know Ethnography? Ask an Anthropologist!

Designers realize that a deeper understanding of people can inform and inspire better designs. To gain insight into their users, many have turned to ethnography—a research strategy originally borrowed from anthropology. But are there still areas that designers could learn from anthropologists to elevate the quality and effectiveness of their research?

To find out, Tsai Lu Liu, IDSA, invited Shea McManus, an applied cultural anthropologist, to spend two semesters embedded in industrial design studio classes at NC State University, observing and assisting with the ethnographic research of the faculty and students.

Now, they will share how a more comprehensive approach to ethnographic research may lead designers to discover deep, meaningful patterns that could inspire impactful designs.