Building:Mackenzie, Room 3476
Department:School of Industrial Design


Stephen Field is an internationally experienced industrial designer with over 25 years of background in the design and development of products and systems. As an educator Stephen mixes his professional experience with his enthusiasm and passion for design. From day one of first year studio Stephen introduces students to the design process, a process that will be cultivated throughout their industrial design education. As the students advance through the program Stephen, through his teaching, illustrates the importance of a holistic approach to design. As a past entrepreneur he describes how the importance of a sound business thinking combined with design can create innovative products and systems for the worlds diverse markets.

Only with understanding the tools and skills of design can students develop the visual language needed to create. Stephen puts a great deal of emphasis on students developing the ability to sketch; he sees it as one of most valuable skills to allow for the formulation of a good design. Only through the ability to sketch can a designer then pool the many other tools of design to create and develop products and systems.


Coming from a global background in design and development of energy efficient housing components and manufacturing, my research focus has led to demonstrate how collaborative holistic approaches can be utilized in developing sustainable products and systems for remote Canadian First Nations and Inuit communities. By working within interdisciplinary framework that creates participatory research teams within the university; Sprott School of Business, School of Industrial Design, and Environmental Engineering. Through this collaboration students embrace co-creation and co-design research methods. By conducting intensive multi-week field trips, students activly engage with communities, employing participatory approaches implementing prototyping and testing methods.  Due to the geographic isolation students develop tools and methods that facilitate distant distributed studios, allowing for ongoing community engagement. Graduate students interested in collaboration that applies design processes to assist in developing self-sufficiency and self-reliance through community entrepreneurship that is respectful to the indigenous communities.

Research Projects

Maasai Community Engagement This interdisciplinary collaborative project between the Sprott School of Business, School of industrial Design, and Environmental Engineering, engaging students in co-design and co-creation with Maasai communities in the district of Longido, Tanzania. Active engagement research to create self-reliance, self-sufficiency in a sustainable context.
Interdisciplinary Framework for Northern First Nation and Inuit Communities Research focuses on developing interactive processes allowing potential high impact solutions to be generated by all parties despite cultural differences and geographical separation.   Several Northern communities such as Na-cho Nyak Dun in Mayo Yukon, Igloolik Nunavut and Masset BC, among others have extended their participation with students from Sprott School of Business and School of Industrial Design. This Interdisciplinary research utilizes and evaluates   digital collaborative tools such as Virtual Reality, into the research process to allow for engagement between the geographically distributed teams.