Assoc Professor, Design
Preferred: (408) 924-4376
For students in my courses: Drop in Office Hours: MW 11:15am-12:15pm and 6:30pm-7:00pm
in Art 231; For my advisees: Check Canvas ID Advising site for information about
- Master of Design (MDes), Product Design, Innovation & Mgmt, Middlesex Univ,London,England,
- Master's design research, ENSCI, Paris France
- Bachelor of Science, Industrial Design, CSU-Long Beach, California, United States,
Leslie Speer is a designer and educator with a long-time passion for helping people
use design to improve their world and others’ lives. For the last fifteen years she
has been educating students, currently as a professor in industrial design at San
José State University and, before that, as professor and Assistant Chair at California
College of the Arts. She emphasizes innovative interdisciplinary courses and projects,
often with students or user populations in emerging markets such as Africa and China.
She pioneered the teaching of sustainable design and design research to undergraduates
while at CCA, and for ten years co-taught a new product development class with design
students collaborating with MBA and graduate engineering students from UC Berkeley
Leslie received the prestigious Educator of the Year award from the Industrial Designers
Society of America in 2009.
Professionally she has worked for companies and clients in the USA, Europe and Mexico,
including Dupont, Philips, Oracle/Sun Microsystems, frog design, the Costa Rican Ministry
of Culture, Banomex, and various NGOs. She has extensive consulting experience in
developing markets such as Mexico, Costa Rica, China and Cameroon, working on initiatives
using design to create economic stability for artisans and rural farmers. She is Chair
of the IDSA Design for the Majority Professional Interest Section, and is a guest
lecturer at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle in Paris, and
at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts in China.
Education: BS in industrial design from California State University at Long Beach.
Masters in Design (MDES) from Middlesex University in the UK.