Speer, Leslie E.
Assoc Professor, Design
Additional Contact Information
(510) 508-3177 (mbl)
Fall 2013: On sabbatical
- Master of Design, Product Design, Innovation & Management
Middlesex University, United Kingdom, 2006
- Bachelor of Science, Industrial Design
CSU-Long Beach, California, United States, 1983
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.