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Jesse Adams Stein

Senior Lecturer & ARC DECRA Fellow, School of Design, University of Technology Sydney

Dr Jesse Adams Stein is a Senior Lecturer and ARC DECRA Fellow at the UTS School of Design. She is an interdisciplinary design researcher specialising in the relationship between technology, work and material culture. Her research shifts between historical and contemporary contexts and focuses on the quieter and less fashionable aspects of design: industrial craft, manufacturing, repair, skill loss and the human experience of economic restructuring and deindustrialisation.

Stein's most recent book, "Industrial Craft in Australia" (Palgrave Macmillan 2021), focuses on ongoing significance of industrial craft (trade skills) in Australian manufacturing, and provides an historically informed understanding of Australia’s creative and productive capacity, offering constructive alternatives to nostalgic representations of ‘lost trades’. Stein's first monograph, "Hot Metal: Material Culture & Tangible Labour" (Manchester University Press, 2016), re-examined technological change and workplace upheaval in the Australian printing industry between the 1960s and the 1980s.

Stein receives funding from the Australian Research Council through a Discovery Early Career Research Fellowship (DECRA 2021), and she is currently investigating the project "Makers, Manufacturers & Designers: Connecting Histories".

Stein was co-Chief Investigator of the collaborative research project "Repair Design: Shared Knowledge & Practice" (Co-CI: A. Crosby), and is a public commentator on the 'right to repair' debate in Australia.


  • 2021–present
    Senior Lecturer & ARC DECRA Fellow, Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building, UTS
  • 2019–2021
    Senior Lecturer & Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building, UTS
  • 2016–2019
    Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building, UTS
  • 2015–2016
    Faculty Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building, UTS


  • 2014 
    University of Technology Sydney, PhD (Design)
  • 2009 
    School of the Art Institute of Chicago, MA (Design history / art history)
  • 2005 
    University of New South Wales, Bachelor of Art Theory (Hons)

Grants and Contracts

  • 2021
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2019
    Repair Design: Shared Knowledge & Practice
    Funding Source:
    UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building / Project Initiation Grant
  • 2017
    Reshaping Australian Manufacturing Oral History Project
    Funding Source:
    Partnership with National Library of Australia
  • 2016
    Funding Source:
    UTS Chancellors Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Professional Memberships

  • Society for the History of Technology
  • Design History Society
  • Oral History NSW