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Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSc)

Elizabeth Lee

Elizabeth is a designer interested in objects and experiences that help us live more joyfully and frugally on this planet. After studying psychology and linguistics at Columbia University, she began her career exploring how symbols, images and cultural patterns affect decision making as a brand strategist. A personal conviction that society must change to respond to climate crisis led her to pursue further education in sustainable design at Pratt Institute before joining the Royal College of Art and Imperial College.   

A picture of Elizabeth Lee

My time at the RCA and Imperial College has led me to discover that I have a deep obsession with materiality – getting intimate with how things are made, experimenting with new processes, techniques, and raw materials. Whether it's co-designing with mycelium, inventing a new biofoam, or manipulating materials with sound, I'm not a "scientist" but I love materials science and experimentation. I came in with a passion for circularity, regenerative design, and clear principles about sustainability, and since then I've been able to test what (creative, or frustrating) friction ensues when these beliefs and convictions rub up against the reality of making. I'm interested in understanding how we might fundamentally change our relationship with consumption by changing our relationship with, and the value we embed in the objects around us.

Flow State explores easier biomaterial 3D printing with vibration-based liquefaction.

3D printing with biomaterials is an exciting technique for upcycling and remanufacturing waste streams into new forms, but is currently extremely challenging due to the texture and other physical properties of these materials. Without binder additives and laborious pre-processing, materials can clog 3D printer nozzles or slump once deposited. This project explores using ultrasonic vibration to temporarily reduce viscosity of materials at the point of extrusion, opening up opportunities to print with a wider range of materials.

a photo of wood chips
substrate growing
set of bricks
sawdust substrate
clay falling under low frequency input
scope measurement
extruder render