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Tsailu Liu

Professor and Department Head of Graphic Design + Industrial Design


Tsai Lu Liu, Professor of Industrial Design, is the Head of the Department of Graphic Design and Industrial Design at the College of Design at NC State University. Before teaching industrial design, Professor Liu managed new product/service design and marketing for 12 years in the toy, healthcare, gaming, semiconductor, and communication industries. His interdisciplinary teams developed electric ride-on toy vehicles, internet telecommunication services, commercial gaming systems, multimedia online advertising platforms, occupational therapy stations, and pediatric sitting/positioning furniture. With a user-centered approach to innovation, his teams successfully brought several products to the international markets through comprehensive research, design, engineering, production, and marketing endeavors.

Professor Liu joined Auburn University’s Industrial Design faculty in 2004. His design studio clients at Auburn included Broan-NuTone, Coca-Cola, DeWalt, Generac, and Johnson & Johnson. The College of Architecture, Design and Construction at Auburn University appointed Professor Liu as the acting Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research in 2011.

In 2012, Professor Liu joined NC State University’s College of Design. As a Department Head, he is responsible for the academic and administrative successes of the undergraduate Graphic Design and Industrial Design programs, the graduate Graphic Design program, and the graduate Industrial Design program. Professor Liu has also facilitated the establishment of sponsored research/design projects with organizations such as Becton, Dickinson and Company, Bosch-Siemens Home Appliances Group, Eastman Chemical Company, Hanes Brands Inc., IBM, JLG Industries Inc., NSA, and SAS Institute.

The recipient of the Southern Governors’ Association’s Innovator Award and an NC State service/extension award, Professor Liu has also received several ‘outstanding teaching’ awards. He has been an active presenter and speaker at the Industrial Designers Society of America’s annual national conferences and many other international conferences. Professor Liu’s research and teaching interests include user-experience centered product/service innovation, user-centered design methods, inclusive design, design education, and social responsibility of designers.