Dr Christian Tietz
Senior Lecturer

Dr Christian Tietz

PhD Design, 2014, University of Technology, Sydney,
Bachelor of Design, (Industrial Design) 1992, University of Technology, Sydney
Team Facilitator, 2001, Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP). Delivering 3-day communication and alternative conflict resolution workshops to inmates in correctional facilities and the wider community.
Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Built Environment

Christian was the kind of kid for whom the entire Wonderworld ride had to be stopped because it was too boring - he wanted to get off. School was no better. At university he took a year off to produce his first product and sold 13000 units successfully. He traveled the world, climbed 5000 meter passes in the Andes, Bhutan and China, drove his old 1952 Vanguard ute across Australia, slept in his swag under the open sky and swam on the beaches of Cape Leveque, Copacabana, the Andaman Islands and Greece were he loves sailing the Ionian sea. In his heart of hearts he is a racing car driver, has a moderate shoe fixation, sports a fading Apple tattoo on the inside of his forehead, is enamoured with his Atomic coffee machine and has a thing for his favourite shop Manufactum in his native Munich. Christian lives with his wife, best friend and muse on the top of the Blue Mountains were above all he practises to take the time to smell the roses - the hardest but most rewarding task!

Dr Christian Tietz is a Senior Lecturer in the Industrial Design program in the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of New South Wales.

Dr Tietz’ recognised expertise and research interests are in the field of Design and Context. In particular the influence of the environment on user behaviour and product performance, exploring the social impact products have on lives and therefore society. He has been interviewed by ABC Radio over 13 times since October 2017 and you can find some of the interviews here.

He has investigated the role of data in telling a story about the user and their intricate and often surprising daily regimes. He is curious about the way things can reveal a story about their use and place in the world and how this narrative can reflect our perception of things and the ways in which we relate to them. This pertains to the personal, communal and political dimension of products.

Dr Tietz’ research has pioneered the introduction of Industrial Design perspectives into Indigenous Environmental Health in Australia. Through over 20 years of professional design practice and his long-standing academic experience, he examined in detail numerous domestic fixtures and appliances (f.e. light fittings, door furniture, washing machines, fridges, stoves, kitchen design, cupboards, taps, shower roses and amenity blocks), and their impact on health and sustainable social change. 

His book Health Hardware Design documents the approach to this work and the methodology and underlying principles. His research applied innovative design methods and principles to complex and ill-defined health and environmental problems in remote cross-cultural settings. This shifted the perspective and reframed an existing problem in a new context, allowing for a wider investigation of contributing issues, leading to a solution that required a change in product specification, administration and policy. Previously the users were blamed for the frequent product failure and his work exonerated these under-privileged users and helped dismantle existing entrenched stereotypical views about them. This demonstrated that it was not a user centered cultural issue.

His design led approach made a contribution to the understanding of a product’s sphere of influence and the effects this can have on the users and those administrating them. His approach is therefore not only suitable for hard to reach locations with a diverse user group, but is also suitable to reveal more about the role of manufactured objects in more prosaic urban settings.

His unique and critically important body of work is included in the three editions of the National Indigenous Housing Guide published by the Australian Federal Government and its current international iteration Housing for Health - The Guide. Both aim to support sustainable community development and reference four of Dr Tietz’ reports.

In collaboration with co-authors from various organisations and disciplines he produced publications and exhibitions and has created a deep pool of professional, industry and academic peers and expertise to pursue effective multi partner research (e.g. with medical doctors, sociologists, architects, engineers, anthropologists, health workers, database specialists, environmental health inspectors, housing managers, designers, trades and local Indigenous community members). An example of the practical outcome of his work is his Improving Nutrition design research project which became the specified Design Standard for the Indigenous Housing Association of the Northern Territory (IHANT), resulting in hundreds of his kitchens being installed into community housing.

His design research contribution to trans-disciplinary community development for sustainable wellbeing and health has been recognised nationally and internationally with the 2012 UTS Human Rights Award for ‘sustained commitment to improving the standard of Indigenous Australian environmental health through his innovative designs of health hardware’, the 2011 UN World Habitat Award and being exhibited at The Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012 in the Australian Pavilion’s Healthabitat Exhibit all demonstrate the impact of his work on a global stage.

 As the National R&D Manager for Healthabitat (2006-11), he presented twice yearly at the Australian Federal Government’s A$21m, Fixing House for Better Health Program to industry, professionals, academics and State and Federal Government ministerial adviser. In this position he obtained $AUD320,000 in research funding for Manger Initiated Projects.

He is an editor of the award winning Industrial Design Educators Network journal (Australian Book Design Award 2014), Scientific committee member of the G20 Youth Forum and peer reviewer of highly regarded international academic journals: Design Principles & Practices and Design Studies.

+61 414533316
Red Centre West Wing, Room 4024
  • Books | 2013
    Tietz C, 2013, Health Hardware Design A Design Research Journey Towards a Healthier Australian Indigenous Living Environment, Designlab Oceania / RMIT Publishing, https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=672082456917881;res=IELIND
  • Book Chapters | 2020
    2020, 'Overcrowding and Domestic Use of Public Space', in Bishop K; Marshall N (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of People and Place in the 21st-Century City, Routledge, Milton, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781351211543-23
    Book Chapters | 2020
    2020, 'The Role of Smart City Initiatives in Driving Partnerships: A Case Study of the Smart Social Spaces Project, Sydney Australia', in Designing Sustainable Cities, Springer International Publishing, pp. 143 - 159, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54686-1_9
    Book Chapters | 2020
    2020, 'The Role of Smart City Initiatives in Driving Partnerships: A Case Study of the Smart Social Spaces Project, Sydney Australia', in Smart and Sustainable Cities and Buildings, Springer International Publishing, pp. 171 - 185, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37635-2_11
    Book Chapters | 2011
    Dorst K; Tietz CR, 2011, 'Design Thinking and Analysis - a case study in design for social wellbeing', in Chakrabarti A (ed.), Research into Design supporting sustainable product development, Research Publishing, pp. 104 - 114, https://books.google.com.au/books?id=bNF9K7u1vEwC&pg=PT20&lpg=PT20&dq=Design+Thinking+and+Analysisa+case+study+in+design+for+social+wellbeing&source=bl&ots=8-KfbdvUd3&sig=ZYpZemU5G6WDmdWZHcmX0cYEkRE&h
    Book Chapters | 2000
    Tietz CR, 2000, 'Kitchen Design, Installation and maintenance', in Harris G; Dr Scrimgeour D; Dr Walker B; Rainow S; Dr Seeman K; Dr Llyod R; Tregenza T (ed.), Environmental Health Handbook A Practical Manual for Remote Communities, Menzies School of Health Research, Casuarina, NT, Australia, pp. 155 - 172
  • Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'An Investigation into Sleep Environment as a Multi-Functional Space', Buildings, 13, pp. 406 - 406, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/buildings13020406
    Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Co-designing a conceptual controlled environment agriculture (CEA) model inside an Australian maximum-security prison: A research framework', Cogent Social Sciences, 9, pp. 1 - 17, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2023.2188678
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'IOT INTEGRATED SMART STREET FURNITURE: A CASE STUDY OF UNIVERSITY, INDUSTRY AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT COLLABORATION', International Journal of Engineering Science Technologies, 5, pp. 43 - 53, http://dx.doi.org/10.29121/ijoest.v5.i6.2021.245
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Liking, Tweeting and Posting: An Analysis of Community Engagement through Social Media Platforms', Urban Policy and Research, pp. 1 - 21, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08111146.2020.1792283
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Publicly shared domestic-related amenities: Pockets of privacy enhancing public space', Spatium, pp. 8 - 15, http://dx.doi.org/10.2298/SPAT2043008K
    Journal articles | 2013
    2013, 'Editorial', IDEN, 1, pp. ii, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022215114003090
    Journal articles | 2012
    Tietz CR, 2012, 'Living in the Yard', IDEN, 1, pp. 50 - 52, https://idenjournal.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/iden_vol1_digital.pdf
    Journal articles | 2012
    Journal articles | 2009
    Tietz CR, 2009, 'Stirring Appetites in Design: A user Centered Product Design Approach to Improve Environmental Health in Remote Indigenous Communities in Australia', Design Principles and Practices, 3, pp. 105 - 119, http://ijg.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.154/prod.278
    Journal articles | 1996
    Tietz CR, 1996, 'Outdoor Cooking Technologies', National Technology Resource Centre, Alice Springs, Australia, pp. 22 - 23, http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/13983303?q&versionId=45301673
    Journal articles | 1996
    Tietz CR, 1996, 'The New Sink Plug', National Technology Resource Centre, Alice Springs, NT, pp. 19 - 19, http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/13983303?q&versionId=45301673
    Journal articles | 1996
    Tietz CR, 1996, 'Washing Machine Performance', National Technology Resource Centre, pp. 12 - 13, http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/13983303?q&versionId=45301673
  • Working Papers | 2001
    Tietz CR, 2001, Improving Nutrition, Department of Family, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Canberra, Australia 2001, Canberra, ACT, http://dx.doi.org
  • Conference Papers | 2021
    2021, 'DESIGN FOR CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT AGRICULTURE INSIDE AN AUSTRALIAN MAXIMUM-SECURITY PRISON: A RESEARCH FRAMEWORK', in Anais do VIII SDS 2021, Departamento de Design da UFPR, presented at Simpósio de Design Sustentável, http://dx.doi.org/10.5380/8sds2021.art13
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2020
    2020, Datum 72, Australian Furniture Design Award 2020, National Gallery of Victoria at the Stylecraft Showroom, 145 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000, 17 July 2020 - 26 July 2020, medium: Acrylic and PLA filament, at: https://virtualdenfair.com.au/australian-furniture-design-award-denfair/
    Reports | 2020
    2020, Heat Study for ChillOUT Hubs: Implications for Design and Use
    Reports | 2020
    2020, Smart Social Spaces Product Sprint, Sydney, Australia
    Reports | 2020
    2020, Tel Aviv Smart City Leadership Report, Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    Designs / Architecture | 2019
    2019, Healthy Living Hardware to enable Smart Social Spaces, Editor: Marshall N; Steinmetz C; Corkery L; Thompson S; Bishop K; Park MILES; Rahmat H, publication category: Designs / Architecture
    Reports | 2019
    2019, Behaviour mapping report 2: Smart social spaces, smart street furniture supporting social health
    Reports | 2019
    2019, Behaviour mapping report: Smart social spaces, smart street furniture supporting social health
    Conference Papers | 2018
    Rahmat H; Marshall N; Steinmetz C; Park M; Tietz C; Bishop K; Thompson S; Corkery L, 2018, 'Smart City Initiatives: A Catalyst for Meaningful Collaboration', in Smart City Initiatives: A Catalyst for Meaningful Collaboration, Smart and Sustainable Built Environment (SASBE) Conference, Sydney, presented at Smart and Sustainable Built Environment (SASBE) Conference, Sydney, 04 December 2018 - 07 December 2018
    Designs / Architecture | 2017
    Tietz CR, 2017, Densa - Exploring new urban equipment for denser living, Publication: Densa - Exploring new urban equipment for denser living, Built Environment Gallery, Red Centre West, Kensington Campus, Kensigton, NSW, Editor: Murray A, publication category: Designs / Architecture
    Theses / Dissertations | 2015
    Tietz CR, 2015, Design and Context - An investigation into Health Hardware for Remote Australian Indigenous Communities, University of Technology Sydney, UTS Graduate School
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2012
    Pholeros P; Tietz CR, 2012, Formations, Common Ground, 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, Italy, Pavilion at Giardini, Venice, 29 August 2012 - 25 November 2012, at: http://www.labiennale.org/en/architecture/archive/13th-exhibition/13iae/
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2012
    Tietz CR; Carnemolla P; Coffey E; Pandolfo B; Schwab M, 2012, Lumberrack, Frugal, Ambush Galleries, 4 James St., Waterloo, NSW 2017, 15 November 2012 - 18 November 2012, medium: Steel
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2012
    Tietz CR, 2012, The Yardmaster, Living in the Yard, DAB LAB Research Gallery, UTS Building 6, Level 4, Courtyard, 702 – 730 Harris St, Ultimo, NSW 2007, 30 May 2012 - 20 July 2012, medium: Painted Plywood, Acrylic, Steel, various existing fixtures and fittings, at: http://www.uts.edu.au/about/faculty-design-architecture-and-building/dab-lab/gallery/2012-exhibitions/yardmaster
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2011
    Tietz CR, 2011, Fit for Purpose?, Material Culture, UTS Design Exhibition, Main Foyer, UTS Tower Building, Broadway, Sydney, NSW, 06 December 2011 - 13 December 2011, medium: print on paper, at: http://newsroom.uts.edu.au/events/2011/12/material-culture-uts-design-show
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2008
    Tietz CR, 2008, Stirring Appetites, Stirring Appetites, Cooking Stoves and the making of everyday life in remote Aboriginal communities, DAB LAB Research Gallery, UTS Building 6, Level 4, Courtyard, 702 – 730 Harris St, Ultimo, NSW 2007, 25 September 2008 - 17 October 2008, medium: Photographs on Polymer film, actual appliances, cooking utensils and artefacts from the field study location, steel, aluminium, bakelite,
    Reports | 1997
    Tietz CR; Peter S, 1997, Indoor Stoves for Remote Aboriginal Communities, National Technology Resource Centre, Alice Springs, NT, Alice Springs, NT, NTRC Report, NTRC # cat 97/8

2017 Smart Cities and Suburbs Grant Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Smart Social Spaces Project; Co-Lead Investigator; $ 657,000 

2017 UNSW Institute for Global Development, 2nd investigator, Developing sustainable infrastructure, poverty reduction and wellbeing through capacity building; $ 40,000

2017 Silenceair International Pty Ltd – NSW Tech Voucher; Chief Investigator; $ 30,000

2007 UWS Learning and Teaching Action Plan, Chief Investigator LTAP (7105); Designing Products to Improve Indigenous Environmental Health; $ 14,500


2012 Human Rights Award, University of Technology, Sydney, Biannual Award. 
2011 UN World Habitat Award, BSHF UK, International Award.
2011 Leadership in Sustainability Prize, Australian Institute of Architects 
2008 Vassils Sgoutas Prize, International Union of Architects, Turin, Italy.
1998 Designer of the Year, Museum for Contemporary Art, Sydney for the Seppelt Design Award, Nomination
1994 Finalist, Green Fridge Quest, International design competition, Key Centre for Design, RMIT, Melbourne. 

Christian’s research is about design and context. The influence of the context on behaviour and product performance, revealing the social impact products can have on our lives. The way things can tell a story about themselves and how this narrative reflects on our perception of things and the various ways in which we relate to them. He is interested in the role that data can play in telling this story about the user and their intricate and often surprising daily regimes.

Christian has pioneered the introduction of Industrial design perspectives into the field of remote Environmental Health, especially Indigenous Environmental Health. The interdisciplinary Design research methods developed and used in this field are however applicable and transferable into other often quite different contexts. 




Pholeros, P., Tietz, C. et al. Formations, Creative Work, Group exhibition, Australian Pavilion,

Venice Architecture Biennale, Italy, 2012.

Tietz, C., McDermott, R., Pandolfo, B., Baxter, B., Frugal, Creative Work, Group exhibition, Ambush Gallery, Sydney, 2012.

Tietz, C. Living in the Yard, Creative Work, Solo Exhibition, DABLAB, Gallery, Sydney, 2012

Tietz, C. Material Culture, Creative Work, Group exhibition, UTS Tower Building, Broadway, Sydney 2011.

Tietz, C. Stirring Appetites, Creative Work, Solo Exhibition, DABLAB, Gallery, Sydney, 2008

My Research Supervision

It's not about the building - Practice based PhD in Architecture.

My Teaching

Christian teaches Design at all levels. He particularly enjoys the Design Studio format. Christian also teaches an interdisciplinary Business Start Up unit.

Currently Christian is teaching second, third and fourth year students. He introduced a new Thinking Products unit where students explore the social and philosophical dimensions of things.