About the Project

About the Project

Makers, Manufacturers & Designers: Connecting Histories

This project brings together human stories about Australian manufacturing, Australian design, creative practice and technical education. It shows how makers – of all kinds – are central to Australia’s employment, productivity, innovation and its education systems. Until now, the connections between Australian design, the creative industries, technical education and local manufacturing have not been well understood.

Through archival and oral history research, this project draws out connections between the sectors of design, creative practice, manufacturing and industrial craft, with a focus on how people coped with change, from the 1970s to the present.

Individuals’ stories are a key part of this research. In collaboration with the National Library of Australia, this project includes the production of the Makers, Manufacturers & Designers Oral History Project. Oral history interviewees include Australian tradespeople, technicians, educators, craftspeople, artists and small-business owners, from a variety of industries.


Chief Investigator: Dr Jesse Adams Stein, School of Design, Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building, University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

This research is made possible through funding from the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) 2021 (DE210100158). Additional funding is provided by UTS. In-kind support is provided by the National Library of Australia, Canberra. Project duration: mid-2021 – mid-2024.


This project acknowledges the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation upon whose ancestral country the UTS campus now stands, and pays respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional Custodians of knowledge for this country.