Ross Stevens

Left: Ross Stevens. Center: His home constructed out of shipping containers. Right: Children's TV designed with Philippe Starck, 1993


Ross Stevens is an industrial design icon and design futurist. He has worked with many of the world’s leading product designers, including Philippe Starck, and high end audio brands including B&W, Perreaux and Plinius.

Ross co-founded Design Led Futures whose customers have been Fisher & Paykel (twice), Methven, Nike, Vodafone, Weta Workshop and Wellington City Council. Visit Design Led Futures website

He co-founded and is design director for PureAudio (2009), which involves hand building high-end audio products for people who love music.  As design director for Plinius (audible technology), he was responsible for the industrial design of the now iconic Plinius curved range of products which were introduced to the world market in 2002.

Ross dedicates his life to design, working across diverse fields including ‘amateur architecture’ (i.e. for love not money) and future studies with students exploring ideas that extend 80 years in the future.  He is senior lecturer on complex 3D digital form at Victoria University School of Design in Wellington, New Zealand.

In his youth, Ross spent much of his time working with and inspired by semi-retired engineer Peter Munro. This fueled his interest in ‘how the world is made’. This interest grew and extended into designing mass produced product, some reproduced millions of times, in collaboration with incredibly creative people, including Philippe Starck.  As co-designer of the Fisher & Paykel Smart Drive washing machine, between 1987-1991, Ross has been integral to the evolution of innovative industrial design solutions in New Zealand and world-wide. He sees his products go from dreams, to production, to sale, to use, then inevitably to disposal.

Ross designed and built his own home from a wall of shipping containers, built against a hill in Wellington, New Zealand. His home uses the spaces between the containers and the hill to expand its living space beyond the limiting dimensions of a standard ISO box. The house to the right was an amateur architecture project using disgarded industrial products, 2001-2007.

     Images from top left: PureAudio’s Power Amplifier designed with Gary Morrison, 2010. 4D research exploring time and wear in electronic product. Jamie Mayne’s project BeingHuman biologically merged digital intelligence with the human body. A study into the trends of biotechnology and nanotechnology resulted in a second skin that would mediate between people (when they are spending long periods of time online) and the physical environment (e.g. providing warmth, protection and architecture).

Amatuer achitcture using disgarded industrial products 2001-2007

A glimpse of the future. Ross’ next creative project will be 3D printing new horns for Poppy the goat.

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