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  4. Rebecca Partridge

Rebecca Partridge

Design Researcher


I work in Lab4living, an interdisciplinary research cluster, where I am a Design researcher whose work focuses on Design in Healthcare.

I have a broad range of research experience in the field of healthcare and have recently completed a PhD to explore the practice of Research through Design in this field.

My research interests include using creative, participatory and experiential methods to engage and include diverse stakeholder voices in research, develop interventions, improve services and create lasting change.

I am passionate about the role of the Design professional in the facilitation of Design methods, therefore core to my work is understanding the role that these design methods and approaches play and the impact and benefits they bring to healthcare.


After Graduating from a Product Design course in 2012, I have worked in Design Research, focusing on using Design methods and approaches on a range of healthcare based projects. These projects often have a diverse range of stakeholders with hierarchical boundaries based in complex medical systems. My approach is participatory, visual, creative, experiential and champions the role of Design.

My PhD used a Research through Design approach to develop an intervention to share design skills with adolescents who have chronic pain. Key to this study was role of the design approach negotiated complex NHS procedures, built trust with core staff members to develop the intervention, and used creative and visual means to unify a team and develop a new service programme.

During my career, I have also completed a short course in Service design and am qualified as a workshop facilitator in Lego Serious Play. I have facilitated creative masterclasses and Lego serious Play as a conference invitee.


Business, Technology and Enterprise


Key Publications

Partridge, R. (2017). Understanding the Roles of the Designer in Health Care: A Practice-Based Study into Supporting Adolescents with Long-Term Conditions. Design Journal, 20 (4), 523-532.

Partridge, R. (2017). PhD study report : Understanding the roles of the designer in healthcare: A practice-based study into supporting adolescents with long-term conditions. The Design Journal, 20 (4), 523-532.

Journal articles

Webber, R., Grindell, C., & Partridge, R. (2020). Talkback: a co-designed educational resource for people with lower back pain. Physiotherapy, 107, e192-e193.

Law, R.-.J., Williams, L., Langley, J., Burton, C., Hall, B., Hiscock, J., ... Williams, N. (2020). 'Function First—Be Active, Stay Independent'—promoting physical activity and physical function in people with long-term conditions by primary care: a protocol for a realist synthesis with embedded co-production and co-design. BMJ Open, 10 (2), e035686.

Hobson, E.V., Baird, W.O., Partridge, R., Cooper, C.L., Mawson, S., Quinn, A., ... Mcdermott, C. (2018). The TiM system: developing a novel telehealth service to improve access to specialist care in motor neurone disease using user-centered design. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 19 (5-6), 351-361.

Cole, L.M., Selvan, A.N., Partridge, R., Reed, H., Wright, C., & Clench, M.R. (2015). Communication of medical images to diverse audiences using multimodal imaging. Advanced Structural and Chemical Imaging, 1 (1).

Wolstenholme, D., Downes, T., Leaver, J., Partridge, R., & Langley, J. (2014). Improving self-efficacy in spinal cord injury patients through "design thinking" rehabilitation workshops. BMJ Quality Improvement Reports, 3 (1).

Hall, R.L., Partridge, R., Venkatraman, N., & Wiselka, M. (2013). Invasive non-typhoidal salmonella infection with multifocal seeding in an immunocompetent host: An emerging disease in the developed world. BMJ Case Reports.

Conference papers

Langley, J., Bec, R., Wheeler, G., & Partridge, R. (2018). The need for distributed co-design in healthcare contexts. In Christer, K., Craig, C., & Wolstenholme, D. (Eds.) Design4Health, 4 September 2018 - 6 September 2018. Sheffield Hallam University

Partridge, R., Langley, J., & Gwilt, I. (2018). Design, behaviour change and long term conditions: he impact of demonstrating design skills to adolescents with chronic pain. In Christer, K., Craig, C., & Wolstenholme, D. (Eds.) Design 4 Health. Sheffield Hallam University

Chamberlain, P., & Partridge, R. (2017). Co-designing co-design. Shifting the culture of practice in healthcare. The Design Journal, 20 (Sup 1), S2010-S2021.

Gwilt, I., Partridge, R., Peacock, R., Marsh, C., Sheard, L., Lawton, R., & Langley, J. (2017). Using co-design workshops to develop a ward-level patient experience improvement toolkit. In Barron, D., & Seemann, K. (Eds.) Design4Health, Melbourne. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Design4Health 2017,Melbourne Cricket, (pp. 95-98). Sheffield Hallam University jointly with Swinburne University of Technology:

Langley, J., Partridge, R., Gwilt, I., & Wolstenholme, D. (2017). Using Knowledge Mobilisation Theory to inform the design of the co-design workshop for healthcare research and innovation. In Barron, D., & Seemann, K. (Eds.) Design4Health, Melbourne. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Design4Health 2017,Melbourne Cricket, (pp. 334-336). Sheffield Hallam University jointly with Swinburne University of Technology:

Gwilt, I., Langley, J., Partridge, R., Davis, S., Woodward, L., & Spooner, A. (2017). Pain Talking: exploring the experience, expression and description of chronic pain through creative processes and visualisation strategies. In Kung, C., Larn, E., & Lee, Y. (Eds.) Open design for E-very-thing. Cumulus Hong Kong 2016 , 21-24 November 2016 Hong Kong Design Institute, (pp. 225-229). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Design Institute:

Craig, C., Gwilt, I., Langley, J., & Partridge, R. (2013). Thinking through design and rehabilitation. Assistive Technology Research Series, 33 (33), 798-803. doi:10.3233/978-1-61499-304-9-798

Book chapters

Langley, J., Wheeler, G., Partridge, R., Bec, R., Wolstenholme, D., & Sproson, L. (2020). Designing with and for older people. In Intelligent Systems Reference Library. (pp. 3-19).


Wheeler, G., Partridge, R., Bec, R., & Langley, J. (2018). ‘Making’ Knowledge, ‘Making’ Impact. Presented at: Creating Knowledge Conference, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK, 2018

Langley, J., Wolstenholme, D., & Partridge, R. (2016). How to involve people in authentic and meaningful co-production – using Lego. Presented at: Science of Improvement Conference, Harrogate, 2016

Langley, J., Partridge, R., Griffiths, P., & Varney, E. (2015). Service improvement by design. Presented at: STH Leadership Forum, University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, 2015

Langley, J., Partridge, R., & Wolstenholme, D. (2015). Service improvement by design. Presented at: Sheffield MCA Expo, Sheffield Hallam University, 2015

Langley, J., & Partridge, R. (2015). Participatory healthcare innovation. Presented at: Ageing actively conference, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, 2015


Wright, C., Reed, H., Partridge, R., Cole, L., Selvan, A., & Clench, M. (2014). Communication of multi-modal imaging:MRI, MSI, and histology. Presented at: BCISMRM, Edinburgh, 2014

Other publications

Langley, J., Partridge, R., Wheeler, G., & Bec, R. (2018). Invited masterclass: Creative thinking and problem solving.

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