Remi Bec

Dr Remi Bec PhD, MA, BA (Hons)

Design Researcher


I studied model making and interior design in France and switched to product design when I moved to the UK. I studied at Sheffield Hallam University and graduated with a Master’s and a PhD in Design, during which time I was part of the User-Centred Healthcare Design team (UCHD) which was part the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South Yorkshire (CLAHRCs) funded by the of the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). 

I have recently been seconded to the Translating Knowledge to Action team (TK2A - part of the second round of CLAHRC Yorkshire & Humber) where I was the design researcher lead based in the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. I am now returning to the design office at Sheffield Hallam University within the Lab4Living and I am excited to the prospect of working on the E3 project looking at the 100 Years and the Future Homes, and funded by the Research England's Expanding Excellence in England.

My research explored the use of games to promote engagement and behaviour change. I have co-developed, prototyped and evaluated iteratively Boost Up!, a board and card game that aims to promote physical activity. Since implementation is a crucial aspect for me, I have incorporated Boost Up! as part of a wider service delivery which is offered by a social enterprise I have created: GoFit4Fun CIC, a Community Interest Company. I have explored various ways to find financial support for the development of this new adventure, which allowed for the development of a website and enabled me to conduct a pilot study that will be implemented in two stages throughout 2019 and 2020. The games were also used within the research process to engage participants and encourage different thinking (eg. Dice, role play, actual games, sometimes hacked for the purpose). 

My role within Lab4Living and the service I offer as a freelance design researcher - consists of applying design thinking and skills to help utilise research knowledge to improve healthcare services. To do so, I have gained numerous knowledge and skills in planning and driving workshops with diverse stakeholders. I have worked with a range of stakeholders including healthcare staff (clinicians, nurses, physio, GPs, psychologists), commissioners, students, people living with COPD, diabetes, stroke survivors, people with mental illness, learning disabilities, children… Giving service users a voice by involving them in the co-design process is important. It is also crucial that the insights and/or ideas coming from end-users are taken into consideration throughout the design development process since giving time and a voice to everyone through making ideas tangible (e.g. prototyping) is a way to develop trust.

 Furthermore, applying methods to all participants regardless of their role (e.g. patients and consultants) is a way to levelling the power in the room. Such visual methods support people who may have otherwise struggled to contribute and engage fully in workshops, which seem to increase the quality of the outcomes. This video illustrates our thinking and this case study book shows a selection of project we have been working on.


Here are the various experiences of teaching I have developed over the last few years: 

I have collaborated with the Sport Academy (Health & Well-being department) and co-created with Judy Stevenson a new module to teach sports students the approaches and techniques used in design and design research to co-create games with young pupils from local schools (8-10 years old). The course was first ran in 2016 and it is still running now. 

As a design researcher, I have made links with the Product Design course at Sheffield Hallam University to involve 3rd year students into the START project that aimed at promoting physical activity after stroke. 

I have been teaching in various modules in Interior Design, including the Co-Lab project.


Journal articles

Grindell, C., Tod, A., Bec, R., Wolstenholme, D., Bhatnagar, R., Sivakumar, P., ... Evison, M. (2020). Using creative co-design to develop a decision support tool for people with malignant pleural effusion. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 20 (1), 179.

Brookes, O., Brown, C., Tarrant, C., Archer, J., Buckley, D., Buckley, L.M., ... Bion, J. (2019). Patient experience and reflective learning (PEARL): a mixed methods protocol for staff insight development in acute and intensive care medicine in the UK. BMJ OPEN, 9 (7), e030679.

Easton, K., Potter, S., Bec, R., Bennion, M., Christensen, H., Grindell, C., ... Hawley, M.S. (2019). A virtual agent to support individuals living with physical and mental comorbidities: Co-design and acceptability testing. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21 (5), e12996.

Easton, K., Potter, S., Bec, R., Bennion, M., Christensen, H., Grindell, C., ... Hawley, M.S. (2018). A Virtual Agent to Support Individuals Living With Physical and Mental Comorbidities: Co-Design and Acceptability Testing (Preprint). .

Conference papers

Langley, J., Bec, R., Partridge, R., Wheeler, G., Jane-Law, R., Burton, C., ... Williams, N. (2020). ‘Playing’ with Evidence: combining creative co-design methods with realist evidence synthesis. In Christer, K., Craig, C., & Chamberlain, P. (Eds.) Design for Health 2020, (pp. 323-335). Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University:

Ali, A., Church, G., Bec, R., & Langley, J. (2018). Enhancing uptake of an exercise programme after stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) - a co-production event. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE, 13, 29.

Grindell, C., Bec, R., Tod, A., Bhatnagar, R., Sivakumar, P., Evison, M., ... Wolstenholme, D. (2018). P3.15-14 Using Creative Co-Production to Develop a Treatment Decision Support Tool for People with Malignant Pleural Effusion. Journal of Thoracic Oncology, 13 (10), S996.

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

Bec, R. (2012). Creating physically active games for young adolescents. In IDC '12 : The 11th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, (pp. 331-334). New York: ACM:

Bec, R. (2011). Designing Gener-G, the human energy trading game. In Yoxall, A. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 1st European Conference on Design 4 Health 2011, (pp. 5-21). Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University, Art and Design Research Centre:

Book chapters

Langley, J., Wheeler, G., Partridge, R., Bec, R., Wolstenholme, D., & Sproson, L. (2020). Designing with and for Older People. In Design of Assistive Technology for Ageing Populations. (pp. 3-19). Springer International Publishing:


Wolstenholme, D., Bec, R., Tod, A., & Grindell, C. (2019). Translating knowledge into action. Report 2019. Using creative methods to co-design better healthcare experiences. National Institute for Health Research.

Theses / Dissertations

Bec, R. (2015). Utilising games and design-research methodology to promote physical activity among adolescents. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Dearden, A., Chamberlain, P., & Copeland, R.


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

Other publications

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

Other activities

Director and founder of GoFit4Fun CIC, a social enterprise that fights obesity and social exclusion through promoting co-creation and games that promote physical activity. Check us out!

Dr Remi Bec also has an activity as a design researcher working on a wider range of topics. If you are interested, please get in touch on:
Twitter: @Rob_zon83
Email: and/or visit us on:

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