Research Centre
Art and Design Research Centre

July 2011

A series of multi-disciplinary international conferences and publications exploring the relationship between design, and health and wellbeing

Design4Health is a series of conferences and publications bringing together designers and creative practitioners with researchers, clinicians, policy makers and users to enhance understanding and improve efficiency of health and wellbeing services and products.

2nd European Design4Health conference 2013

July 2013 saw the Art and Design Research Centre host the second European Design4Health Conference. Over three days, we welcomed over 140 delegates from sixteen countries, with representatives from across the arts, design and health spectrums in practice, industry and education. We were delighted to welcome one fifth of participants attending a Design4Health conference for the second time.

24-Hour Inclusive Design Challenge

The week began with a 24-Hour Inclusive Design Challenge, developed by Julia Cassim and organised by Matt Dexter. Teams of designers, medics, those living with chronic conditions and their carers worked through the night, responding to set briefs themed around Cystic Fibrosis, and Motor Neurone Disease. Results were judged and presented to arriving conference delegates at a drinks reception in Cantor Building.


The conference was accompanied by an exhibition which showcased a collection of innovative works exploring the use of creative thinking and practice in a healthcare and wellbeing context.

The works selected were driven by a research agenda that sets out to challenge social, cultural and operational preconceptions around how we think about, manage and engage with contemporary healthcare and wellbeing issues.

Conference programme and themes

The 2013 conference themes of invention, adoption and diffusion were explored through a series of presentations, workshops, breakout sessions and a peer reviewed exhibition.

Our keynote presentations reflected the diverse range of disciplines, approaches and interests at the conference and we were pleased to welcome:

  • Sonja Bäumel, artist: 'Hidden Connections'
  • Prof Alastair Macdonald, The Glasgow School of Art: 'Design – a disruptive, illuminating and generative force for change? Case studies from healthcare'
  • Prof Paul Chamberlain – Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Neil Ebenezer – UK Medicines and Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA): 'The Regulation of Medical Devices in the UK'
  • Prof Marie O’Mahoney – OCAD University, Toronto / University of the Arts, London: 'Advanced Textiles for Health and Wellbeing'
  • Dr Karel van der Waarde – 'Medical packaging for Older People'

Workshops explored Inclusive Hacking (led by Julia Cassim), the UK Academic Health Science Networks and Assisted Living Technologies and Services.

The Official Proceedings will be published in summer 2014 on the conference website at

Inaugural design and health conference 2011

The Art and Design Research Centre and Lab4living hosted the inaugural European Design4Health Conference and Exhibition at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) in July 2011. This conference provided a new forum and focus for researchers, policy makers and practitioners to discuss, disseminate and test their approach and methods.


Methods / Approaches | Users and Markets | Products, Systems and Services

Keynote speakers

  • Professor Roger Coleman, Professor Emeritus of the Royal College of Art
  • Professor Alan Newell, MBE FRSE, is based at the School of Computing, University of Dundee
  • Christoph Zellweger, contemporary jeweller, based in Switzerland and Professor of Art and Design, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Professor Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Professor of Design and Assessment of Technology and Head of the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Group at the Faculty of Informatics in the Vienna University of Technology.
  • George Leahy, Deputy Director - Branch Head Innovation and Service Improvement, UK Department of Health

For more details, visit our website at or email

Researchers involved

Dr Alaster Yoxall - Principal Research Fellow in Human Centered Engineering

Heath Reed - Principal Industrial Designer - Design Futures

Jackie Leaver - Design Researcher

Dr Joseph Langley - Senior Research Fellow, Lab4Living

Professor Ian Gwilt - Professor of Design: Visual Communication

Nick Dulake - Senior Product Designer - Design Futures

Matt Dexter - Research Associate

Professor Andy Dearden - Professor of Interactive Systems Design

Dr Claire Craig - Member of Lab4Living, Senior Lecturer Occupational Therapy

Kirsty Christer - Research Associate - Publications and Events

Professor Paul Chamberlain - Design Director Lab4living and Head of Art and Design Research Centre

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