Can Design Save your Life?

An ageing population presents key challenges for health services. This exhibition showcases how design can make a positive contribution to our healthcare. There is growing interest and recognition of the potential for design to contribute to the transformation of healthcare providing safer and more economical healthcare products, environments and services. While science has contributed to increased life expectancy design may also and importantly contribute to the quality of that extended life.

The exhibition ‘Can Design Save yourLife?’ will showcase design projects from the Lab4Living team.

Example projects include: the design of a safer medical connection system; an innovative Neck Collar for people who suffer from Motor Neuron Disease; wearable health monitoring technology; design of hospital equipment that reduces risk of infection; an inclusive approach to the design of a ‘future bathroom’; the role of photography to explore the experiences of older people living in care settings and an ‘open design’ approach to develop a product to assist in the self management of chronic conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis.

Date: 13th June – 28th June
Venue: Sheffield Hallam University, Owen Building, Atrium Level 5 Walkway
Time: 09.00am – 5.00pm



The research and design of a safe non-interchageable medical connection system that uses shapes to help differentiate the lines of drug delivery in hospitals. A patented connection system prevents the ‘wrong’ connectors being accidentally connected that could lead to fatality. (Design Paul Chamberlain and Anthony Jones). Project funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). The project was developed in collaboration with the human factors team University of Leeds, Sheffield Hospitals and Bradford Royal Infirmary.


The research and design of an adjustable neck brace for people with Motor Neurone Disease. (Photo Designer Heath Reed Lab4Living with the innovative Neck brace) Heath Reed, Joseph Langley and Andrew Stanton. Project funded by the NIHR and supported by the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Foundation. The project is actively working with MND [patients and carers) in a collaborative process to enable us to understand their needs and to co-create solutions. The project also engages clinical neurologists, MND nurse specialists, OT’s, physios and orthotists along with the industrial designers and engineers from Lab4Living



Lab4living was created in 2007 with the objective of facilitating user driven innovation through co-creation. Lab4Living is a collaborative interdisciplinary research initiative between the Art and Design Research Centre (ADRC) and the Centre for Health and Social Care Research (CHSCR) at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. This creative collaboration brings together researchers from the disciplines of design, creative practice and healthcare who have extensive experience related to social, clinical and medical care, disability and ageing. Our aim is to inform the design and development of new products, services and environments and propose creative strategies for future living in which people of all ages and abilities ‘not merely survive’ but are enabled and empowered to live with dignity, independence and fulfillment. Through a practice led approach we employ methods not only to find solutions to previously identified problems, but also as an approach to critically evaluating existing contexts and paradigms.

Venue Info

Sheffield Hallam University
Owen Building
Atrium Level 5 Walkway
City Campus, Howard Street,
Sheffield S1 1WB, UK

Car Parking
Disabled visitors are advised to phone before visiting so that suitable parking can be arranged.


Contact Info

0114 225 6753

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