Design4Health 2018

Heart of the Campus, Sheffield Hallam University

September 4, 2018 – September 6, 2018

We are pleased to invite papers from researchers and practitioners for the fifth European Design4Health conference to be held in Sheffield, UK, Tue 4th - Thur 6th September 2018. The programme includes keynote speakers, paper presentations, posters and workshops.

With the fourth conference in the series hosted by Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia in December 2017, we now welcome delegates back to Sheffield for the fourth time. The conference is hosted by Lab4Living, a trans-disciplinary research living lab within Sheffield Hallam University's Art & Design Research Centre.


Established in 2011, Design4Health is a conference that brings together designers and creative practitioners with researchers, clinicians, policy makers and users to discuss, disseminate and test their approaches and methods. Our events provide an opportunity to reflect on how the disciplines of design and health might continue to develop new ways of thinking and working, and how we might impact positively and sustainably on the social, economic and cultural factors within our communities and beyond.

Our contributors are uniquely placed at the interface of design in health practice and research; our conferences explore creative approaches and perspectives to enhance understanding and experience, and to improve the efficiency of health and wellbeing services and products.


We invite papers from researchers and practitioners across the areas of design and health in order to develop new dialogues and offer different perspectives. Given that our focus is very much on designing with people, we encourage submissions from individuals using services and products, and the sharing of real-life experiences.


We invite conference submissions in three formats:

Paper presentations

Initial submission: 300 word abstract, 0-3 images

Full papers: Authors of accepted abstracts will submit 3000 word (plus up to 7 images) full papers before the conference.

Artefact-led presentations

Recognizing that healthcare and the lived experiences of illness are enacted and shaped through everyday objects (instruments, devices, dress, furniture), we offer an opportunity for presenters to use these (actual or photographs) as the basis of their presentation. The artefact may be the outcome of the research (a resulting product or design), the method (the practice through which the research was undertaken) or be the stimulus for the research.

Initial submission: 300 word abstract, 3-5 images

Full papers: Authors of accepted abstracts will submit 1000 word (plus 7 to 10 images) visual essays before the conference.


Initial submission: 150 word description, plus A4 or A3 text / visual representation of your work in pdf format

Full posters: A visually engaging A1 poster using provided template

For full details of the call for papers, go to our website at


With increasing pressure to rethink our healthcare systems and set against complex and interconnected global challenges, we particularly welcome contributions that interrogate meanings and assumptions relating to the terms 'design' and 'health', and offer the following words / terms as provocations:









We invite you to interrogate and play with the terms in relation to your research and practice.

For instance, what do we mean by the term success? Who determines what constitutes success (designer, clinician, patient, policy maker, industry partner). How do we measure it and report it? Where do the conflicts and opportunities lie? What is the difference between success and failure? Is failure always negative?

What do we understand by health? Who decides what it is to be healthy: person, medic/clinician/designer? How does design shape health (positively and negatively), and how does health shape design?

How have notions of health shifted in relation to time? scientific advancement? philosophies of what it is to be human? and where might future health paradigms lie?

Sheffield Hallam University

Conference Information

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