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Exhibition has designs on improving healthcare

08 June 2011

The need for health professionals to embrace new design techniques to address the stigma of ageing and disability is to be highlighted in a new exhibition and conference. Design 4 Health will bring together health practitioners and researchers to address how design can rise to the challenges of an ageing population. The exhibition takes place at the Sheffield Institute of Art and Design gallery from July 11 to July 15 2011.

Among exhibits at the Sheffield Hallam University event are Hanky Pancreas, a fashionable way to disguise a diabetic's insulin pump, and 'distraction blankets' which allow people who are unwell to avoid boredom by printing fun games on their bedsheets. Sheffield Hallam has a strong reputation for bridging the divide between health and design with projects such as Lab4Living, Engagingaging and the Future Bathroom Project.

The new exhibition will feature aspects of these projects as well as contributions from the University's Design Futures team. The accompanying conference, from July 13 to 15, takes place at Sheffield Hallam University's Pennine Theatre and will feature research and submissions from as far afield as New Zealand.

Dr Alaster Yoxall, one of the event organisers, said: "This conference and exhibition seeks to explore the relationship between design, health and wellbeing. Good design can deliver widespread benefits to society but how can design practice and processes meet the challenges of health and wellbeing in the 21st Century? Through this conference we aim to develop 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 fulfilment."

The conference will also include a session on Devices 4 Dignity run by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and a discussion of how User-Centred Health Design can be improved.

For more details about the conference and exhibition, or to book a place, click here.

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