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Design4Health, Sheffield, 2013

24 Hour Design Challenge
European Conference 2013, Sheffield Hallam University
1-2 July 2013 

24 Hour Design Challenge, Design4Health European Conference 2013 poster
24 Hour Design Challenge, Design4Health European Conference 2013 poster
Negotiating Transitions
Cystic Fibrosis and Motor Neurone Disease (MND) are distinct and different conditions yet their impact on those affected and their circle of family, friends and carers reveals many common issues. Interviews with them and clinicians involved by the Sheffield Hallam led to the Challenge’s design theme of Negotiating Transitions across the range of identified issues – transitions between periods of stability and ill health, life at home and in hospital and from full ability to the gradual loss of ability that comes with a degenerative condition such as MND. The teams were asked to interpret this theme for each condition and address the key questions.

The teams were led by four designers – Yuni Lee (IDEO), John Bateson (LCC), Jim Dawton (Technology Strategy Board) and Gianpaolo Fusari (HHCD) – with participants from ten countries: Argentina; Poland; Denmark; Japan; South Korea; Portugal; Mexico; France; Italy and the UK. They were joined by consultant neurologists, occupational therapists and nurse specialists from three hospitals in Sheffield and design partners who were either living with the condition or were carers.

The results were led to a tie for both the Judges Award (Reach and Blown Away) and People’s Choice Awards (Our Bear and Blown Away). The panel of judges was: Prof Pam Shaw, a Consultant Neurologist; Prof Alastair Macdonald, Glasgow School of Art; Steve Bell, Director of Care MNDA and Prof Martin Wildman, a respiratory consultant.

Since the Challenge ended the Our Bear concept has been demonstrated at to the Royal London Hospital and the Sheffield Children's hospital has decided to sponsor its further development.

Key Questions

Cystic Fibrosis
The treatment of cystic fibrosis requires complicated medical regimes, procedures and a range of essential devices. Cystic fibrosis has an impact on a person’s self-image and their ability to make and retain friendships due to the disruption of hospital stays and a life dominated by treatment regimes.

  • How can the separate elements be streamlined and integrated so that they work better independently and as a whole?
  • How can pleasure be brought to essential procedures to encourage compliance?
  • How can essential devices be transformed into ones that work across scenarios, contexts and changes in condition?
  • How can the transition from childhood to adulthood be managed well for children living with the condition?
  • How can the transition from life at home to life in hospital be made less disruptive in personal and work terms?
  • How can the essential devices of treatment be made discreet, alleviate negative body image and contribute to self-esteem?

Motor Neurone Disease (MND)
The transition from independence to dependence due to the inevitable deterioration of the condition brings with it many emotional and physical challenges

  • How can the pleasure of eating be preserved in the switch from solid food to a managed diet and remain dignified and independent?
  • How can design help to mitigate loss of function, personal identity and relationships in the transition from independence to dependence?
  • How can essential products of daily living be transformed into ones that work across scenarios, contexts and accommodate the decline of ability?
  • How can design enable social relationships to be maintained in transitional periods?

Organised by:
The Lab4Living, Art and Design Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University in collaboration with HHCD 

Sponsored by:
Motor Neurone Disease Association, Devices for Dignity and User-Centred Health Design, part of the NIHR funded South Yorkshire Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLARHC)

Challenge Facilitator:
Julia Cassim, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, HHCD

Challenge Coordinator:
Matt Dexter, Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University

Art and Design Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University