The Design for Wellbeing Network is a international and interdisciplinary group of researchers who work across architecture, design, health technologies and social science. Focusing specifically on hospitals and other formal healthcare settings, the network aims to improve the understanding of how people experience these services and environments, and to work towards improvements in these experiences through rigorous qualitative and practice-based research.

The first public symposium will bring together academics and healthcare professionals to discuss future possibilities for healthcare design. Over the course of half a day, the symposium will showcase several research projects
that interrogate design for wellbeing. At the end of the day, health care industry professionals will present some of their best practice projects.
To conclude the day we will invite all attendees to discuss –
What are the gaps in healthcare design?

Speakers —

Sarah Pink

RMIT University

Distinguished Professor of Design and Media Ethnography

Margo Annemans

KU Leuven (Belgium)

Research [x] Design Research Group

Laurene Vaughan

RMIT University

Professor of Design and Communication

Michel Verheem


Director and Principal Strategist of ID/Lab

Keely Macarow

RMIT University

Deputy Head of School, Research & Innovation

Finn Pedersen

(Perth, WA)

Director, iredale pedersen hook architects

Wendy Gunn

KU Leuven (Belgium)

Senior Research Fellow, Research [x] Design Research Group

Philip Tune

Bendigo Health

Associate Professor and Executive Director Psychiatric Services

Julie Bernhardt

Florey Institute

NHMRC Established Fellow and Senior Principal Florey Research Fellow, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Dr Ana Martinez


University of the Americas

Symposium —

Design for Wellbeing Symposium,
Thu. 7 December 2017,
10:30 pm – 5:00 pm AEDT

Networking event,
Thu. 7 December 2017,
5:00 – 6:30 pm AEDT

RMIT University,
SAB Building – 445 Swanston Street
(Building 80, Level 2, Lecture theatre 7) Melbourne

Abstracts —

Laurene Vaughan – Care as a foundation for design practice & expanding contexts for health and wellbeing

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This presentation will discuss care as a foundation through which to frame design as a socio-cultural practice that Is material, experiential and strategic. Connecting to contemporary discourses on empathy, being…

Wendy Gunn – Involving sensory experience and perceptual acuity as parameters in the design of hospitals​

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Currently there are few instances of successfully combining objective needs and requirements of indoor air quality (IAQ) in hospital healthcare settings with qualitative described perceptions of this quality by patients.…

Ana Martinez – Where there is a doctor but not a hospital

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We are conducting an ethnography on the rural health service that is a one-year period that graduates in medicine develop in rural or urban-marginal settings. The rural health service is…

Margo Annemans – Building a care vision

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The vision of a (health)care organisation and the building it occupies both affect patients’ or residents’ experience. Vision and built environment mutually influence one another. This offers care providers and…

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This event is organised by the Design for Wellbeing research team in the Digital Ethnography Research Centre, and is supported by funding from RMIT’s Design & Creative Practice Enabling Capabilities Platform.