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Minnie’s Study Tour Part 3: Inclusive Design in Sheffield

The Sheffield team

The third stop on Minnie's study tour was Sheffield, United Kingdom, to connect with more global leaders in design innovation. She visited Sheffield Hallam University and Lab4Living, the top design school and laboratory in the world, who leads proponents of design for community wellbeing, health, and inclusive design for all.

Minnie met with Professor of Design and Co-Director of Lab4Living Paul Chamberlain, Co-Director of Lab4Living Claire Craig, and Emeritus Professor Jim Roddis. In March 2017, Paul and Claire came to Auckland to present keynote presentations at the Ageing Brain Symposium to more than 100 delegates. On their visit, they met with Minnie to explore ideas around the Be. Lab, and have committed to an ongoing collaboration with Be.

"It was an absolute privilege to spend time with such an incredible group of visionaries and designers for the 21st century showcasing a true and deep understanding of world leading design, community engagement and enterprise. I cannot wait to see what we can create together."

Lab4Living was developed to enable interdisciplinary approaches to design. The lab combines the expertise of art, design, health and social care research centres at Sheffield Hallam University, with the users and consumers. This enables the beautiful dynamic of user-led design. Paul says "my aim was to create a space for a small community of diverse creative specialists to stimulate new ways of thinking. Often we are restricted by our own institutional structures but this cross faculty interdisciplinary collaboration provides and exciting platform for new creative opportunities."

Paul says he is interested in the relationship between design and social innovation, and how to apply them to healthcare and ageing. "For me design is as much about defining the question as providing the answer … I am fascinated by the built environment that has evolved over thousands of years, and its relationship with the natural world. Objects that respond to and influence our lifestyles, reflect culture and are embedded in ritual."