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Health and wellbeing

UAL researchers use principles and practices from design to address health and well-being challenges ranging from social isolation and mental health to anti-microbial resistance.

Working with external partners from other disciplines in the life and medical sciences, these projects produce meaningful insights based on people’s lived experiences and new, actionable ideas. The outcomes include new ways of developing future action and opportunities for organisational change.

Read highlights and insights from projects across UAL.

Farmers having a discussion in a workshop
A co-design session with dairy farmers, image courtesy of Alison Prendiville


  • Stop motion animation set up of a hospital room with a patient
    Stroke by Jiani Zhao and Emanuele Romano, MullenLowe NOVA Awards nominee
    Reimagining the future of nursing practices  

    The Re-envisaging Infection Practice Ecologies in Nursing project, funded by AHRC, looks at improving nursing practices for a future with fewer effective antibiotics.

  • Girl looking at science installation
    Medical/hospital/breathing project by Rachel Jane Johnson
    Manufacturing plant based medical products

    Pharma-Factory, a 4-year EU-funded project, explores how plant molecular farming can manufacture products for medical and veterinary use, using plant biotechnology.

  • Poultry farm in India
    Poultry farm in India visited by researchers on the DARPI project, Alison Prendiville
    Addressing disease in Indian poultry farms

    Investigating practices on farms and finding ways to develop Anti-Microbial Resistance in the whole food supply chain.

  • Person reading in the library
    Reading in the library, image courtesy of UAL
    Delivering books to people with health issues  

    Public Collaboration Lab and Camden Council’s Home Library Service produced insights on how dropping off books to home-bound residents was important for the network of provision of adult social care.


In my research projects addressing anti-microbial resistance, design has played a key role in facilitating effective knowledge transfer within the team of researchers from different disciplines and breaking down siloed thinking. We have helped actively engage team members in agreeing priorities and thinking about what each discipline needs to deliver in order to produce insights that are meaningful and relevant for the communities involved.

Dr Alison Prendiville, Senior Researcher for the Design School, London College of Communication
The Health, Arts and Design (HEARD) Research Hub has around 40 members from across UAL, in both arts and design disciplines. Beyond its roles within UAL as a resource, network, and potential nucleus for conferences, exhibitions, publications and funding bids, the hub aims to raise the external profile of UAL in the area of health, arts and design.

Professor John Wynne, Professor of Sound Art at London College of Communication


Read all publications

Artistic co-creativity offers new ways of being with people with dementia and helps us reconsider some of our assumptions about the complex condition 'dementia’.

Dr Hannah Zeilig, Senior Research Fellow, London College of Fashion

More themes

  • Exterior of Make space with people on ladders
    Make @ Story Garden (photo: Adam Razvi)
    Value and valuation through design

    Exploring how value is created and understood through design and use.

  • Woman reading London underground map
    Braille tube map by Ziyue Wang, photographed by David Poultney
    Systems and design

    Improving the ways in which designers can develop a better understanding of the contexts they design for and in.

  • People sat around a blackboard
    Make @ Story Garden (photo: Adam Razvi)
    Policy contexts and implications

    Developing a better understanding of policymaking, design and public policy.

  • Three images of model wearing various materials
    Image courtesy of UAL
    Circular design

    Circular design aims to support people and planet through emerging technology, systems design, new materials, social innovation and more.

  • A person holding a flower pot made out of seaweed
    Seaweed flower pots by Diana Tso
    Design for sustainability

    Find out about how our researchers are using design to build up knowledge and develop new approaches on how to address the challenges of sustainability.

  • People at a flower market
    Columbia Road Flower Market by Jo Mansfield
    Place and community

    Researchers at UAL use design to engage, inspire and support communities and places.

  • Student at a grad show
    Image courtesy of UAL
    Public and social innovation

    UAL researchers use approaches from design to intervene in public sector, government and social innovation contexts.

  • A group of people wearing anti-theft bags
    Caption Young people with anti-theft bags by Design Against Crime Research Centre, photographed by Tom Willcocks
    Social action and criminal justice

    UAL's ground-breaking work using design research to address issues in the criminal justice system and to facilitate social action.