First NCAD Design Labs launched in partnership with HSE Spark & The Digital Hub

Design thinking for some of Ireland’s greatest challenges in health, climate and learning.

The first NCAD Design Lab: Health has been launched, alongside Health Made Better exhibition. The National College of Art and Design (NCAD) has launched NCAD Design Labs, a new interdisciplinary centre for creative, human-centred design research and practice. Driven by collaboration with industry, academia and partners in the wider community, NCAD Design Labs will deliver impact and innovation through applied design research across health, learning and sustainability.

Focused in 2023 on health, circularity and learning, NCAD DesignLabs are seeking research collaboration across institutions dedicated to the research and design of new products, services and systems. Current collaborations include St. James’ Hospital, RCSI, The Mater Hospital as well as working directly with HSE Spark Innovation Programme and The Digital Hub to design health-based solutions.

Speaking at the launch of NCAD DesignLabs, Sarah Glennie, Director of NCAD said:

“NCAD occupies a unique position in art and design education in Ireland. The college is ambitious to find new ways to work, and to continuously redefine and expand the boundaries of creative practice. NCAD DesignLabs creates opportunities to research and design new products, services and systems that have a positive impact on people’s lives. Our first DesignLab is focused on health and is in partnership with the HSE Spark Innovation Programme and The Digital Hub. Through collaborative work with the Mater Transformation Centre and the Design Innovation Lab at St. James’s Hospital we are already seeing the positive impact of a design-led approach in areas like stroke rehabilitation, skin condition treatment and surgical training.”

Outlining the impact NCAD DesignLabs has already had in healthcare settings, HSE Spark Innovation Programme lead Caitriona Heffernan said:

“The HSE Spark Innovation Programme is delighted to partner with the National College of Art and Design and The Digital Hub to deliver this DesignLab. We have been privileged to support many Design informed projects in hospitals and clinical settings to date and have seen the unique and valuable contribution that Human Centred Design can have when addressing complex healthcare issues. We very much look forward to seeing how the partnership will grow to deliver more impactful change and innovation for our patients, our staff and the Health Service at large”.

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