2018 Conference

Download the Call for Papers

We are pleased to welcome delegates back to Sheffield for the fifth European Design4Health conference. It will be held this year from Tue 4th to Thur 6th September 2018 at Sheffield Hallam University’s Heart of the Campus building, near the vibrant and popular Ecclesall Road area of Sheffield, UK.

The 2018 conference is hosted by Lab4Living, a trans-disciplinary research living lab within Sheffield Hallam University’s Art & Design Research Centre (ADRC). You can find out more about the research done in the ADRC here.

Established in 2011, Design4Health is a conference that brings together designers and creative practitioners with researchers, clinicians, policy makers and users to discuss, disseminate and test their approaches and methods.

Our events provide an opportunity to reflect on how the disciplines of design and health might continue to develop new ways of thinking and working, and how we might impact positively and sustainably on the social, economic and cultural factors within our communities and beyond.

We invite papers from researchers and practitioners across the areas of design and health in order to develop new dialogues and offer different perspectives. Given that our focus is very much on designing with people, we encourage submissions from individuals using services and products, and the sharing of real-life experiences.

2018 themes: Design for Health?

With increasing pressure to rethink our healthcare systems and set against complex and interconnected global challenges, we particularly welcome contributions that interrogate meanings and assumptions relating to the terms ‘design’ and ‘health’, and offer the following words / terms as provocations:

Design?           Health?           Care?
Taboo?            Value?             Success?
Risk?                Change?          Technology?


There are three submission types in Design4Health2018:

Paper presentations

These should aim to give a brief summary of a piece of research or a project, either completed or still in progress. These may be from the perspective of researchers or of participants in the research.

Initial submission: Abstracts for submissions of this kind should be a maximum of 300 words (including all text) and may include up to 3 images. Abstracts will be peer reviewed and authors of accepted abstracts will submit full papers before the conference.
Full papers: Full papers of 3000 words should describe the work in more depth, and may be accompanied by up to 7 images.

Artefact-led presentations

Recognizing that healthcare and the lived experiences of illness are enacted and shaped through everyday objects (instruments, devices, dress, furniture), we offer an opportunity for presenters to use these (actual or photographs) as the basis of their presentation. The object / artefact may be the outcome of the research (a resulting product or design), the method (the practice through which the research was undertaken) or be the stimulus for the research (reflecting a real-world challenge).

Initial submission: 3 page A4 landscape PDF document, including 300 words maximum. See the Call for Papers for full details. Proposals will be peer reviewed and authors of accepted abstracts will submit visual essays before the conference.
Visual Essays should be no more than 1000 words and use a template to be provided.

General information on submissions

All submissions will be reviewed by a peer review panel.

All papers for the conference should adhere to the style guide outlined in the Call for Papers.

Accepted papers and essays will be published in the online conference proceedings of Design4Health (with ISBN).

Selected authors will be invited to submit extended papers for consideration for the Design for Health Journal (Taylor & Francis).


Poster submissions are invited in the form of a brief (150 word) abstract plus an A4 or A3 text / visual representation of your work in pdf format.  On acceptance, presenters are requested to produce a visually engaging poster using a template which will be provided. The finished poster should not contain extensive amounts of detailed text but may provide further detail through links and/or associated A4 or A5 handouts. Templates and guidance relating to the posters will be provided on the conference website. If accepted, you will be allocated time to present your poster at specified times during the conference. All submissions will be reviewed by a peer review panel.


Full details will be announced in January. The draft timetable is as follows:

26th  March 2018              Deadline for abstracts
11th May 2018                         Authors notified of outcome of peer review
18th June 2018                         Deadline for Full paper submission
Tue 4th Sep 2018                    Conference opens


To be announced soon.

  • Lab4Living, Art & Design Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University,
    Cantor Building, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU
    Phone 0114 225 6740 | Fax 0114 225 6702