Sheffield Hallam University’s Lab4Living celebrates ten years of success

SHU_Master_215C_229CSheffield Hallam University’s leading research group, Lab4Living, is celebrating its tenth birthday with two weeks of events and a special exhibition.

Researchers from Lab4Living develop design solutions to address real world challenges that impact on health and wellbeing.

Lab4Living was set up in 2007 and is a partnership between researchers in health and design, practitioners, designers and users, including those who use specialist products or services to help with everyday tasks.

On 25 April, a special exhibition will open in the Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA) showcasing the range of work, including different projects and studies undertaken by the Lab4Living during the past decade.

The Lab4Living team is a multidisciplinary team whose expertise spans product and packaging design, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, fashion, fine art and media.

Professor Paul Chamberlain, Director of Art & Design Research Centre and co-founder and director of Lab4Living, said: “Our aim was to create a community of like-minded people who have a shared interest and passion in exploring how design and creative practice can promote wellbeing, improve health and have a positive impact on quality of life.”

In one recent project, researchers have been using 3D printing in hospitals to develop masks for infants with respiratory conditions to breathe properly.

Another project involved teaching people with spinal cord injury design thinking-skills to help them to better manage the impact of the condition.

Lab4Living is made up of a management group, a core team of staff whose work is focussed primarily on Lab4Living projects, and a projects team of researchers from within the Art & Design Research Centre working on specific projects and initiatives. The Lab also includes community advisors, representing user and patient groups, and student researchers and placement students, and associates and advisors from within and outside the University.

Alongside the exhibition, which runs until 5 May, a series of special events for staff, current students, alumni and Lab4Living partners will also be taking place across the University in celebration of ten-year anniversary.

The anniversary coincides with the launch of Design for Health, the world’s first academic journal showcasing academic research and advancements in all aspects of design in the context of health and wellbeing. The journal has been set up by Professor Chamberlain with leading international publisher Taylor & Francis and will be distributed to hundreds of institutions around the globe who work in this area. It will be launched this week at an international design conference in Rome.

For more information about Lab4Living, please visit