Design for Next: European Academy for Design Conference 2017


One of our designers at the DHW Lab, Eden Short recently ventured to Rome to present her masters wayfinding work at Design for Next, the bi-annual European Academy for Design conference. This was a huge gathering with approximately 500 presentations over 3 days, with 9 tracks tackling different areas of design. The aim of the event was to be open, inclusive and international. It certainly achieved this, with presenters from around the globe and a mix of emerging and established academics. Seeing the design discipline on such an international scale was incredible, and highlighted that we are all facing similar complexities and challenges in the health and design space. There was a real sense of collaboration and community as people shared stories and strategies of what they had learnt through new projects and collaborations, as well as calls for action from education and industry. 

Eden presented in the ‘Design for Next Healthcare’ track, discussing how we might demonstrate future opportunities of wayfinding in healthcare, using a children’s outpatient department to prototype and test solutions. 

Wayfinding Guideline


The best wayfinding system is one that you do not consciously notice. It seamlessly takes you to where you need to go without issues of accuracy, legibility, poor placement, or information overload.

Here at the lab we are working with the Auckland DHB Performance Improvement and Facilities departments to develop a Wayfinding Guideline. Yesterday we presented to relevant stakeholders in order to progress our core decisions around typography, colour system and the way that people navigate through the campus.

Stay in touch for developments of this project in the coming months.

Eden Short AKA Boss Cat @ UX Homegrown


Last week, our wayfinding specialist Eden Short presented at the very first UX Homegrown conference, hosted at AUT City campus. The conference hosted a hundred-something professionals, passionate about designing and delivering great user experiences across all types of industry. Presenting in the 'Unusual Places' category, Eden shared her knowledge and experience designing for the emotional impact of navigating through healthcare, using the Starship Outpatient experience as a case study. 

“Wayfinding is rapid learning in unfamiliar environments”

Although not conclusive, it's fair to say Eden's talk was a crowd favourite, and provided industry validation to the fantastic work she and team are leading across wayfinding at Auckland City Hospital. Well done Eden!

Governor General Visits the Lab

Last week AUT was fortunate to have the Governor General, Jerry Mateparae visit the university for the first time.  As part of his visit the Sir Mateparae came to the DHW Lab to find out a bit more about the lab and what we've been doing!

The Governor General had the opportunity to hear from our students,  our team at the lab and also the Co-Directors.

Antonio Wan, presented his redesigned neonatal baby bath and Charlotte Dickson went through her interactive picture books for starship outpatient clinics. Both Antonio and Charlotte successfully completed their Bachelor of Design (honours) qualifications in 2015.


Reid Douglas and Byron Thornhill presented on projects that the DHW Lab has worked recently, including the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) relapse guide and the level 8 overbridge concept design at Auckland City Hospital.

Both Co-Directors, Stephen Reay and Justin Kennedy-good focussed on the vision and purpose of the collaboration between the AUT and Auckland District Health Board and their vision for the future of this initiative.


Within the Auckland DHB new initiatives and projects are constantly being developed to provide better healthcare experiences for people. At the DHW lab, storytelling is an integral part of what we do and we are able to create engaging, playful animations to celebrate both our own projects and those of others. This project was run by Maungakiekie Health Working Group who approached the DHW lab to tell their story.

This clip tells the story of the 'Hidden Hospital' at Auckland DHB. The DHW lab worked with a Performance Improvement Specialist to describe how a project team has been tackling the hidden wait times in the hospital experience.