Talking Minds: Featuring on Design Assembly


Talking Minds is a website we have co-designed with young New Zealanders who have experienced psychosis and their whānau. Its aim is to help inform young people in New Zealand and around the world about psychosis so that they can recognise the signs early on and be empowered to live their lives to the fullest. The website also provides information for families and friends who want to learn more about psychosis and how best to support young people who experience it.

Recently, this project was featured on Design Assembly. Read the full article here.



Co-design Workshop with Senior Citizens

Here at the DHW Lab, we aim to put users at the centre of everything we do. Last week was a great example of this, with our resident anthropologist Guy Collier and UX designer Nick Hayes, running a co-design workshop with a small group of senior citizens to explore the challenges associated with changes to memory and thinking.


Through the workshop, Nick and Guy explored the lived experience of changes to memory and thinking, and the associated day-today-day challenges. Participants then engaged in activities to explore how an online resource, such as a website, might support their experiences. Numerous ideas were generated including community engagement and forums, sharing strategies, and peer-to-peer support. 


Development of these ideas and other solutions will continue to be explored through subsequent workshops involving participants throughout the process. 

A special thanks to Brain Research New Zealand and the Centre for Person Centred Research at AUT for sponsoring this important type of work.

Pharmacy Redesign


The main driver behind the Auckland City Hospital Pharmacy redesign is taking the current retail gift shop focus, and making it a health and wellbeing service, decreasing wait times for prescriptions, and providing more nutritional health-based  products. A large part of this redesign is a cost-effective 'quick win'. This is seeing what we can accomplish now to improve the pharmacy's functionality, and later inform decision making around a future-proposal for a brand new pharmacy. 

Using co-design, the team have been incorporating the pharmacy staff in the design process using a variety of tools to engage them in the process.

Pharmacy WIP 7
Pharmacy WIP 7
Pharmacy WIP 1-2
Pharmacy WIP 1-2

Discovery Week: Public Spaces

The Auckland DHB has recently been working on a research project, to understand peoples' experience of the public spaces at the Grafton campus. The Lab has been involved in this project by developing the researching methods used to interview people, and in packaging up/documenting the project. haveyoursay

'We want to discover what our staff, patients, families and visitor’s current experience are of our public spaces within Auckland City Hospital.  We have defined our public spaces to include the main entrances on levels 1, 4 and 5 and the retail space and eating areas on level 5.

We can only get this right if the people who use these places help us design a better place together.

How to get involved

To get this underway we are kicking-off with a Discovery Week 7- 13June.  During that week there will be lots of opportunities for staff, our patients their families and other visitors to tell us: how you currently use the spaces; what you think about the shops and services on offer; how the entrances and exits work, and about the places to eat.

Have your say by completing our online survey  or go along to the interactive workshop for staff on Thursday 12 June 10am to midday.  To book a place with your name, position and contact number.'

haveyoursay2 haveyoursay3

Design Health Symposium 2013

For the first time, AUT University partnered with the Auckland District Health Board (Auckland DHB) to hold a Design/Health Symposium, to explore the huge benefits that come from health and design collaborations.

The symposium was held over two days and was attended by 50 invited guests who got the chance to participate in a design thinking workshop targeting a hospital related challenge at Auckland City Hospital and a presentation day, hearing from keynote speakers discussing the role of design in health and wellbeing in New Zealand and beyond.

The workshop saw attendees working together to understand how some of the shared spaces at the hospital could be better utilised. Using co-design principles they spoke to staff, patients, families and visitors who were using the spaces to understand their experiences.

Mapping out the journey of an outpaitent.

Dr Stephen Reay, acting Head of Department- Industrial Design and Innovation at AUT, says the symposium had plenty of highlights, but it was the genuine enthusiasm from participants from the Auckland DHB, AUT and the international contributors that really pleased him.

“Everyone was very excited about the collaboration of the two parties where health and wellbeing opportunities could be improved through design,” he says.

“There is an incredible opportunity in front of us to establish a sustainable and meaningful relationship between design and health that will truly impact the wellbeing of the community and the outcome of this symposium really delivered on that idea.”

The symposium came about after the realisation that the collaboration between a hospital and design school is quite a unique concept, especially in New Zealand, and AUT and the Auckland DHB were happy to fill that gap.

Dr Andrew Old, Chief of Strategy, Participation & Innovation from Auckland DHB, says the symposium was a great opportunity to highlight the benefits of the collaboration and get people excited about the possibilities.

“AUT and Auckland DHB have been working together for about 18 months and it quickly became obvious that the scope for mutual benefit was enormous,” he says.

“From a health perspective the different lens that design thinking brings to issues really opens the door to new and innovative ideas and I’m really excited about what we can achieve.”

The keynote speakers at the symposium were Daniel Wolstenholme from the NHS who shared his experiences establishing a user-centred healthcare design lab in Sheffield, Dr Richard Worrall, Psychogeriatrician at Auckland DHB, who spoke about his experience of using co-design principles to improve dementia services, Professor Kath McPherson from AUT on the importance of including consumers in health design and Dr Jen Loy from Griffith University in Queensland on 3D printing and hospitals.

Role playing to develop a better understand of the users needs.

For more photos from the symposium, check out the gallery link at the top of the page. If you are interested in watching some talks from the symposium see the video link.

Also, this article was published on the HIIRC website: