Design on the Front Lines | Episode 11


In this fun, informal, and interactive discussion, the Health Design Lab and Cooper Hewitt chat with designers, doctors, and others about health design topics around the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this episode, we’ll hear from:
Michelle Flood, PhD, MPSI – Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Andrew M. Ibrahim, MD, MSc – University of Michigan
Robert Fabricant – Co_Founder & Partner, Dalberg Design


Imagine a space where doctors and designers alike can come together and solve some of the toughest challenges in healthcare in one of the most evocative spaces in Philadelphia. The Jefferson Health Design Lab exists to bring people from different backgrounds together and promote inclusive design in healthcare. From patients to providers, everyone has the potential to accelerate change and improve lives. Fueled by traditional and modern prototyping technology and a foundation of Health Design Thinking, the Health Design Lab is more than just a maker space, but a space that will change the way we all think about the future of healthcare.


By Bon Ku, MD, and Ellen Lupton

As health care systems around the globe struggle to expand access, improve outcomes, and control costs, Health Design Thinking offers a new approach for designing dynamic, responsive health care products and services. Health Design Thinking is authored by Bon Ku, physician and founder of the innovative Health Design Lab at Thomas Jefferson University, and Ellen Lupton, award-winning designer, author, and curator at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, with contributions from experts in design and medicine. This practice-based guide applies design thinking to real-world health care challenges.

Design thinking uses play and experiment rather than rigid rules. It draws on interviews, observations, diagrams, storytelling, physical models, and role playing; design teams focus not on technology but on problems faced by patients and clinicians. Illustrated with 230 drawings, photographs, storyboards, data graphics, architectural plans, and other visualizations, Health Design Thinking provides a hands-on manual for reframing medical education, treatment, and industry to align with everyday challenges in communities around the world.

Publication link