Health + Design Lab


HEAD (Health + Design Lab) focuses its scientific activity on the interface between people and health, developing environments, products and services, aiming to promote health literacy, social inclusion and therefore, improve subjective wellbeing.


The WHO definition of health as complete wellbeing is no longer fit for purpose given the rise of chronic disease. Machteld Huber and colleagues propose changing the emphasis towards the ability to adapt and self-manage in the face of social, physical, and emotional challenges” (Huber et al., 2011).

Considering the given importance of subjectivity, the revised conceptual framework of health creates new opportunities for design intervention.

HEAD projects are developed by multidisciplinary teams, bringing together design, clinical medicine, psychology, sociology and communication skills, assuming a practical and interventional nature.

As people are essential in our projects, one of our main goals is the improvement of human-centred research methodologies based on the designerly ways of knowing (Cross).

This orientation will support projects aiming to:

– improve the relationship between people; between people and information; between people and products; between people and spaces; between people and services.

– contribute to patient empowerment, by designing systems that attend to specific needs of people in different stages of life, preparing them to better analyze risks and make choices.

– design exclusive solutions in order to promote inclusion.

– develop digital tools and other media, by designing more efficient communication and making information more understandable fostering health literacy – in order to contribute to health promotion, disease prevention and counteract misinformation.