Utilizing the designer within: A healthcare case study

Alastair S. Macdonald


This paper explores the utilization of design skills and approaches by non-designers within the context of rehabilitation in healthcare. The author proposes that within us all is the set of skills, strategies and modes of thinking commonly found in designers that, if recognised, understood and practiced, could potentially be harnessed by nondesigners to assist them in everyday situations. Rather than this usurping the designers’ role, designers may have the potential to help ‘unlock’ these capabilities in others and help change the patient-to-healthcare professional relationship. This idea is explored using a pilot study involving spinal cord injuries patients in rehabilitation.

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