Stephan Ott and Dr. Jonas Rehn-Groenendijk. Photo: © Christof Jakob

The first Design Talk in 2020 on medical design

There are various aspects to design research. Universities play an important role, but research is by no means restricted to academic institutions alone. In addition to pure research, there is the research and development which takes place at businesses and the applied research which designers undertake as part of their day-to-day work. The German Design Council’s Institute for Design Research and Appliance (IfDRA) also has a place within this triad with its aim of providing a forum for the various aspects of design research.

On 23 September 2020, the director of IfDRA, Stephan Ott, discussed what design research can entail in the medical field and which challenges the various players face at an event entitled Medical design – from neurosurgical instruments to architecture. He was joined in the discussion by Olaf Barski, Dr Nicole Busch and Dr Jonas Rehn-Groenendijk.

Dr. Nicole Busch. Photo: © Christof Jakob

You can watch a video of the whole event on our YouTube channel. During the discussion, the speakers offer insights into their daily work and use specific case studies to show that anyone can learn how to conduct medical design research and what designers can learn in the operating theatre.

The conversation also highlights the various roles which design can perform in healthcare and repeatedly examines the value of design and design research. Although this value still cannot be expressed or measured using clear figures, it remains an absolutely essential argument for the acquisition of new clients.

Olaf Barski. Photo: © Christof Jakob

This year, the Design Talks event series is being organised and moderated for the first time by the newly established Institute for Design Research and Appliance (IfDRA) at the German Design Council. Drawing on concrete case studies from the fields of medicine, mobility and digitisation, the event series offers insights into the world of design research. Design research should not be regarded as a self-contained discipline, rather, it can also help to illustrate the value added in terms of the commercial success that companies can generate from design research.


Design Talks

The second Design Talk takes place on 28 October 2020, entitled Mobility design – from the white cane to data-optimised logistics. Attended by Professor Petra K. Schäfer, Tobias Stuntebeck and Carina Haumering, it will look at perspectives and innovations in this area and the ways in which theory and practice can feed off each other.

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