Lab4Living awarded £4 million by Research England

Lab4Living awarded £4m for world-leading design research

It was announced today that interdisciplinary research group Lab4Living has been awarded £4 million in funding from Research England in recognition of its excellence in design-led research. The award will allow the Lab to further develop its work through funded projects, public engagement and an expanded team of researchers and postgraduate students, with a particular focus on the 100 year life and the future home. A new Design4Ageing academy will increase engagement with the local community.

Lab4Living is part of the Art and Design Research Centre, from which it evolved 12 years ago, at Sheffield Hallam University. Since it was created in 2007, it has undertaken research in design and creative practice culminating in global award winning products and interventions that promote quality of life and positively impact on people’s lives.

Co-Directors of Lab4Living Professor Paul Chamberlain and Dr. Claire Craig said:

“The award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the work and talent of an exceptional team. It is both a recognition of the role of design research in affecting societal change and an endorsement by the leading national research funding body RCUK of the quality of research that is being undertaken here.”

The funding will provide a programme of research centred around the 100-Year Life and the future home. It will offer an opportunity for the team to increase its engagement with the local community, business and extend its already extensive international partnerships. The award will enable Lab4Living to expand its team with the appointment of senior research staff and 8 PhD studentships.

Research England’s ‘Expanding Excellence in England’ (E3) research fund is aimed specifically at supporting the strategic expansion of excellent research units and departments in Higher Education institutions (HEIs) across England. Emeritus Professor Jim Roddis, founder of the Art and Design Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University and key Lab4Living mentor and advisor, said:

“This was a highly competitive process with applications from every subject area. The achievement of the team is indeed remarkable and an incredible opportunity for the city and beyond.”

More information:

Lab4Living: The 100-Year Life project

Sheffield Hallam University press release: Lab4Living awarded £4m for world-leading design research

UK Research and Innovation press release: £76 million to work on ground-breaking research through the modern Industrial Strategy


Set up in 2007, Lab4Living is one of the longest-established living labs in Europe. Work has spanned more than 100 research projects and has included collaborations in over 80 academic, hospital and community organisations in over 15 countries.

Lab4Living has developed a regular series of events and publications. The international Design4Health conferences were established in 2011, and a new international refereed journal, Design for Health, was launched in 2017 with leading academic publisher Taylor & Francis.

Lab4Living recently announced 8 new PD studentships in Art and Design – closing date 1st July 2019.