Lab4Living’s Joe Langley wins NIHR Fellowship

Joe Langley (Lab4Living)

Joe Langley, Principal Research Fellow with Lab4Living, has recently been awarded a Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellowship by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).  The fellowship will be co-hosted by Lab4Living at Sheffield Hallam University and the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, Yorkshire and Humber (CLAHRC YH).

In this project, Joe aim’s to understand how User-centred Design theory and practice might help mobilise tacit and research knowledge into something usable in everyday life or practice. This is based on the belief that user-centred and participatory design theory and processes elicits and harvests knowledge (both research and tacit) from relevant sources and stakeholders, embodying this knowledge though the co-creative prototyping process. The prototypes then become a mechanism for mobilising and applying that knowledge, putting it it different contexts and testing or evaluating it.

Through the design process itself, designers additionally play a role of facilitation; creating a common language (often visual) that crosses disciplinary boundaries, engaging participants through the novelty of the process and creating new knowledge by the very interactions between participants that the process stimulates.

Joe’s fellowship is split into four work packages. Work package one (systematic review, six months), two (Interviews, six months), three (case studies, 24 months) and four (dissemination, 30 months).

The Interviews in work package two are with participants in two previous user-centred design projects; Head-Up (NIHR i4i) and Spinal Injury Design Rehabilitation (The Health Foundation SHINE). The interviews will elicit real life experiences of how knowledge was elicited, mobilised and applied and how participatory design helped to do this from the perspective of the different stakeholders (clinical, health research, service manager, patients, public and designers) involved in these two projects. These views will be combined with the systemic review data to create a theoretical model that will be applied, tested and refined through the case studies in work package three. Work package four will apply creative qualities of design to widen engagement, spread and adoption of the model.