Design 4 Health Bootcamps

The International Design 4 Health Bootcamp is a collaborative initiative between the School of Design at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Services (MBRU), and the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The program aims to address real-world health problems by utilising design strategies and tools in partnership with industry and healthcare organisations.


Design for Health is a rapidly growing field worldwide, with increasing interest and involvement at various academic levels. The School of Design has recognised this trend and has developed the undergraduate unit DVB305 Design for Health, which started back in Semester 2, 2023. Additionally, the school has an impressive track record of award-winning projects in research and postgraduate studies. The success of the previous year’s Bootcamp, conducted in collaboration with DIDI, MBRU, and Herston Bio-Fabrication Institute, has prompted the expansion of the program in the UAE, including AUS. Furthermore, the School of Design has recently conducted a successful study tour in Singapore titled “Design for Change: Better Health for All,” fostering collaboration and inclusive design solutions between Australian and Singaporean students.

Program Structure:

The Design 4 Health Bootcamp follows a collaborative approach, bringing together academics, experts, students, and staff from participating institutions. Previous participants have come from diverse backgrounds, including design, medicine, and engineering. Asynchronous sessions have been conducted simultaneously in the UAE and Australia, allowing for broader engagement and knowledge sharing. In 2023, the Design 4 Health was held as an intensive Bootcamp held over a few days in early August, just before the new academic year in the UAE. The program emphasised multidisciplinary collaboration and encouraged participation from individuals at different stages of their academic and professional journeys. Additionally, the School of Design aims to continue collaborating with colleagues from Southeast Asia and Australia through online and video presentations, expanding the global reach of the Design 4 Health initiatives.

Strategic Planning:

The School of Design strongly emphasises design engagement principles, enabling students to bring their ideas to life and tackle real-world problems and social issues. The Design 4 Health Bootcamp aligns with the school’s mission by providing a unique, hands-on, and creative environment for students to develop their personal style and build their portfolios. Moreover, the school’s industry connections and institutional partnerships offer opportunities for internships and showcase events, providing students with a solid foundation for their future careers. Design at QUT profoundly impacts improving work and life quality, contributing to social and economic advantages for industries and communities, and fostering citizenship and social innovation. The School of Design operates within a sustainability-focused, multidisciplinary framework and maintains close ties with the design profession.

Future Opportunities:

Beyond undergraduate collaboration, there is currently a gap in the market for universities offering Master’s and PhD degrees in design in the UAE and the region. Through collaborative initiatives like the Design 4 Health Bootcamp, which brings together top-ranked universities in the UAE, we aim to identify and attract potential HDR (Higher Degree by Research) and undergraduate exchange students interested in pursuing advanced education and research in design at the postgraduate level.

The International Design 4 Health Bootcamp provides a unique platform for students and professionals to explore the intersection of design and Health. By leveraging the expertise and resources of partnering institutions, participants will gain valuable insights, develop practical skills, and foster multidisciplinary collaboration. The program aligns with the School of Design’s vision of fostering creativity, innovation, and social impact while addressing the growing demand for advanced design education in the UAE. Furthermore, the program’s expansion and collaboration with institutions beyond Southeast Asia and Australia demonstrate the school’s commitment to global engagement and knowledge exchange.

2023 Bootcamp in UAE, Dubai

The 2023 bootcamp represented a remarkable journey that united brilliant minds to tackle real-world health challenges through innovative design strategies, resulting in a true collaboration of visionaries, as esteemed academics, students, researchers, and professionals from prestigious institutions – QUT, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU), and American University of Sharjah joined forces to drive impactful change at the intersection of Design and Health.

Project Team (QUT) 

Professor Lori Lockyer

Professor Lisa Scharoun

Professor Marianella Chamorro-Koc

Dr Leo Rezayan

“Let’s remember that this is only the beginning. The ideas, connections, and collaborations forged during this Bootcamp will continue to blossom and evolve, propelling us to pursue innovation and excellence in design for health.Here’s to further developments and the transformative power of collaboration in the future! Let’s continue pushing boundaries and shaping a better world, one ingenious idea at a time. Looking forward to further collaborations! Anticipating with excitement the remarkable progress that lies ahead!” – Dr Leo Rezayan