The QUT Design Lab was founded in 2016 to employ bold, fresh, and rigorous design-led research.

As our world gets increasingly complex, volatile and uncertain, we need ideas, innovative collaborations and imagination – the ability to reshape what is and conceive, create, and design things that don’t yet exist.  That is the mission and vision of the QUT Design Lab: to reimage and redesign our future.  We create impactful change, applying our creative mindsets in three core domains: (1) industry and advanced manufacturing; (2) health; and (3) the built environment.

We are a collaborative, cross-disciplinary community of designers, engineers, roboticists, creative thinkers, makers, artists, health practitioners and innovators, who work together to speculate, imagine, design, and innovate.  We are a catalyst for new thinking and drive technological innovation through design-led approaches, with our research privileging end-user engagement, sustainability, cross-disciplinarity, and industry collaborations.  We ask how tools, methods and approaches from design and creative practice foster world-changing ideas and innovation in different settings – industry, manufacturing, healthcare, public spaces, and urban and regional places.  We create, test, and deploy prototypes with collaborators across industry, government, and community and our imaginative, thought-provoking and high impact research.

Our mission is ‘Change by Design’, focused around four core programs:

    • Design Robotics and Digital Fabrication
    • Emerging Technologies
    • Design for Health
    • Resilient Communities

Our research is theoretically grounded, strongly applied in practice, and transdisciplinary. We welcome industry, government and community organisations interested in collaborating with us to get in touch with us. We also welcome inquiries from prospective applicants interested in studying with us for an MPhil and PhD degree.

Design Robotics and Digital Fabrication

The Design Robotics and Digital Fabrication program provide a direct pathway from design to manufacturing. We create processes, approaches, tools and technologies for sustainable futures by linking design, manufacture and material use. We explore innovative design possibilities through cutting-edge experimental design projects and work hard to make sure that technology meets the needs of real people. Connecting to Industry 4.0, Collaborative Robotics and Open Innovation principles we explore advanced manufacturing strategies to benefit business and the environment. Our practical research has a direct impact on applied industry projects and is helping to transform Australian manufacturing.

Program Leaders :


Emerging Technologies

The Emerging Technologies program fosters innovation, reflection and experimentation around the role of technology in an increasingly complex and augmented world. It addresses the role that new technologies such as the Internet of Things, AI and Machine Learning, Extended Reality and Digital Fabrication can play in shaping and enabling design practices, and in turn investigates the critical role of participatory design approaches in democratising and shaping the development and application of these technologies in areas such as advanced manufacturing, extended reality and collaborative robotics. Research in this program is organised into two streams: Human-Centred Design and Extended Reality Design.

Program Leaders :

The Emerging Technologies program incorporates two Focus Areas :

    • Human Centred Design
    • Extended Reality Design

Design for Health

Drawing on a human-centered design-led approach, the Redesigning Health program re-designs places, products, and processes to foster mental and physical health, as well as social interactions and wellbeing.  Research in this program is organised into three streams:
(1) Age and Abilities, where our inclusive ‘design for all’ approach amplifies the voices and perspective of people with disabilities, older people, children, and youth;
(2) Design for Child and Youth Health, creating positive impact on child and youth health and wellbeing through design-led approaches to innovation;
(3) Health Technologies and Wearables, which focuses on designing and exploring with emerging technologies, wearables, interfaces and digital solutions for improved healthcare experiences; and
(4) Healthy Spaces and Places, which explores how the architectural design of spatial environment impacts the health and behaviours of people living, working and interacting with them.

Program Leaders :


The Design for Health program incorporates four Focus Areas :

  • Design for Ageing and Abilities
  • Design for Child and Youth Health
  • Design for Health Technologies and Wearables
  • Design for Healthy Spaces and Places

Resilient Communities

Resilient Communities program provokes and challenges the status quo, using design thinking, processes, and methods to bring about a more sustainable, inclusive, creative and resilient future that celebrates and protects spaces, places, and culture. Our pioneering research, grounded in principles of equality and ecological systems thinking, focuses on both urban and regional communities. Projects include: (1) Design for sustainable behaviour and social innovation: from designing out plastic waste to disaster-resilient ‘smart cities’ and mitigating urban heat through better building design; and (2) Co-creating and co-designing innovative spaces and creative, inclusive communities: for example, the Brisbane Braille Trail, intergenerational parks, tackling gender-based-violence in PNG, creative and playful placemaking.


Program Leaders :


The Resilient Communities program incorporates three Focus Areas :

  • Urban and Sustainable Communities
  • Design-led Learning and Practice
  • Regional and Resilient Design


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