The QUT Design Lab was founded in 2016 to employ bold, fresh, and rigorous design-led research. From smart cities and design robotics to sustainable fashion and food, the QUT Design Lab researchers are tackling key challenges facing society, industry, community, and the environment.

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

  • Designing Future Technologies
  • Designing for Health
  • Designing Creative and 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.


Designing Future Technologies

The Designing Future Technologies program fosters innovation, reflection and experimentation around the role of Design in an increasingly complex and augmented world. It addresses the role that new technologies such as the Internet of Things, AI and Machine learning, Robotics, 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.

Program Leader

Designing for Health

This program uses design research to foster people’s health and wellbeing as individuals, and as part of a community. We re-design places, products and processes to foster mental and physical health, as well as social interactions and wellbeing. We focus on creating salutogenic (health-promoting) and biophilic (connected to nature) hospitals, as well as the inclusive design of wearable technologies and products. Our design research is shaping new landscapes of health and wellness, with a particular strength in design for disability and ageing.

Program Leader

Designing Creative and Resilient Communities


The Designing Creative and Resilient Communities Program provokes, challenges and questions the status quo, using design thinking, processes, and methods to bring about a more sustainable, inclusive, creative and resilient future that celebrates and protects Country and culture.

Our pioneering research, grounded in principles of equality and ecological systems thinking, focuses on:

  • 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
  • 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 Leader