Death as an Opportunity for Design


In March 2015 a group gathered together for a symposium at the University of Cambridge’s Madingley Hall. The attendees were there to discuss the process of dying. Macmillan Palliative Care Collaborative had convened the group, which included doctors, designers and, in their capacity as ‘experts by experience’, two relatives of recently deceased cancer-sufferers.

At the gathering the UK Design Council’s Mat Hunter suggested that Human Centred Design can ameliorate the process that the dying and their loved ones go through. “The problem with adult social care is that we need joy and we need delight. We need to recognise that life is about living,” said Hunter.

Topics discussed at the symposium included products for the home, care service design and internet websites which support conversations regarding death and grieving.