Experio Lab and research

The research linked to Experio Lab Sweden is based on the science of design as a practice in general and service design in particular. Service design is increasingly being used to build internal capacity for improvement and innovation, especially in the public sector.

Experio Lab Sweden’s research suggests that the design process itself can be seen as creating value for both the individual and the system.

There is still more to explore regarding the type of change that is taking place, the reasons behind it and the effects of this change, as well as how it spreads. Stephens and Boland argue that the principal quality of design is the use of aesthetic knowledge:
”or what we know about a problem or a situation through our bodily senses of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell, is the fundamental quality that makes design thinking useful”. They also argue that it is this quality that makes it difficult for design-based methods to gain a foothold in organisations governed by rationality and efficiency (The Aesthetic Knowledge Problem of Problem-Solving With Design Thinking, 2014). Other research studies have illustrated that design as a method has shown potential for learning, by making aspects that are perceived as vague, complicated or obscure comprehensible.

Within healthcare, there has been great emphasis on management concepts with quantitative methods and tools. This means that it is necessary to apply approaches that can access cultural phenomena on a deeper level and trigger insights that can initiate processes of change. Based on this, there is a need, in the context of Experio Lab Sweden, to continue to observe with curiosity the experiences that are made in connection with activities and projects where the users of healthcare services are involved in the development of these services.

Research on design in healthcare

The research on design in healthcare has so far mainly focused on the development and design of medical equipment, the physical room and its influence on the quality of care and artefacts (things) that can support the specific meeting between healthcare staff and patients/family members. Research on how design contributes to process development in healthcare towards an increased degree of joint value creation, as well as the greater transformation that is being called for, is still in its early stages.

The research network

In the research network of Experio Lab Sweden, researchers and PhD students are linked in various ways to the environments (regions) that are currently collaborating on issues where healthcare meets design, and which promote a transformation of healthcare in a user-driven direction. The research interests vary from the way design relates to norms and power, and how to build design and innovation skills in the long-term, to the way professional roles are affected by participation in design work.

Researchers with doctorates

Katarina Wetter-Edman, PhD Design, Research Group Leader, Region Sörmland/Government Offices of Sweden
Stefan Holmlid, Professor of Design, Linköping University
Lisa Malmberg, PhD Design, Research Group Leader, Region Sörmland
Magnus Eneberg, PhD Design, PostDoc KTH
Åsa Wikberg-Nilsson, Assistant Professor of Design, Luleå University of Technology

PhD students

Linda Lännerström, PhD Student/Project Manager, Region Sörmland
Jonas Boström, PhD Student/Project Manager, Mid Sweden University/Region Västernorrland
Josina Vink, PhD Student, Karlstad University – Service Research Center/Region Värmland
Vanessa Rodrigues, PhD Student, Linköping University

Research projects

  • Lisa Malmberg’s thesis: Building Design Capability in the Public Sector: Expanding the Horizons of Development (2017), Linköping Studies in Science and Technology; Linköping University
  • Jonas Boström: Fallstudie kring patientinvolvering (EBCD) i ett förbättringsarbete [Case study of patient involvement (EBCD) in improvement work] (Conference paper QMOD 2018)
  • Josina Vink & Vanessa Rodrigues: SDIN network, Service Design for Service Innovation, Marie-Curie training network, Horizon 2020 project
  • Katarina Wetter-Edman: Förstärkt personcentrering genom erfarenhetsbaserad kommunikation [Enhanced person-centered service through experience-based communication], Flexit research financed by The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation
  • Åsa Wikberg Nilsson: Project HealthCloud: practice-based research project to design a digital service with the target group ‘senior people’, which aims to increase well-being. The result is a prototype of an interactive service designed together with a group of seniors and Project Well-being: an interactive research project based on inclusive design methods and participation to change people’s lifestyle and contribute to increased well-being for people with high BMI.


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