What do an Anaesthesiologist, a Nurse, two Designers, and a Professor in Architectural Technology do together in a room? Crafting Interdisciplinarity as response to emerging infectious diseases

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Nigra, Marianna (1); Silenzi, Anna (2); Di Marco, Michele (3)
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Politecnico di Torino, DIST - Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning and Full: Future Urban Legacy Lab; 2: Politecnico di Torino DAD - Department of Architecture and Design; 3: Politecnico di Torino DAD - Department of Architecture and Design
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 3871-3878
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/pds.2023.388


The health sector in the humanitarian context is currently experiencing great pressure in delivering adequate care, due to a number of increasing emerging diseases. The World Health Organization (2022) reports that: '…since 2011, there have been more than 1200 outbreaks of epidemic-prone diseases in 188 countries around the world, causing widespread death and suffering…’. A key factor that can contribute to ensure high quality care is the possibility to rely on adequate infrastructure and products. This paper presents the interdisciplinary methodology deployed to design and develop an innovative infectious diseases treatment module that could be deployed and utilised in the very first phases of health emergencies. The methodology proposed is organised around a three-level approach to ensure both core disciplinary solidity, and holistic understanding of the complexity of the challenge. The contribution of this work is the definition of key aspects in the proposed methodology that can help overcome difficulties in delivering high quality interdisciplinary research and work, as well as highlighting behavioural patterns that can ensure successful delivery of innovative products and facilities for the humanitarian health sector.

Keywords: Interdisciplinary Research, Design methodology, Innovation, Research methodologies and methods

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