Leah Heiss

Assoc Professor

Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Associate Professor Leah Heiss is the Eva and Marc Besen International Research Chair in Design at Monash University. Through collaborative projects Leah has brought humanity centred design to technologies for hearing loss, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gut disease and loneliness. Her design work has been recognised with six Australian Good Design Awards (including the 2018 Australian Good Design Award) and the CSIRO Design Innovation Award. Projects she has led have been presented to the Victorian Royal Commission into Mental Health and informed the creation of Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Guidelines. Leah’s design work is part of the Museums Victoria and Museum of Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse) heritage collections and has been exhibited internationally to audiences exceeding 700,000 people. Her Tactile Tools co-design method has been used to evolve new models and systems of care for cancer care, low birth weight, eating disorders, aged care, voluntary assisted dying, depression in ageing in place and acquired brain injury. Leah is working with the WHO Design for Impact project to investigate how design can improve the lived experience of WHO Guidelines.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Design, PhD, DESIGNING EMOTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES: Collaborating across design, health and engineering to humanise wearable health technologies, RMIT University

1 Feb 20141 Dec 2018

Award Date: 1 Dec 2018

Design, Masters , Empathy and the Space Between: Investigating the role of digitally enhanced apparel in promoting remote empathetic connection., RMIT University

Award Date: 1 Dec 2006

Interior Design, Bachelor (Design - 1st Class Honours), Thesis project, RMIT University

20 Feb 19991 Oct 2002

Award Date: 1 Dec 2002

Research area keywords

  • Wearable technology
  • Wearables
  • Co-Design
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Health innovation
  • Participatory design
  • Smart devices

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or