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Personal profile



Bio Wendy Gunn MA (Econ), PhD, FSA Scot, FRAI

I was appointed Associate Professor of Collaborative Design in Design Engineering, Design for Sustainability (DfS) Research Group at Aalborg University Copenhagen in September 2021. Integral to my role is to build an international consortium focusing on Designing for Sustainable health Care. At the Designing for Sustainable Health Care Cluster we focus on sustainable design engineering in the digitalization of healthcare products, services, and systems. Sustainability here considers social, environmental, financial dimensions of sustainability in healthcare across different knowledges.


This requires: 

  • a diversity of multidisciplinary teams working on interdisciplinary research projects focusing on collaborative design in design engineering related to sustainability in health care.
  • local, national, and international research projects engaging patients, healthcare professionals and staff, NGOs, hospital and company partners in co-design and co-creation sustainable design engineering processes and practices.
  • application of research findings within the designing of product, service, and system, from conceptualization through to implementation.


The cluster is part of the Design for Sustainability (DfS) research group. Design for Sustainability (DfS) is an interdisciplinary research group concerned with collaborative approaches to designing new concepts and things for more sustainable futures, and work with areas such as circular economy, digitalization, and health care, and shifting valuations for low carbon energy systems.

As a researcher, I have cross-disciplinary expertise in IT product design, design engineering, architecture and anthropology and significant experience of conducting multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research as an integral member of collaborative design teams involving both private and public sectors. I have developed research insights into how collaborative design processes work in engineering design as well as how anthropology can play an important role in design, whether in healthcare settings or architecture. I have an international research profile in Design Anthropology and have played a leading role in this field including contributing towards building a research agenda for the emerging field. I have a demonstrated capacity to build research communities across different disciplines engaging a diversity of stakeholders from both the public and private sectors in the design, development, and implementation of emerging and existing technologies. Research projects I have been involved in have an emphasis on how technology design processes and anthropological practices can be brought together in a productive collaboration, for example in healthcare settings. I address key challenges in conducting interdisciplinary research with multidisciplinary design teams engaged with issues of sustainability in collaborative design processes and practices in engineering design. I have worked to define frameworks to move interdisciplinary research inquiry into collaborative design processes for example, the design of future indoor climate technologies; to integrate anthropological methods and frameworks for analysis within collaborative design processes and to generate tools for engagement to communicate results of research inquiry and collaborative design in a diversity of forms to multiple stakeholders.




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
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Social Anthropology, PhD, University of Manchester

1 Sep 19971 Sep 2002

Award Date: 19 Mar 2003

Social Anthropology, MA, University of Manchester

1 Sep 19951 Sep 1996

Award Date: 26 Nov 1996

External positions

Associate Professor of Collaborative Design in Design Engineering, Aalborg Universitet (Aalborg University)

1 Sep 2021 → …

Research area keywords

  • design anthropology
  • emerging technologies
  • interdisciplinary research
  • architectural and engineering design
  • energy, health and environment
  • distributed healh care
  • collaboration
  • transitions
  • sustainability
  • health care digitalization
  • collaborative design
  • design engineering


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