Research activity per year

Personal profile


Research interests: collaborative design and sustainability in health care; reuse, recycling  and remanufacturing of medical devices; healthcare waste management; sustainable redesign of care pathways. 

As a researcher, Gunn has 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. She has 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. She has an international research profile in Design Anthropology and has played a leading role in this field including contributing towards building a research agenda for the emerging field. She has  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 she has been involved have an emphasis on how technology design processes and anthropological practices can be brought together in a productive collaboration, for example in healthcare settings. She addresses key challenges in conducting interdisciplinary research with multidisciplinary design teams engaged with issues of sustainability in collaborative design processes and practices in engineering design. She has worked to define frameworks to move interdisciplinary research inquiry into collaborative design processes for example, the design of future indoor climate technologies and improving air quality in hospitals; 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. Gunn is a contributor to the Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) plastics working group and the Low Carbon Clinical Trials Consortium directed by the UK Sustainable Healthcare Coalition (SHC). She is also a member of the GreenCare EU consortium focusing on augmenting the capacity of hospitals and healthcare to monitor, assess and improve their environmental performance and sustainability. Examples of MSc Sustainable Design Engineering thesis supervision: A Case Study on the Environmental and Economic Sustainability of Using Remanufactured Ultrasound Catheters.



Supervision interests

PhD Thesis supervision and evaluation
In 2023 (ongoing), she is the first opponent for, Hans. E. Comtet's PhD thesis Drones in Healthcare Systems: Insights from a Multi-Level Perspective, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).  In 2022, she examined Grant.A.Fore´s PhD Ethical Becoming, Ethical Fetisism, and Capatalist Modernity: An Ethnography of Design Education, University of Cape Town. In 2018, she examined Glen Wyatt’s PHD An Aesthetic Matters of Concern: The Traffic World of Ho Chi Minh City, RMIT University. In 2015, she was the chair of the PhD evaluation committee for Ditte Nissen Storgaard’s thesis: Treatability: Social Material Configurations of Hearing Loss and Diabetes, University of Southern Denmark. She supervised an industrial PhD thesis, Louise Buch Løgstrup, Reconcepualising Understandings of Agency: Within the Demand Side Management in a Future Electricity SMART Grid Infrastructure, Design School Kolding and Dong Energy (2012-2014). She successfully defended her thesis in 2014. In addition, she co-supervised with Prof Jacob Buur one PhD. Kyle Kilbourn successfully defended his PhD in December 2008 with his thesis entitled: The Patient as Skilled Practitioner, University of Southern Denmark. She has also co-supervised with Lotte Darsø, Jamie Wallace’s industrial Ph.D. thesis, Different Matters of Invention: Design Work as the Dissimilar Design Artefacts, The Danish School of Education, Aarhus University (2010). Wallace successfully defended his thesis in 2010. In addition, she was advisor to Ray Lucas in his doctoral research, Towards a Theory of Notation and Drawing as Thinking Tools. Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen (2002-2005).

Research interests

Research interests: collaborative design and sustainability in health care; reuse, recycling  and remanufacturing of medical devices; healthcare waste management; sustainable redesign of care pathways. 

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 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Social Anthropology, PhD, The Social and Environmental Impact of Incorporating Computer Aided Design Technologies into an Architectural Design Process, University of Manchester

1 Sept 19971 Sept 2002

Award Date: 19 Mar 2003

Social Anthropology, MA, Walking, Movement and Perception, University of Manchester

1 Sept 19951 Sept 1996

Award Date: 26 Nov 1996

External positions

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

1 Sept 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
  • healthcare packaging
  • reduce-repair-reuse-recycle

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