Commercializing Academic Medical Research: The Role of the Translational Designer

Rowan Page, Kieran John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Increasingly universities are seeking to play a more active role in translating their fundamental scientific discoveries into large-scale, practical impact in the world. In the field of medical research, translating discoveries from the bench to the bedside. These processes of research translation are complex and interdisciplinary, involving a combination of research as well as non-research activities that take place both within and outside the traditional boundaries of the university. This complexity leads to many discoveries being ‘lost in translation’. This paper unpacks some of the challenges faced by designers with research translation through a series of case studies from a health care design research lab – Monash University Health Collab. Through these case studies, we highlight the necessary role of the translational designer, a hybrid design practitioner-researcher who brings the strengths of both industrial design practice and design research as a way to help bridge the chasms between research and commercial development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-705
Number of pages19
JournalThe Design Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • translational research
  • medical devices
  • practice-based research
  • design

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