The Hon. Steve Dimopoulos MP, who is Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries, has announced that Associate Professor Leah Heiss will be the new Chair of the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards. The award-winning designer and researcher, based at Monash Art, Design, and Architecture (MADA), has been recognised for her exceptional work at the nexus of design, health, and technology.
The Victorian Premier’s Design Awards are given to designers and clients who have done a great job with their designs. Associate Professor Heiss is a leader in the field of design, and her appointment as Chair of the Awards solidifies her reputation as a global innovator.
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Associate Professor Heiss will be in charge of the Awards for the next three years. This will help Victoria maintain its reputation as a centre for great design. Speaking of her appointment, she commented, “Being selected as the chair of the Premier’s Design Awards is a game changer for my career. I am committed to an expanded role for design in improving our systems, services, and technologies.”
Associate Professor Heiss is known for her work across different fields. She uses “humanity-centered design” to solve problems like hearing loss, diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, and loneliness. Her wearable technologies are part of the heritage collections at Museums Victoria and Powerhouse (MAAS) and have been shown to more than 700,000 people around the world. She is involved in co-designing new models and systems of care with partners including the World Health Organisation, Alfred Health, and Turning Point.
Associate Professor Heiss co-leads the interdisciplinary ‘Future Healthcare’ initiative, which is one of the most significant upcoming research projects for Monash University. The initiative recognizes that society needs dynamic interdisciplinary approaches to addressing complex challenges like improving the healthcare system. As an integrator of knowledge, design plays a critical role in bringing together lived experiences of patients and workforces with systems level intelligence to shift the needle and deliver more equitable, kind, and sustainable healthcare.
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According to Professor Shane Murray, Dean of Monash Art, Design, and Architecture, “Associate Professor Leah Heiss’ research improves the lives of people interacting with healthcare systems and technologies, and she is a wonderful ambassador for the role of Design in addressing complex challenges.”
Future Healthcare is co-designing new healthcare systems and technologies with partners including the World Health Organisation, Oxfam, Monash Health, Cabrini Health, Alfred Health, Micro X, Health Direct Australia, Victorian Department of Health, and Turning Point. This interdisciplinary co-design initiative delivers technology design and integration, frameworks and tools to support workforces, consumer-led insights to drive commissioning of new models, systems, and spaces for care, and tangible approaches to drive future preparedness, reduce costs and build resilience in health systems.