Design for Wellbeing | 2004-

Innovations meet people.

Design for Wellbeing redirects the focus of product development from technology-based development, via needs-based development, to participative product innovation.

2004- (ongoing)


The main objective of the Design for Wellbeing initiative is to enhance the wellbeing of persons with motion, sensory and cognitive disabilities by using their descriptions of needs in relation to assistive devices as a starting point for product development. We aim to give users an active role in developing their own assistive devices by allowing people from various disciplines to work with them in a product development team, to improve the wellbeing of persons with disabilities, and to develop product development methodology with respect to the user’s role in design processes. Design for Wellbeing redirects the focus of product development from technology-based development, via needs-based development, to participative product development. By adapting a multidisciplinary approach, we are able to manage the entire development cycle from an initial understanding of users’ needs to studies of finished products in use. Design for Wellbeing involves students, researchers, interest organizations, companies and users from Sweden, USA and Japan.


  • Designing innovative products for increased wellbeing
  • Shaping the future of globally distributed collaboration
  • Educating the product designers of tomorrow


Role: Founder
Type: Research/development/education
Keywords: Engineering Design, Needfinding, Product Development, Education
Application area: Healthcare, Inclusive design, Design for all
Time frame: 2004-
Partners: Stanford University (Center for Design Research), Hosei University



  • Design of user-centred wireless sensor technology in sports: an empirical study of elite kayak athletes / Sturm, D., Parida, V., Larsson, T. & Isaksson, O. 2011
  • Design for wellbeing / Larsson, T. & Larsson, A. 2008 The Engineering Handbook of Smart Technology for Aging, Disability and Independence. Helal, A., Mokhtari, M. & Abdulrazak, B. (eds.). Hoboken, N.J : Wiley p. 819-832. 14 p.
  • Needs as a basis for design rationale / Bergström, M., Ericson, Å., Larsson, M., Nergård, H., Larsson, T. & Renström, B. 2008 Proceedings of the Design 2008: 10th International Design Conference, May 19-22, 2008, Dubrovnik, Croatia. Marjanovic, D., Storga, M., Pavkovic, N. & Bojcetic, N. (eds.). University of Zagreb 8 p.
  • In search of what is missing: needfinding the SIRIUS way / Ericson, Å., Larsson, T. & Larsson, A. 2007 Knowledge Sharing and Collaborative Engineering: Proceedings of Fourth IASTED International Conference on Knowledge Sharing and Collaborative Engineering, KSCE 2006. Boumedine, M. & Touzet, C. (eds.). ACTA Press 6 p.
  • Need driven product development in team-based projects / Ericson, Å., Larsson, T., Larsson, A. & Larsson, M. 2007 Proceedings of the 16th International conference on engineering design: ICED 07. 11 p.
  • Needs as a foundation for life-cycle commitments / Larsson, T. & Ericson, Å. 2007
  • NeedInn: behovsdriven produktutveckling inom E-hälsa / Larsson, T. & Larsson, M. 2007 Luleå : Luleå tekniska universitet. 60 p.
  • Educating engineering designers for a multidisciplinary future. / Bergström, Mattias ; Ericson, Åsa ; Matzen, Detlef ; Tan, Adrian. 2007. 2 p. Conference: National Workshop on Functional Products – Development and Sales, No. 2, Luleå, Sweden, October 24, 2007 – October 25, 2007.
  • Design for wellbeing: innovations for people / Leifer, L., Larsson, A., Larsson, T., Van der Loos, M. & Feland, J. 2005 Human Centered Design: Maruzen for 10th anniversary of the Kanto Branch, Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers. Fukuda, S. (ed.). 11 p.
  • Design for Wellbeing: Innovations for People / Larsson, A., Larsson, T., Leifer, L., Van der Loos, M. & Feland, J. 2005 Proceedings of 15th International Conference on Engineering Design: ICED 05. 10 p.
  • Innovations for Life: Design for Wellbeing / Larsson, T., Larsson, A. & Kassfeldt, E. 2005 First International Conference on Lifestyle, Health and Technology: June 1-3, 2005 at Luleå University of Technology, Porsön, Luleå, Sweden. 5 p.

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