In 2021, Ab Rogers Design assembled a group of diverse minds – including doctors, nurses, patients, artists, architects, engineers, landscape designers and economists – to tackle the question posed by the Wolfson Economics Prize:

How would you design and plan new hospitals to radically improve patient experiences, clinical outcomes, staff wellbeing, and integration with wider health and social care?

The studio won the prize with their proposal for a Living Systems Health Centre dedicated to health creation and to putting the human at the heart of the hospital experience. This vision hinges on the idea of the building becoming an active part of the healing process, facilitating nurturing interactions, anticipating the needs of its occupants, and supporting them at their most vulnerable. In this way, the building becomes a kind of ‘third carer’ alongside a patient’s medical team, and their family and friends.

Since winning the prize, we have established a research and development agency operating not only in the field of healthcare, but also those of culture and sustainability

DRU+ is named after the Design Research Unit (DRU) of post-war Britain. The first modern design consultancy in the country, the DRU worked with architects and designers as well as artists, scientists, and writers to re-design public utility services, creating highly effective (and often iconic) design that was for everyone.

Inspired by the DRU’s socially progressive ambitions and founded in the spirit of post-pandemic reconstruction – in the same way that DRU was founded in the spirit of post-WWII reconstruction – the DRU+ will combine medical knowledge, scientific rigour, and biocentric design innovation (addressing human needs within planetary limits) to deliver holistic solutions to urgent societal issues. The unit is informed by diverse, cross-sector learning and experience, reflecting the value of collective intelligence. Through transdisciplinary research, empirical testing, and real-world application, we reimagine spaces of prevention and care that provide greater agency, enhance welfare, and improve quality of life.

Founded in 2022 by cultural organizer Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey, physician and neuroscientist Ash Ranpura, and designer Ab Rogers, DRU+ will formally launch in September 2023. Meanwhile, this website will operate as a meeting point, informing of DRU+’s activities, and assembling a freely accessible bank of research and related materials over time.

For more information contact

Explore our new Video, Audio and Text archives containing DRU+ research and related material, free to stream or download.

Recent News:

26 September 2022

4 July 2022 
Publication of DRU+ book The Third Carer

28 May 2022 
‘Ab Rogers reimagines healthcare architecture with The Third Carer concept’ in Wallpaper*