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Dr. Bon Ku      

Emergency Medicine Specialist & Director of the Health Design Lab at Jefferson University

Bon Ku is the Director of the Health Design Lab at Thomas Jefferson University where he created the first design thinking program at a medical school. He is a Professor of Emergency Medicine, the Assistant Dean for Health & Design and a practicing clinician. Bon’s Lab teaches future physicians to apply human-centered design to healthcare challenges and tackles healthcare inequalities as a form of social justice. Their work toward building healthier cities and redesigning medical education has been featured in The New York Times, CNBC, Architectural Digest, Fortune and Fast Company. Dr. Ku is the recipient of the Cambridge Health Alliance Art of Healing Award and healthcare innovation awards from The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Business Journal. He has spoken about the intersection of health and design at conferences, academic medical centers and universities around the world: SXSW, TEDx, Mayo Clinic Transform, Yale School of Management, American Institute of Architects and Singapore Design Week. Dr. Ku was a regular panelist on the primetime television show Chasing the Cure Live with Ann Curry and co-wrote the book, Health Design Thinking, with Ellen Lupton.

Speech Topics


The Role of Design During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Join Dr. Bon Ku, an emergency medicine physician and Director of the Health Design Lab at Thomas Jefferson University, in a conversation about design and health care. Bon will show how design has been applied to real-world problems in health care, from gyn exams in the emergency room to better PPE, low cost ventilators and ICU rooms. His new book, Health Design Thinking, co-written by the influential designer Ellen Lupton, shows ways to generate creative ideas and solutions in the context of medicine. Problems in health care often involve ambiguity and uncertainty, lacking black-and-white answers. His talk will invite attendees to think like designers and embrace the art of listening and the joy of making.

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