Modularity as a strategy for medical design


  • Carla Langella ‘Federico II’ University of Naples (Italy)
  • Salvatore Carleo ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’ University of Campania
  • Marianna De Luca ASL Napoli 2 Nord (Italy)



design and medicine, modularity, flexibility, adaptability, customisation


In the last decade, collaborations between Design and the biomedical field have become increasingly frequent and effective, thanks to their shared focus on user-centred innovation. Design comes into play when unresolved challenges arise, mainly related to the usability of biomedical products, especially in the field of physical and rehabilitative medicine, where aids used for therapeutic treatments and exercises are often inadequate for scientific advancements and the complex needs of patients and therapists. Through a critical analysis of international best practices, this paper promotes a design approach based on modularity and potential kits for neuro-psychological, orthopaedic, and speech rehabilitation medicine. In this context, the modularity strategy offers an opportunity to develop new design-driven solutions for more flexible, adaptable, ergonomic, comfortable, and sustainable tools.


Article info

Received: 10/09/2023; Revised: 10/10/2023; Accepted: 20/10/2023


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Author Biographies

Carla Langella, ‘Federico II’ University of Naples (Italy)

Architect and PhD, she is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design. She founded and has been coordinating the Hybrid Design Lab since 2006, a laboratory dedicated to the mutual relationships between design and biosciences, with a particular interest in biomimetics, design-driven materials, design for health, and the design of cultural experiences mediated by digital technologies.

Salvatore Carleo, ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’ University of Campania

Designer, he is a PhD student and has conducted research and experiments in medical design and design engineering in collaboration with the Hybrid Design Lab. He has participated in research projects in sustainable mobility and user monitoring with innovative companies in the Campania region.

Marianna De Luca, ASL Napoli 2 Nord (Italy)

Speech Therapist, she is a member of the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit and is involved in the prevention, assessment, and treatment of language, communication, voice, cognitive, learning, oral, and swallowing disorders.


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How to Cite

Langella, C., Carleo, S. and De Luca, M. (2023) “Modularity as a strategy for medical design”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 14, pp. 294–303. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/14252023.