Leonard Design & Dierdre King shortlisted for the Wolfson Economics Prize 2021

The shortlist for the Wolfson Economics Prize 2021 has been announced and Leonard Design are on the list. The submission, in partnership with economist Diedre King, proposes a new ‘Starfish Hospital’ concept aiming to revolutionise the design of hospitals in the future.

The Wolfson Economics Prize

First awarded in 2012, the Wolfson Economics Prize is the second largest economics prize in the world after Nobel. Sponsored by Lord Wolfson and run-in partnership with the think tank Policy Exchange, The Prize invites new thinking to address major economic policy issues that aren’t already subject to significant public discourse.

The 2021 question asks:

‘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?’


Five entries have been shortlisted as finalists, from 250 organisations representing 15 countries across the world. The five finalists now have until the end of October 2021 to develop their ideas further ahead of the final judging panel.

Lord Kakkar, Chair of the Judging Panel, said:

“The entries to this year’s Wolfson Economics Prize have been remarkably impressive. They represent examples of brilliant thinking, the world over, about how better to serve patients and support staff in hospitals. Out of an exceptionally strong field, the shortlisted entries demonstrate particularly ingenious approaches. With a renewed focus on hospital building in the UK, these finalists have a really exciting opportunity to shape how NHS hospitals look, feel and function.”

'Starfish Hospital' Wolfson Economic Prize Finalist

Starfish Hospitals: A Design For Life

The concept aims to create a hospital that will enhance and save lives in a calm, inviting environment. Generally, the hospital experience can be confusing, impersonal, and unwelcoming for patients. It is rare to walk into a hospital and feel the sense of welcome you would in a five-star hotel.

Our adaptable hospital design is a Starfish modern hub with connected rays and satellite centres of excellence located in a ring of buildings around the campus or within local community cities and towns.

Experiences throughout the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted our current outdated hospital buildings, facilities and technology. With ever-increasing health demands and an ageing population, the design strikes a balance between services that are critical to hospital provision, those that are not, and those that could be provided in a ‘virtual’ hospital without compromising the safety or well-being of patients. The overall experience is enhanced for all.

The Winning Entry

All five finalists will be judged at the end of October 2021. The winner of the Wolfson Economics Prize 2021 being announced the following month. For more information on the Prize and the Starfish Hospital proposal, head to the official website here.

Wolfson Economics Prize 2021