Atrium Free Display Opens 24 February

Designing for our Future Selves

Curated in partnership with the Design Age Institute, Designing for our Future Selves explores how design is transforming the way society can support everyone to age with greater agency and joy.

What to expect

Designing for our Future Selves builds on last year’s successful Future of Ageing display, which celebrated the one thing we all have in common – that we're all getting older, no matter our age.

The 21st century is shaping up to be a century of centenarians. With more of us living longer, an increasing proportion of the UK’s population will hopefully become part of an older, healthier, more financially secure, and technologically savvy demographic.

But we will also face many global challenges, including automation resulting in job losses, the climate emergency, global pandemics, and the cost of living. The traditional life stages of education, employment and retirement will need to be radically reimagined.

The new display will showcase how, in a changing world, cutting-edge design can help people to not only live their later years more independently, sustainably and healthily but also with joy and fulfilment.

It will feature 10 design initiatives currently being developed by Design Age Institute and its partners aimed to positively impact the way we live and work as we grow older.



Booking information

From 24 February, the exhibition will be displayed in the museum's Atrium, open daily from 10:00 to 18:00.

No pre-booking is needed to see the free displays.

Designing for Age, Agency & Joy

The Design Age Institute is the UK’s national strategic unit for design and the healthy ageing economy, bringing together designers, businesses, researchers and communities to help address the challenges and opportunities of an ageing society.


Funded by Research England, the Design Age Institute brings together expertise from across world-leading research, design, innovation and learning including the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design (HHCD) at the Royal College of Art (RCA); the National Innovation Centre for Ageing at Newcastle University (NICA), University of Oxford’s Institute of Population Ageing (OIPA), the International Longevity Centre (ILC) and the Design Museum.

Related events

Hamlyn Walker, Michael Strantz

Inclusive banking; Illustration by Jess Nash

Home Office workspace by Paul Jones, Chris Brown and Adam Cosheril

Packaging Products Petition

Coaroon, Colin Wilson

Tides, Eeva Rinne

Freedom, Luii, courtesy of Binding Sciences Ltd.

The Wisdom Hour: Our Future Selves

Join The Wisdom Hour, a creative space to celebrate positive stories of ageing facilitated by This Age Thing and Design Age Institute.

Designing for Your Future Self: Happy, healthy and wise

Join experts in design research to debate key discoveries, projects and aspirations for our rapidly ageing society, and explore the market potential of future generations to benefit from longer, healthier and wiser lives.

The Future of Ageing Touring

Our first display curated with the Design Age Institute, The Future of Ageing, will be on display at V&A Dundee in Scotland until 22 January.

Background Image: Home Office workspace by Paul Jones, Chris Brown and Adam Cosheril.