Auditorium Talk

Designing a World for Everyone

Join the debate about the future of ageing in the first session in the Designing for Your Future Self talks series, curated by Design Age Institute.

What to expect

Designing for Your Future Self invites audiences to explore the ideas, trends and passions that are shaping our future lives. Curated by Design Age Institute, these thought-provoking sessions will explore the power of innovative design to help everyone age with agency and joy, through a combination of expert insights, cutting-edge research, panel debates and interactive discussions.

For the first session looking at "Designing a World for Everyone", researchers, designers, innovators and policymakers from Design Age Institute, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, This Age Thing, the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and more will share the latest research and insights into how in a post-Covid society, design can be used to transform public spaces, towns, cities and communities to support everyone to age healthier and happier.

Please note: This event will be held live and socially distanced at the Design Museum as well as being available to watch by live stream.

Buy online

Booking information

Adult, in-person event: £8
Members, in-person event: £5
Online recording: £5
Online recording members: Free

Due to limited capacity, in-person tickets are now sold out. Digital access is still available.


Becky Rowe

Becky is co-owner of Revealing Reality, a leading social research agency specialising in ethnographic research on complex social issues. Becky studies multiple topics relating to ageing and the public realm, including social isolation, connectivity in care environments, experiences of older rough sleepers and people with MSK conditions. Becky is passionate about positive social change and asset-based approaches to problem-solving.

Colum Lowe

Colum is a senior design leader with a significant track record of developing inclusive products and services in the private, public and charitable sectors.  In 2020 Colum joined the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art as Director for Design Age Institute. He has been Head of Design at the Ministry of Justice, Sainsbury’s, Homebase and the NHS National Patient Safety Agency, and has run design firms Crabtree Hall, CaulderMoore as well as his own consultancy.

Manisha Patel

Manisha spearheads urban design and masterplanning, regeneration and stakeholder consultation as a Senior Partner with PRP. She leads on major projects including Chobham Manor, where she developed a new typology that facilitates multigeneration living, a design and cultural expression of her upbringing. Her masterplan on Portobello Square won the Mayor’s Prize at the 2015 Housing Design Awards. She acts as a Mayor of London Design Advocate and provides expertise to the Mayor's Good Growth programme.

Paul McGarry

Head of the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, Paul leads multi-agency urban ageing partnerships. He has published several articles on ageing and given presentations to high-profile events in the USA, Asia, Europe and Australia. Paul has an MA in Social Gerontology and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. A member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Network of Ageing Friendly Cities Advisory Group and the Scientific Steering Board for the joint Age-friendly Environments in Europe project.

Professor Jeremy Myerson

Jeremy has been an academic, author and activist in design for over 40 years. In 1999, he set up the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design with Roger Coleman, where he was Director until 2015, pioneering new practices in inclusive design. He holds the Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design at the RCA and directs WORKTECH Academy, a forum for sharing ideas on the future of work. A Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, he has authored over 20 books on art, design, and architecture.

Professor Nic Palmarini

Nic is Director at UK's National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), an organisation that helps design and bring to market innovative business models, services and products to sustain healthy longevity. Previously a research manager at the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab and leader of the AI for Healthy Ageing and AI Ethics practice at IBM Research in the US, Nic has a decade of experience in research on human-computer interactions, supporting older adults’ autonomy through emerging technologies.

Professor Sarah Harper

Sarah is Clore Professor of Gerontology at the University of Oxford, Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, and Co-PI on the Design Age Institute@Oxford Programme. With a background in anthropology, Sarah researches the societal impact of falling fertility, increasing life expectancy, and the interaction of population change with the environment. She served on the Council for Science and Technology advising on scientific evidence for UK policies and was appointed a CBE for services to Demography in 2018.

Design Age Institute

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

Upcoming Events

9 November 2021: No time to waste - ageing population, warming world

15 February 2022: Adults only - sex, intimacy and ageing

More information closer to the date.

Background image: Our Future Foyle, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design