Auditorium Talk

Designing for your future self: No time to waste

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

This event happened at the Design Museum and was live-streamed as part of the Design Council’s Design for Planet Festival's programme.

What to expect

How can design help tackle the challenge of a planet that is rapidly heating up and a population that is living longer?

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.

With a rapidly ageing society and increasingly extreme weather events, the UK’s ageing population can no longer be excluded from the debates around the climate emergency. While the environmental crisis affects everyone, older people are more vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather in terms of physical, mental, social and economic wellbeing.

In November 2021, the COP26 in Glasgow is an ideal moment to move the issue of ageing significantly into the policy-arena of climate change and demonstrate to campaigners and policymakers how closely linked these two issues are, and the potential for one to improve the other.

Design Age Institute is joined by a panel of experts and activists to explore the potential for design to help us actively work across generations to address the global emergencies of climate change and an ageing population. Future action must be both sustainably and inclusively designed to succeed in creating a greener and more sustainable future for everyone.

#YourFutureSelf #DesignForPlanet


Bobby Duffy

Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Policy Institute, Bobby has worked across most public policy areas in his 30 years career in policy research and evaluation, including being seconded to the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit. He sits on advisory boards including Chairing the Campaign for Social Science and the CLOSER Advisory Board, is a member of the Executive of the Academy of Social Sciences, and a trustee of British Future and the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education.

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.

George Lee

In her role as Community Lead for the Design Age Institute, George launched This Age Thing in 2021 to build a diverse community of age activists, storytellers, creatives, designers and change-makers. A respected disrupter, innovator, and leader with 25+ years of experience, George is Director of the design studio This is Real Art, co-founder of The Age of No Retirement and specialist consultancy The Common Land, championing cross-generational thinking as a key for social and economic impact.

Shravan is an elected Member of the City of London Corporation where he sits on several committees including the main Policy Committee. A protagonist for the City’s Climate Action Plan, he works on delivering policy around sustainable urban environments in the Square Mile through his involvement in the Planning & Transport Committee. He spent 25 years in the energy sector involved in trade finance, supply chains and delivery of technology to operators across the world. He runs a think tank focused on sustainability bringing together policy makers, financiers and technology providers.

Sophia Dimitriadis

A Research Fellow at the International Longevity Centre (ILC), Sophia's work focuses on understanding the longevity economy and exploring ways to boost individuals’ retirement prospects in the UK as well as potential synergies between climate change and ageing agendas. Previously a policy and social researcher for ASH Wales and the Office for National Statistics, Sophia also holds a BSc in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Warwick and an MSc in Economics from the University of Nottingham.

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Booking information

This event happened at the Design Museum and was live-streamed as part of the Design Council’s Design for Planet Festival's programme.

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.

Design for Planet - Design Council

Design for Planet is a campaign to galvanise and support the UK’s design industry to commit to a sustainable, climate-first future. Through Design for Planet, the Design Council will rally designers to bring about the societal shifts needed to accelerate the government’s transition to net zero and ensure the planet will thrive for future generations. As part of the campaign, Design Council is hosting its Design for Planet Festival on 9-10 November 2021 to champion design as a powerful agent of change.

Upcoming Event

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

More information closer to the date.

Background image: House for Trees in Vietnam by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Beazley Designs of the Year.