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Student Showcase Archive

Design.Different: A Week of Inclusive Design Events

12 October 2020 to 16 October 2020


For the first time, the RCA's Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design will hold an inclusive design week.

There are six short online events spread throughout the week to fire your imagination and feed your innovation.

Event Programme

Monday 12 October, 4pm
Symposium, Showcase and Award Ceremony

Inclusive design was defined at the Helen Hamlyn Centre in 1994. It aims to include the widest number of people and is one of the most important creative movements today. 

This kick-off event will show you new projects from the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, unveil winning student work in our special Awards Ceremony and kickstart conversations on inclusive design. Join the conversation and be a part of our community.

Tuesday 13 October, 4pm
Design in a Pandemic: work on the front line 

What was it like on the front line when the pandemic hit?  How did design help? What does this mean for the future of healthcare and what role does design play in this?

This session will draw on rapid response design work, in discussion with clinicians on the front line, exploring the challenges and future of design in healthcare.

Jonathan West, Senior Research Fellow, HHCD 
Dr Chris Subbe, Science Fellow, The Health Foundation
Dr. Lena Ciric,  Senior Lecturer, UCL
Juliette Poggi, Researcher, HHCD 

Wednesday 14 October, 2–3pm
Age & Diversity: HHCD, new work and the Design Age Institute  

Join Dr Chris McGinley, leader of the Helen Hamlyn Centre of Design’s Age & Diversity Research Space for an update on the last year at the HHCD. Followed by an introduction from Colum Lowe the new Director of our recently launched Design Age Institute, who will set out his plans for the Institute and explain why bringing more innovative, inclusive design to the ageing market is key to unlocking the commercial potential of the sector whilst supporting the wellbeing of our ageing communities.

The one hour session will also include short and sharp overviews of three projects from HHCD researchers, dealing with housing and community innovation for over 55s at Guinness Care; wearables for kids with ADHD with King’s College; and a project in partnership with Heart n Soul at The Wellcome Hub exploring inclusive futures led by a co-design team that brings first-hand experiences of learning disabilities and autism to the table.

The session will conclude with a provocative presentation from Colum outlining market failure and risk in design-led innovation, and ending with a quickfire Q&A session with the panel.

Colum Lowe, Director, Design Age Institute 
Chris McGinley, Senior Research Fellow, HHCD 
Imran Nazerali, Research Associate, HHCD 
Stephen Douch, Research Associate, HHCD 
William Renel,  Research Associate, HHCD 

Wednesday 14 October, 4pm
Inclusive Design for Social Impact

The principles and practice of inclusive design need to be applied to areas of global and social need. Inclusive design has tended to focus on the individual, so here, we look at how  to engage with communities. We tend to concentrate on developed economies, but what about the global context? We will discuss how the tools of inclusive design can have social impact, showcasing new initiatives around public toilets and sanitation.

Our panel discussion will reflect 2020 as a time of protest and racial awakening. We will ask … how can we ensure that diverse cultures are valued, enabled and represented? We will look at how to expand the definition of inclusivity and hear global examples of how this is being effected. This session will expand inclusive design beyond its current confines.

Sean Donahue, Visiting Scholar
Rama Gheerawo, Director, HHCD 
Jo-Anne Bichard, Professor , HHCD 
Gail Ramster, Senior Research Associate, HHCD
Angela Bains, Co-Founder and Strategic Director of TransformExp
Priya Sahathevan, Head Counsel for the legal team at Sky
Gabriella Gómez-Mont, Director and Founder of Laboratorio Para La Ciudad

Thursday 15 October, 4–5pm
Inclusive Design: Business Value and Pathways

Nearly three decades ago, The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design (HHCD) was founded at London’s Royal College of Art. Since then it has led the way in including the needs and aspirations of diverse people in the design of products, services and technological innovations.  The value proposition for business is strong – human-centred solutions, enhanced brand and commercial presence, profitability, and industry-leading innovation opportunities among others. But big questions continue to evolve and shape design dialogue: What is business value and how can inclusive design frameworks, tools and processes ensure both economic and societal impact? How can inclusivity thinking, collaborative values and design methodologies help businesses transform and prosper in a 21st-century VUCA world?

This Design.Different session, chaired by HHCD Innovation Fellow, Dr Ninela Ivanova, brings together:

  • Professor Jeremy Myerson, HHCD Founding Director and Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design
  • G Subramanian (Subbu), Chief Technology Officer for UK & Ireland, TATA Consultancy Services; and
  • Dr Melanie Flory, psychologist, neuroscientist and Founding Director of MindRheo.

A panel discussion to explore the role of design in evolving business models and processes post-pandemic recovery, and how to integrate inclusivity thinking and practice in the entire chain of solutions findings and realisation.

Friday 16 October, 4–5.30pm
Creative Leaders Circle: A call to Action

The Creative Leaders Circle (CLC) is a coming together of people across all ages, abilities, genders, cultures, job titles and so forth, to envisage, enact and enable new models and pathways for global leadership. Creative Leadership is not just a strategy, or an abstract concept. It’s a transformational and inclusive process for everyone to contribute, participate and apply in their life and work.  

Join us on Friday 16 October for a session filled with diverse voices and perspectives and hear Rama Gheerawo’s previously untold story about bringing together the three values of empathy, clarity and creativity! 

The Creative Leaders Circle was born from a shared need for action by all who have benefitted from our model, experiential learning and practice over the last decade. This is your time to join in! We do not want to define leadership, we want to open-source it. 

Rama Gheerawo, Director, HHCD 
Melanie Flory, Founding Director, MindRheo
Christopher Patnoe, Head of Accessibility, Google
Irene Mbari-Kirika, Founder and Executive Director, inABLE
Ninela Ivanova, Innovation Fellow, HHCD 
Ivelina Gadzehva, Inclusive Design Researcher