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We focus on Inclusive Design process and projects, linking this to developments in Design Thinking and Creative Leadership. With a three-decade history, we are the longest-running centre for design research at the RCA. The Centre's Director is Rama Gheerawo.
This is the second volume of Design Different Magazine, the newly designed Helen Hamlyn Centre Yearbook, detailing the activities of the Centre for the academic year 2020 to 2021. The magazine features bitesize articles, reports and think-pieces from the Design Age Institute and the four research spaces; Age & Diversity, Healthcare, Inclusive Design for Business Impact and Inclusive Design for Social Impact, as well Inclusive Education, The Helen Hamlyn Awards, the PTRU and PhD projects.
This edition also marks the thirtieth anniversary of the centre with retrospective and forward facings article on the evolution of the Helen Hamlyn Centre and Inclusive Design.
Our approach is inclusive and interdisciplinary. Work is organised across four areas:
We use design to address challenging social issues, working with organisations to create impactful projects and teach people-centred process.
We exchange knowledge through publications, events and executive education with staff available for advice and workshop/keynote delivery.
We have an international reputation, working with government, business, community and the third sector on over 300 projects to date.
Participants with autism exploring sensory preferences, 2011 (Katie Gaudion)
Inclusive Design is design with a social attitude. The concept was framed by Professor Emeritus Roger Coleman at the RCA in 1994. It advocates design that ‘includes the widest number of people’ thereby addressing the numerous instances of exclusion by age, ability, gender, race, culture, geography and economics, to name a few.
The Centre has its origins in the DesignAge action research programme, which was founded in 1991. It became a fully-fledged research centre in 1999, widening its focus from design for ageing population to design to improve people's lives across a range of social needs. The Centre now houses the Design Age Institute, a £4.9 million initiative funded by Research England.
The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design is endowed by the Helen Hamlyn Trust, a charity dedicated to supporting innovative projects that will effect lasting change and improve quality of life.