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The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design

The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art undertakes design research and projects with industry that will contribute to improving people's lives. 

Download the Helen Hamlyn Design Centre Yearbook 2018 here
Watch Design.Different film about the work of the Centre

Our approach is inclusive and interdisciplinary. Our work is organised in three research areas:

  • Age & Diversity: design for a more inclusive society irrespective of age and diversity
  • Healthcare: creating safer and better health services
  • Social & Global: using people-centred design methods to help deliver research projects that have social and global impact

We are the largest and longest-running centre for design research at the Royal College of Art.

The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design 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.

We collaborate with business, academic, government and voluntary sector partners. We engage with communities including students, new graduates, and academics. We develop innovative and empathic research methods – and we exchange knowledge via education, events, publications and industrial collaboration.

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. The centre's Director is Rama Gheerawo.


  • The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design
    Royal College of Art
    4 Hester Road,
    London SW11 4AN

  • +44 (0)20 7223 7705
    [email protected]