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About the Design Age Institute

Design Age Institute was established in 2020 to support the UK Government’s Grand Challenge on an Ageing Society, funded by Research England. As part of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, the Institute brings together skills and expertise from world-leading organisations in research, design, innovation and learning to tackle the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly ageing population. This included: the UK's National Innovation Centre for Ageing at Newcastle University, the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, the International Longevity Centre and Design Museum.

“For the Design Age Institute to help truly shape the future of ageing, creating a network and community of people, companies and organisations aligned with the same goals is vital. Initiatives such as The Design Age Directory, pathfinder projects, and This Age Thing will allow us to bring together different expertise and experiences to participate in important dialogues and develop some of the inclusively designed products and services that will help all of us to age happier and healthier.”

Colum Lowe Director, Design Age Institute


Explore some of the ways Design Age Institute is delivering impact below and visit DesignAge.org for more information about activities.

Pathfinder projects

Pathfinder Projects

Working with industry partners and businesses across the UK, Design Age Institute's Pathfinder Innovation Programme invests in design and design-led innovation to develop products, services and environments that will enable people to enjoy five extra healthy, independent years of life and to remain at work for longer.

Investment in innovative design for the underexploited healthy ageing market includes seed funding, access to cutting-edge research, business opportunity scoping and mentoring, and connecting project teams with design expertise.

Between 2021–24 the Institute supported 30 innovation projects for the healthy ageing market with £1.3million in investment from Research England and Innovate UK. Explore the projects here.

Design Age Directory

Design Age Directory

The Design Age Directory is a national directory for expertise in design for healthy ageing, featuring 45+ UK design companies specialising in design of products, services, and experiences.

The Directory was set up in 2021 to serve as a showcase of UK talent, enabling business and industry to tap into the enormous potential of the longevity economy through good design.

Explore the directory here to connect with design talent.

Engagement & Knowledge Exchange

Public Programme

The Institute delivers an exciting programme of workshops, talks, masterclasses and exhibits exploring cutting-edge research into how design is reimagining the future of ageing.

Explore some of the public events and activities delivered by the Institute here, including our community platform, This Age Thing.

Download the latest research report, Design Age Ideas.

Find all the latest opportunities to get involved in activities, events, and workshops on our news page.

More about the Design Age Institute

Contact us

Get in touch for more information about the Design Age Institute.

Email us at
[email protected]
Research group