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About the Design Age Institute

The Design Age Institute (DAI) was established in 2020 to support the UK Government’s Grand Challenge on an Ageing Society. Each of these new initiatives forms part of the Institute’s mission to amplify the voice of people as they age and create a thriving economy for aspirational products and services that support healthy ageing. These products and services will enable individuals and communities to maintain an active and joyful life at every age.

Funded in 2020 by Research England, The Design Age Institute partnership brings together skills and expertise from world-leading organisations in research, design, innovation and learning – 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

Our programme

Explore some of the ways we are delivering impact below and visit DesignAge.org for more information about our activities.

Pathfinder projects

Image courtesy of Centaur Robotics

DAI will work with industry partners to develop and bring towards market 16 pathfinder projects that deliver innovative products and services that enable people to enjoy five extra healthy, independent years of life and to remain at work for longer. The DAI provides and facilitates seed funding, design research, opportunity scoping and mentoring, as well as connecting projects with design experts. The pathfinder projects will address seven key priorities: mobility, health, social connection, working life, financial services, the home and ageism.

The DAI is currently working with Centaur Robotics on design of proximity avoidance technology. By making the Centaur Robotics PEV a more appealing product for both existing wheelchair users and those who haven't considered using a wheelchair before, there is significant opportunity to expand the mobility market.

To apply for funding, email us at [email protected].

Design Age Directory

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The Design Age Directory is a national directory for design and healthy ageing. The directory will serve as a showcase of UK talent, pointing to this area across service providers and product developers looking to tap into the enormous potential of the longevity economy. Through facilitating collaboration, the Design Age Directory aims to bring together leaders and innovators to support a thriving marketplace.

Anyone with an inclusive design background can express interest in joining the directory for free here.

Looking for design expertise? Our team of Design Managers have more than 70 years' combined experience to help you connect with design experts that meet your needs. Let us introduce you.

This Age Thing

This Age Thing

This Age Thing brings together a community of designers, businesses, service-providers, researchers, policy-makers, and ageing humans to celebrate ageing and challenge negative stereotypes. This Age Thing will celebrate and amplify positive stories about getting older, strive for justice and equality and co-create solutions that respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing society.

Over the coming weeks and months, The Age Thing will be sharing stories, broadcasts, events, news, discussions and debates. Join the community here.

Public programme

Aura Power Suit by Yves Béhar, Fuseproject and Superflex for the New Old Designing for Our Future Selves exhibition at the Design Museum (2017).jpg

Get involved in the debate about the future of ageing through our exciting programme of design workshops, talks, projects and exhibits hosted by the Design Museum.

Developed in collaboration with researchers, designers, innovators, industry partners and ageing communities, the programme will invite individuals and communities  to engage and interact with design products, services and research that has the potential to transform our experiences of ageing and help us all age happier and healthier.


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