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Helen Hamlyn Design Awards 2023

2023 Helen Hamlyn Design Awards

The 2023 Helen Hamlyn Design Awards are open to all RCA MA or MRes students who will graduate in June or August 2023.

The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design is the home of inclusive design. Under this umbrella, we have four separate research spaces: Age and Diversity, Healthcare, Inclusive Design for Social Impact and Inclusive Design for Business Impact.

We have a number of prizes available, each winner will receive £2000.

Please note that you may submit a group entry, but the prize money will be shared equally with each member of a group.

Judging criteria

  • Demonstrates inclusivity and meaningful engagement
  • Responds to an opportunity or challenge
  • Involves people in the design process
  • Describes potential benefits for people and beyond
  • Reflects on the project and how it can be improved

Application process and timelines

Online application form


Friday 16 June – application platform opens

Tuesday 20 June, 1pm GMT – Design Awards Webinar & Q+A (Link to recording here)

Friday 11 August, 11.59pm GMT – applications close

Friday 25 August – shortlisted applicants will be notified. Applicants will need to prepare a five-minute presentation and a two minute video about the project for an interview.

Thursday 7 September ª shortlisted applicant interviews

Friday 8 September – winners will be notified

Late September Date TBC – Award ceremony at the RCA's Battersea campus

Please send any related queries to [email protected]

More information is available on the RCA Intranet

Previous Award Sponsors

The Helen Hamlyn Trust

The Helen Hamlyn Trust is an independent grant-making Trust. The trust initiates medium and long-term major projects linked to the shared interests of Lady Hamlyn and her late husband Lord Hamlyn. Its core ethos is to develop innovative projects, which aim to effect lasting change, improve quality of life and create opportunity for the benefit of the public.

Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub)

The GDI Hub was born out of the legacy of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, held a stone’s throw from the Hub’s future home at UCL East. It brings together partners with world-leading specialisms in disability: UCL; Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; UAL: London College of Fashion; Loughborough University London; Leonard Cheshire; V&A; Sadler’s Wells; and The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design.  

Heart n Soul at The Hub

Heart n Soul at The Hub was a research project led by the creative arts organisation Heart n Soul. We were funded by Wellcome’s Hub Award to bring a group of very different people together to do research in new and exciting ways.


MindRheo works closely with clients to improve their business effectiveness and impact by designing creative solutions and processes informed by evidence-based neuroscience. Their programmes and products are aimed at constructing mindset, changing behaviour, and expanding delivery-related skills and capacities necessary to shape the future from the current environment of complex push and pull factors.

Northumbrian Water Ltd

Northumbrian Water Limited is a water company in the United Kingdom, providing mains water and sewerage services in the English counties of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham and parts of North Yorkshire, and also supplying water as Essex and Suffolk Water.  Their vision is to be the national leader in the provision of sustainable water and waste water services.

Snowdon Trust

The Snowdon Trust is a charity that assists physically and sensory disabled people to access vocational and academic courses in the UK by awarding grants. Since 1981 the Trust has given grants of over £3.5 million to help more than 2,500 people achieve qualifications and futures that might otherwise not have been possible.

Sure Deodorant

Sure Deodorant, also known as Rexona and Degree, is the world’s number 1 anti perspirant. We believe in the power of movement to transform lives. Everyone should be able to experience the incredible physical, mental and social benefits that movement provides, whoever you are, and however you move. Yet it is not a level playing field. We want to remove the barriers to movement, so that everyone, regardless of ability, can find the confidence to break their limits.

TATA Consultancy Services (TCS)

TATA Consultancy Services (TCS) is a global leader in IT services, consulting & business solutions with a large network of innovation & delivery centers. TCS combines tech expertise and business intelligence to catalyze change and deliver results.

Previous Award Winners

A digital render of a design for mid-rise social housing in Jakarta, Indonesia

Design for our Future Selves Awards

The Design for our Future Selves Awards scheme ran at the Royal College of Art from 2000 to 2008. It aimed to encourage inclusive design projects from graduating RCA students that were responsive to human behaviour and based on real insight into social need. The awards grew out of the DesignAge Competition, which ran from 1992 to 1999, addressing the needs and aspirations of older people.