The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design

The Centre is a global leader in Inclusive Design, Design Thinking and Creative Leadership, working with government, business, academia and the third sector.

About the centre

Our approach is inclusive and interdisciplinary. Work is organised across four areas:
Two Research Spaces: Age & Diversity and Healthcare

Two Impact Areas: Inclusive Design for Business Impact and Inclusive Design for Social Impact

  • 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.

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.

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