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The Design Museum: Designing for Our Future Selves

“Designing for our Future Selves allows us to explore how design innovation could improve our lives as we grow older.”

A display showcase at the Design Museum in conjunction with Design Age Institute, is showing initiatives which aim to help us age more happily and healthily.

The 21st century is a “century of centurions” and people born in the developed world now have a 50% chance of living to 100 or beyond. Colum Lowe, Director, Design Age Institute comments: “Designing for our Future Selves allows us to explore how design innovation could improve our lives as we grow older. The exhibition opens this dialogue up to younger audiences who may not have questioned what it means to grow older in today’s society, the potential challenges that lie ahead and how we seek to solve them.”

The exhibition includes 10 cutting-edge initiatives currently being developed by the Institute and its partners to positively impact the ageing process, touching on work and home life, as well as health. Here are some highlights.

The Hamlyn Walker seeks to shift the negative stigma around walking frames, described by Lady Helen Hamlyn as ‘the most degrading object we can give anybody’. She hopes that the improved design will benefit those who may otherwise be inclined to “abandon, avoid or postpone use”.

Tides is a whole-body massager, for use as part of a self-care routine to tone pelvic floor muscles and stimulate blood flow. Non-penetrative and non-genital-focused it has been created to support menopausal women and offers incredible benefits including improved pleasure, better sleep and relaxation.

Eeva Rinne

As we age, we have less tolerance to cold temperatures. The Coaroon coat has been designed as a garment for the home to help sustain an even body temperature without compromising freedom of movement. The natural insulation fabric uses cashmere goat guard hair, a by-product of cashmere production, and is thermally regulating – warm in winter, cooling in the summer months.

Colin Wilson

Getting older can mean the urge to wee becomes more problematic An estimated 2.4 million people over the age of 65 experience incontinence. Gender-inclusive Luii – created by Binding Sciences Limited – acts as a hand-held urinal to help manage this discreetly and flexibly.

The Riser Chair is more than a stunning piece of furniture design. It has been crafted to assist users with sitting and standing, and is the brainchild of Ali Jafari of Designed Healthcare Limited. His work as a nurse has inspired his creations.

Designing for Our Future Selves is on until Sunday 26 March 2023 at The Design Museum, London. Entry is free.


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