The Future of Ageing exhibition

The Future of Ageing: designs for an ageing population

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Curated by Design Age Institute in collaboration with the Design Museum, the exhibition The Future of Ageing explores how design is supporting the ageing population

Design solutions that allow everyone to age with greater agency, are particularly important at this time in history as we are moving towards a future in which the population of older adults will only continue to grow.

It is estimated that by 2040 more than a quarter of the UK’s population will be aged over 60.

The Design Museum is celebrating such solutions in an exhibition titled The Future of Ageing, which displays prototypes, sketches and research from projects that are being developed by the Design Age Institute and its partners.

Among them are the self-balancing, two-wheeled personal electric vehicle (PEV) ‘The Centaur’, and ‘Gita’ a hands-free cargo-carrying robot designed by Piaggio Fast Forward, part of the Piaggio group.

The PEV Centaur aims to make supported mobility more accessible and more flexible. It is designed to fit through standard-seized doors, and under tables and desks, and is aimed at both existing wheelchair-users and at those who have not considered using a mobility device before.

“I want to end the social isolation resulting from reduced mobility. And I believe good design can do that,” said Centaur Robotics design director Paul Campbell.

PEV Centaur on display at The Future of Ageing exhibition
Centaur PEV, on display at the Future of Ageing exhibition

The UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing said it is now exploring the cargo-carrying robot Gita’s potential impact on the lives of older adults with user groups. The robot can carry up to 18 kilograms at six miles per hour, mirroring a typical walking speed, and can differentiate between people and objects, both in daylight and at night.

Gita cargo-carrying robot on display at the Future of Ageing exhibition
Gita cargo-carrying robot on display at the Future of Ageing exhibition

“The Future of Ageing display allows us to demonstrate how design and innovation can transform our homes, workplaces, cities, and neighbourhoods to support us as we age,” said Design Age Institute director Colum Lowe.

“Getting older is not a singular story of decline, loneliness, and hardship, it also includes wisdom, maturity, confidence, abundance, and adventure. The venue, scheduling, content, and display design will open up this dialogue to new audiences who possibly haven’t considered the challenges and joys of later life.”

“As the world’s leading museum devoted to design, we’re delighted to collaborate with Design Age Institute to present six new research projects that are designed to improve our lives as we age,” said Design Museum director of audience Josephine Chanter.

“We will all face the challenges that come with ageing, so we hope all our visitors will leave inspired by how designers can enhance the quality of our lives regardless of our age.”

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