British Council Architecture Design Fashion

Menu Show search

Open Call: Design for Ageing and Disability Research

Open Call: Design for Ageing and Disability Research DUNCAN FITZSIMONS, 7TH DESIGN + INVENTION


8 November 2016
by Ria Hawthorn

We are seeking proposals in response to a research brief to map best practice in the field of design for social impact, with a focus on design for disability and design for an ageing society in the UK.

The ambition is that the research will inform a larger 3 year cultural programme between the UK and East Asia and potentially other countries across the world.  The aim of the research is to map innovative UK practice which works to have a transformative social impact. We will use that knowledge to identify solutions to common challenges between the UK and the rest of the world.


Designers are experimenting with new modes of cross-disciplinary practice and collaboration, capitalising on advances in digital technology which allow them to take risks in research and prototyping. Models which use participatory and user centred design practice are becoming increasingly prevalent as an approach to problem-solving and are now being used as an important way to inform policy and bring about change.

We see this as an opportunity to investigate how we can design can tackle the challenges of an ageing population, create healthier cities, design more inclusive workplaces, environments and products together by sharing research and expertise, fuelling international collaboration.

Key areas for consideration, specifically in the context of design responding to disability and an aging population:

  • Inclusive design
  • Assistive technologies
  • User-centred research
  • Healthcare, both environments and product
  • Product design and material innovation
  • Housing and communities
  • Built environment

Simultaneous research is being commissioned to map the sector of innovation in social design for sustainability, health and digital tech which is therefore excluded from the scope of this research unless it specifically relates to aging and disability.

For more information and a full list of deliverables please download the brief.


Please submit a short (no more than two sides of A4) proposal of your proposed methodology, detailing a timeline, budget and your biography and relevant experience (and that of your team or external experts if relevant).

Proposals will be assessed on suitability of research methodology, background and experience of research team and value for money. The budget is £10,000 inc VAT.

Please submit your proposals in PDF format (max 5MB) to Ria Hawthorn by 17:00 on 21st November.

British Council Project


On the web


BC East Asia