Honorary Doctorate for centre founder Roger Coleman
Roger Coleman directed the DesignAge programme at the Royal College of Art from 1991 to 1998 before co-founding the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design with Jeremy Myerson.
His Honorary Doctorate from the University of Leuven in Belgium was awarded on 2 February 2012 for his contribution to the study of ageing, in partnership with his collaborator Professor John Clarkson of Cambridge Engineering Design Centre. The citation read as follows:
“Roger Coleman is Professor Emeritus in Inclusive Design at London's Royal College of Art. In 1994, he established a European network specialised in design and ageing. John Clarkson is Professor of Engineering Design and Director of the Cambridge Engineering Design Centre, and has extensive experience in the field of product development.
The two joined forces, including for the research project i~design, to focus on the development of an 'inclusive design' concept. Inclusive design is the umbrella term for the design of everyday products and services usable and accessible for people excluded by rapidly changing technology - particularly, in the case of Coleman and Clarkson, older people.
Products range from smart packaging to user-friendly mobile phones and fully accessible subway stations. Clarkson and Coleman developed a manual for industrial actors and the 'exclusion audit', an approach for capturing how many people are excluded from using a particular product or service.
The main reasons for applauding these two researchers is their social importance, their pioneering role and the bridges they built between various disciplines. They emphasise the value of age and disability for innovation, and send a strong message to young people: our ageing society, and the challenges associated with it, is not something that concerns policy makers and social services specialists alone.
Coleman put it this way: 'The ageing society is about our future selves, and it challenges many different disciplines, include design and engineering.' "
Pictures of the ceremony here