The Design for our Future Selves Awards scheme is open to all second-year Royal College of Art students. The aim of the scheme is to encourage design projects that are responsive to peoples’ needs and are socially inclusive.
The awards grew out of the DesignAge Competition, which ran from 1992 to 1998, addressing the needs and aspirations of older people, and have evolved into an inclusive design education programme.
‘As a designer, architect, communicator, maker or researcher, identify a social group and engage with people in that group to develop a project that improves an aspect of their quality of life - such as their independence, mobility, health or work. Your project should demonstrate a combination of creative design thinking and user research.’
On 18 October 2007, more than 100 Royal College of Art students attended the awards launch. During the autumn term talks were given in departments to discuss the scheme and individual projects.
The deadline for entries was 5pm, Friday 11 January 2008. Entry forms can be obtained at the Helen Hamlyn Centre or email for a pdf of the form. All entry forms should be returned to the Helen Hamlyn Centre or sent by email to Dr Yanki Lee, programme leader.
Shortlisted entries was announced on 18 January 2008. User research development takes place from January to March and the deadline for the finalist selection is in early April.
Each shortlisted project will receive development funding. User research and inclusive design methodology tutor support is given throughout the process.
Judging will take place on 27 June 2008 by a panel of internationally renowned designers and consultants. The awards ceremony will be held on 1 July 2008, during the Royal College of Art Summer Show.
£10,000 prize money will be awarded. The awards are given for projects in three areas:
For more information on the Design for our Future Selves Awards, contact Dr Yanki Lee, Research Fellow, Helen Hamlyn Centre, who is co-ordinating the awards and will be giving user research tutorials.