Tag Archives: Inclusive Design

Beta Futures and Designing for the Future Launch Intergenerational Project

Beta Futures has recently teamed up with The Future Perfect Company to work on an exciting intergenerational project. Beta Futures aims to keep the lives of the 50+ in our society vibrant and worthwhile, making use of their skills and expertise they have gained over a lifetime. However, with the ageing population at its highest in record, there seems to be an ever-present generational gap.

The Future Perfect Company, a company which champions innovative thinking around the ageing demographic, has been engaging with design students at the College of Richard Collyer and the University of Brighton for the past 6 years with their Designing for the Future competition, working with A level students to create valuable products for the older population and deconstructing social barriers and stereotypes that exist between generations.

Beta Futures run the 50+ Skills Exchange Club and saw this as a perfect opportunity to engage some of its members directly these students at the beginning of their design careers; bringing together both young minds and those with years of experience under their belt to start a much needed conversation between the baby-boomers and the millennials. Members from the 50+ Skills Exchange Club visited the College of Richard Collyer to help launch Designing for the Future 2016/17. The members worked with the students, participating in discussions about the pros and challenges of ageing and the stereotypes surrounding older people.IMG_9298

Philippa Aldrich, Founder of The Future Perfect Company and Designing for the Future said: “We are absolutely delighted to be joined this year by members of the 50+ Skills Exchange Club who as expert older users can inform the students’ Designing for the Future projects with real life experiences and expertise”.

Margaret Williamson, 50+ Skills Exchange Club member, said: “I found it very interesting to hear the views of the younger generation. It was an enjoyable session and it was great to see that the students were very engaged in our discussions”.

Beta Futures hopes that this newly formed alliance with The Future Perfect Company will provide a platform upon which ages from either end of the spectrum can find common ground to discuss the challenges which face us all. In doing so Beta Futures fulfils one of its fundamental principles of social equality. Furthermore, the club members can use their valuable experiences to provide the younger generation with ideas and information that can be used to enrich their projects and some new and perhaps otherwise unlikely friendships can be established.

Designing for the Future Launch & Intergenerational Project


Beta Futures is partnering up with The  Future Perfect Company to join Designing for the Futures’  panel of Judges . The organisations will also be working to develop an intergenerational project between the 50+ Skills Exchange  Club members and Designing for the Future students.

The competition has been running for 7 years and has just launched this year’s brief at the University of Brighton.  Designing for the Future encourages student designers to consider the challenges of ageing and this year will focus on dementia. There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today and Alzheimers Research UK estimate that by 2025 that number is expected to rise to over one million; by 2050 it is projected to exceed 2 million.

“Designing for the Future”, which is run by The Future Perfect Company in conjunction with the University of Brighton, encourages student designers to consider the many challenges of ageing so as to allow people to continue to live enjoyable, active and independent lives.

This year students from the University of Brighton’s College of Arts and Humanities will be invited to develop innovative new products and design concepts to benefit people affected by dementia and its care. A parallel project run with students studying product design will be investigating smart technology.  In each case, students are encouraged to produce design outcomes which are desirable, support real areas of need and inspire new approaches and attitudes.

The winners of the Competition will be announced in June and will receive a package of mentoring and support to help them to develop their products and ideas further and emulate the success of previous “Designing for the Future” alumni.

Says Philippa Aldrich from The Future Perfect Company: “We have been running “Designing for the Future” for seven years and it continues to go from strength to strength. We are particularly excited about this year’s focus on dementia and to be working with Active Minds who recently won a National Dementia Care Award for their dementia care products. We are delighted to have more judges and workshop facilitators than ever before from design, academia and industry.  We will be continuing to build our DFF network to support alumni as they graduate and begin their design careers.”

Judges and workshop facilitators this year will include Professor Anne Boddington, Dr Tom Ainsworth, Dr Carlos Parelta and Dr Eddy Elton, University of Brighton; Philippa Aldrich & Molly Aldrich-Wincer, The Future Perfect Company; Tom Serpell, Director of Eastbourne – Designed for all; Marie Harris, Beta Futures; architects Geraghty Taylor; Peter Dale, SEEFA; Maggie Winchcombe, Years Ahead; designers Jack Durling and Chloe Meineck; and Intellectual Property lawyer John Greager.