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13th January 2017

‘NEW OLD: Designing for our Future Selves’ opens at the Design Museum

In late 2016 we saw the new Design Museum open its doors to visitors and exhibitors for a fresh chapter. In 2017 we have a million amazing reasons to be excited and optimistic about the creative world’s impact on society and culture. The future of design is bright and bold and brave, but it wouldn’t be any of that without its history. 
Back in 1986 (over three decades ago!) Jeremy Myerson, co-founder of the RCA Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, saw the world’s most profound design forces rethink everyday objects to meet the needs of older generations. New Design for Old, held at the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Boilerhouse space, was an exhibition that is now regarded as a pivotal moment in design thinking and opened our eyes to the reality that the industry was failing to act inclusively for those ageing in modern society.
Exchange by Special Projects photographed by Luke Hayes
Today, NEW OLD: Designing for our Future Selves is open to visitors of the Design Museum, and includes new projects by industry heavyweights Yves Béhar /fuseproject, Konstantin Grcic, Future Facility, IDEO and Priestman Goode. Included in this epic line-up is East London-based invention agency Special Projects. Each section of the exhibition — ageing, identity, home, community, working and mobility — features a bespoke design commission by one of these leading design teams and sees them revisit the brief curator Jeremy Myerson’s original saw in 1986, but with a broader scope.
Photography by Luke Hayes
Tasked with “creating new solutions for demographic change” and addressing the challenges of ageing, Special Projects founders Adrian and Clara have curated an installation that focuses on placing the individual at its heart. In a homey, natural and relaxing space an older person sits at a custom-built table, topped with a paper surface that participants can write upon. The success of the exhibit depends upon members of the public acting upon the invitation to step forward and ask the person a question, thus unveiling the valuable of experience and wisdom amassed with age.
Special Projects' Clara Gaggero Westaway in conversation with volunteer Ann, photographed by Luke Hayes
Zetteler's Jodi Moss in conversation with volunteer Ann, photographed by Luke Hayes
NEW OLD: Design for our Future Selves is open now and, if you haven’t already had chance (or just loved it the first time round), is the perfect excuse to head to beautiful Kensington and explore the stunning John Pawson-designed interiors of the new Design Museum. 
NEW OLD: Design for our Future Selves is open 12 January - 19 February 2017.
Plants provided by Worm London
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