0.3FTE Design Age Institute Community Lead

The role:

The Royal College of Art is an internationally renowned postgraduate art and design institution. Founded in 1837, it is also the world’s oldest art and design institution in continuous operation and the most research intensive. The RCA has been ranked by the highly regarded QS survey, as the number one art and design institution in the world for the six consecutive years in which the survey has been conducted between 2015 and 2020.  Among its core audiences – students, artists and designers – the RCA brand is legendary. The generations of world-leading designers and artists who have studied or taught at the RCA is a roster of international repute.

Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design (HHCD):

Design Age Institute:

The Royal College of Art has set up a new design institute dedicated to supporting the UK Government’s Grand Challenge on Ageing. The new centre, the Design Age Institute (DAI), will provide a range of strategic design services to business and industry as part of the Government’s industrial strategy, which aims to position the UK as a major exporter of new products and services for the global longevity economy. This initiative builds on nearly 30 years of research and practice in inclusive design undertaken by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design (HHCD). 

Working as a key member of the new Design Age Institute team, the Community Lead will be an experienced and passionate professional in building and managing communities of advocates for social good, in this instance focused on the healthy ageing economy. The communities will comprise individuals from the broadest collection of disciplines including academia, design, research, industry, care and health.

This role will be a great opportunity for the Community Lead to use their skills,  expertise and community influence to help the Design Age Institute embark on its mission; to become the national strategic design unit for the ageing economy. We want to reduce health and social care costs, welfare and extend working life for an ageing population through the power of design.

Working closely with the Design Age Institute Director, the postholder will be required to found, build and collate communities to contribute to changing the world through design to improve and enhance people’s lives. This will require using existing contacts and building new ones, setting direction, developing content and holding events with partners such as The Design Museum.

Overall, this is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in a design initiative of national importance, supporting a key theme of the UK’s Industrial Strategy.

The ideal candidate will be educated to degree level (or equivalent) in a relevant subject with evidence of strong intellectual and analytical skills. In addition, candidates must have: 

  • A high calibre of experience within the remit of building communities and understanding the benefit of design for social impact. 

  • A broad expertise in and knowledge of the ageing economy including emerging areas of interest and trends in ageing thought. 

  • An understanding of the ecology of the age arena e.g: academics, design, funding, government, local and national. 

  • An established network and a demonstrable reputation in age related field(s). 

  • Strong intellectual and problem-solving skills and ability to empathise with a diverse set of stakeholders and bring them to a successful conclusion. 

  • Highly articulate and tactful with demonstrable interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Ability to work with and persuade all levels of differentiated stakeholders including the public, internal and external contacts, senior academics and students, who may have competing agendas. 

  • Able to build new relationships by connecting deeply with others to extend brand reach, operating with tact and sensitivity to listen for opportunities to engage people in the bigger social and economic picture. 

  • An inspirational leader who uses their initiative and works as part of a team. 

Interviews and assessments are scheduled for late November/early December 2020.