Roger Coleman


Professor Emeritus of Inclusive Design, Royal College of Art

Roger Coleman is Professor Emeritus of the Royal College of Art. Roger co-founded and co-directed the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre from 1999 to 2006 and was Professor of Inclusive Design at the Royal College of Art until July 2008.

The Helen Hamlyn Centre builds on the internationally respected DesignAge programme, which Roger directed from its launch in 1991. In 1994 he established a European network specialising in design and ageing. In 1995 the RCA was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of his work. Roger was the recipient of a Ron Mace Universal Design Award in 2000, and a Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education in 2001. He became a Vice-President of the College of Occupational Therapists in 2005.

Trained at Edinburgh University and College of Art, Roger was, until 2002, a director of R&D companies, London Innovation and Lynch Intellectual Property Ltd. He was a jury member and later Inclusive Worlds Panel Chair for the RSA Student Design Awards. He was also a founder member and executive director of the performance arts group, Welfare State International, and closely involved in the establishment of the Greater London Council’s Technology Networks in the 1980s.

He worked closely with Professor John Clarkson, Director of the Engineering Design Centre at Cambridge University, as a Principal Investigator on the i~design series of EPSRC-funded research programmes which extend up to October 2010. The primary focus of this work was to develop inclusive design tools and guidance for industry.

In 2001 he established the Include conference series at the RCA, and authored a Design Council Policy Paper Living Longer: the new context for design, which makes recommendations to government and industry on design responses to population ageing. In 2003 he co-edited Inclusive Design: design for the whole population, a major textbook on the subject, and took a leading role in drafting BS7000-6 on inclusive design management, published in February 2005.

In 2003 Roger co-led a team from the RCA, Cambridge and Surrey in a study commissioned by the UK Department of Health into how the effective use of design could reduce medical accidents. This was was honoured with the President’s Medal of the Ergonomics Society 2005.

This study underpinned a series of practical design projects undertaken by the Helen Hamlyn Centre, resulting in design exemplars and practical guidance on information design in medical packaging (with the NPSA), performance requirements for emergency ambulances (with the NPSA and Ambulance Service Association) and an intelligent resuscitation trolley (with St Mary’s Hospital Paddington and Imperial College).

Read more at Royal College of Art’s Website

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Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.