Design Age Institute - Design Manager

Date advertised

9 November 2020

Closing date

29 November 2020


Research & Innovation


Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design

Required hours

Full Time


All three sites


£37,388 - £40,601 per annum

Fixed Term until 30 April 2023

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 Design Manager will be an enthusiastic design professional with experience in public and/or private sector organisations and contributing to design projects/teams throughout a project lifecycle. The postholder will be passionate about changing the world through design, improving and enhancing people’s lives for the better. 

This role will be a great opportunity for a Design Manager to use their skills and expertise to help the Design Age Institute embark on its mission; to become the National Centre of Excellence for Design and Ageing. 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 and providing support to the Senior Design Manager and the Design Age Institute Director, the postholder will be required to contribute to improving products and services. This will require contributing to bids and pitches created by the Senior Design Manager, creative input for inspirational design briefs, coordinating teams of designers, both internal and external, project management and evaluation. 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 have equivalent experience in a relevant subject area with evidence of strong intellectual and analytical skills. In addition, candidates must have: 

  • Experience working at a relevant level in a design/business management capacity.
  • Ability to talk fluently about design impact and effectiveness, regardless of discipline.
  • Experience of working across different design disciplines and a knowledge of broad design trends in a variety of industries. 
  • Knowledge of the design industry, design practitioners, and how to recruit the most appropriate designers for any given project. 
  • Experience working with research funded projects (or similar), including understanding award requirements and ensuring compliance with funding terms and conditions through commissioned design work. 
  • Proven interpersonal and communication skills with a high degree of tact and diplomacy, able to deal with internal and external contacts, as well as senior academic staff, appropriately. 

Interviews and assessments are scheduled for week commencing 7 December 2020.

Further details:  Information Pack  
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The Royal College of Art is an equal opportunities employer. The College particularly welcomes applications from all sections of the community and would particularly encourage members of minority groups to apply.  

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