Designer in Residence – 0.8FTE – (for RCA Graduates only)

Royal College of Art

Please note this opportunity is open to RCA graduates only.

Founded in 1837, the Royal College of Art is the world’s largest community of postgraduate art and design students. It is also the oldest art and design university in continuous operation and has been ranked as the world ‘s number 1 art & design university for a remarkable nine consecutive years, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 – the largest world-wide survey of academic and industry opinion. 

Working as a key member of the new Design Age Institute team, the Designer in Residence will be based within the UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing in Newcastle, located at The Catalyst in Newcastle ( The Designer will be an enthusiastic RCA Graduate with an interest in the ageing and longevity economy and professional design experience in public and/or private sector organisations. It is fundamental the Designer understands the project lifecycle to see products and services get to market to provide innovative and accessible solutions to our target market’s needs. 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 Designer to use their skills and expertise to help the Design Age Institute deliver one of its 16 Pathfinder Projects whilst embarking on its mission; to become the National Strategic Unit for Design and the Healthy 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.

This role is not a typical ‘Designer in Residence’, but a designer working for the Design Age Institute located within the UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing in Newcastle – one of the core partners of the Design Age Institute. Under the local guidance of the NICA’s directors, the designer will work closely with the team at NICA with oversight from the DAI Design Management team at the RCA.

The project is to undertake user research and produce design proposals for better, more inclusive interfaces for ‘kiosk’ digital interfaces which may include, but not be limited to, parking metres, car charging points, travel ticket machines, check-in machines, check-out machines, etc. The project will build upon existing insights pertained by both NICA and the DAI’s research team, addressing both the digital divide and interface design. The Designer is required to assess and develop a novel approach to digital interface design to promote and improve user experience, successful task completion, intuition, safety and reassurance etc. in the older population. The Designer is also required to consider methodologies of engagement of the target demographic to stimulate ideas and feedback. Further information can be found in the Design Brief annexed to this job description. 

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

Tell us if you need information in a different format. In your message to [email protected] include: 

  • the web address (URL) of the content 
  • your email address and name 
  • please be informed our system can generate a pdf application form that is for printing only so an applicant can hand-write a response.

View or Apply
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.

Job Location