Design.Wisdom Webinar


What is wisdom? How does it impact us as a society and as individuals? Should we design with wisdom in mind?

This free webinar hosted by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art (RCA) will investigate the intersection of wisdom, age, and design. Join Dr Dilip Jeste, a world leading expert on wisdom and author of the book Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good, and the RCA’s Design Age Institute (DAI) Director Colum Lowe for a conversation facilitated by DAI Knowledge Exchange Fellow Carly Dickson. 

“Wisdom not shared is wisdom not gained but lost”

 — Dilip Jeste

Date & Time: Thu, 17 Aug 2023 16:00 – 17:00 BST

Location: Online

Price: Free

The panel will explore if and how sharing people’s unique and diverse experiences of getting older can help us design a world that works better for everyone. Jeste’s research identified that there is an inverse relationship between wisdom and loneliness – the wiser we are, the less lonely we are. Using this as the starting point, the panel will consider what role design can play in supporting the exchange of wisdom between people of different ages and whether this could simultaneously contribute to combating loneliness, ageism, and generational divides.

Research by the Design Age Institute (DAI)’s partners at the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC) suggests that older people spend less money even though they’re saving more, regardless of income. The DAI and ILC recent joint report Money well spent? showed that this is often related to lack of access, but findings also suggest that in some cases we may simply be spending less due to preference and lack of desirable options. Maybe, as we age, we simply become wiser consumers and users. Is industry taking this into account? Perhaps a greater understanding of wisdom can help designers create more inclusive and desirable products, services and environments, which would stand to benefit not only the health and happiness of elderly individuals, but also society as a whole. 


Chair: Carly Dickson, Knowledge Exchange Fellow, Design Age Institute

Colum Lowe, Director, Design Age Institute: Colum is a senior design leader with a significant track record of developing inclusive products and services in the private, public and charitable sectors.

Dilip V. Jeste, MD. Author of Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good. Former Senior Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Senior Care, and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, University of California San Diego; Past President, American Psychiatric Association;Editor-in-Chief, International Psychogeriatrics.