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Arthritis Research UK supports the Design Museum’s NEW OLD exhibition to encourage inclusive design

Published on 12 January 2017

Design Museum Exhibition

Arthritis Research UK is supporting and contributing to the NEW OLD exhibition, which opens today, as the charity calls for more empathetic design for people living with arthritis.

The NEW OLD exhibition runs until 19 February and asks the question: "How can designers meet the challenges of a rapidly ageing society?". The exhibition will include a display of "arthritis friendly" designed products, including magnetic buttons for clothing and vegetable peelers which you can use with one hand, which Arthritis Research UK has developed in partnership with organisations such as the Design Council. It will also feature futuristic designs, including driverless cards and robotic clothing.

Inclusive design has a huge role to play in helping people push back on the limits of arthritis

Liam O'Toole, CEO of Arthritis Research UK, says, "Arthritis causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints, which can make every day movements – like standing, sitting, lifting, gripping – difficult. This might not seem like a big deal, but these movements make up your everyday life. Arthritis in your hands can mean that gripping buttons or zips could be difficult, which is the difference between being able to dress independently or not. It can make everything from opening bottles to gripping cutlery to using a mobile phone all very difficult."

"Yet far too few designs of products or public spaces take into account the challenges that face people with arthritis, despite the fact that 10 million people live with arthritis related conditions in the UK today."

Liam continued: "Inclusive, empathetic design has a huge role to play in helping people push back the ways arthritis limits their lives. We are delighted to support the NEW OLD exhibition and hope it will help more designers to address the challenges that come up ageing and arthritis."

Arthritis Research UK's work is dedicated to uncovering new ideas to help people push back the ways arthritis limits their lives, and works in partnership with a number of design institutes, including the Helen Hamlyn Institute and the Design Council to push for more and better inclusive design.

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.