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Meet the UAL alumni speaking at UAL Global x London Design Festival 2022

Colourful shapes against a blue background
  • Written byEleanor Harvey
  • Published date 12 September 2022
Colourful shapes against a blue background
Credit: Cara Jaime Lloyd

Four UAL graduates are speaking at the upcoming UAL Global x London Design Festival 2022 Ageing Societies: A Global Response symposium.

This follows a call out earlier this summer for recent UAL alumni who are currently engaged with projects in population ageing.

The 3-day online symposium, which starts on Tuesday 20 September, and explores how societies around the globe are responding and adapting to population ageing.

Meet the UAL alumni speakers

Two people walking in a park.
Credit: Travel Hands

Ishan Jha

As Founder and CEO of Travel Hands, Ishan Jha (MA Service Design, 2018, London College of Communication) has chosen to create solutions for Visually Impaired People (VIP) all around the world that will make their lives easier.

Travel Hands is a service designed to ease the outdoor commute of VIP (Visually Impaired People) by pairing them with sighted and verified volunteers to walk together to similar destinations ensuring a safe, convenient and inexpensive travel experience.

Launched as a call centre service in May 2021 in London, Travel Hands now has:

  • supported over 200 journeys
  • 150 VIPs signed up
  • 75 active volunteers
  • revenue of £800
  • Thomas Pocklington Trust is the first charity client on a 1-year contract.

Ishan has over 10 years’ work experience in multinational companies, government bodies, and start-ups, leveraging professional, creative and analytical skills in Service Design, Entrepreneurship and Engineering.

Ishan is speaking on Day 1 and addressing the theme Silver Economy

Group of people having their photo taken from above. They're looking up to the camera and smiling
Credit: XinHua Community Design Centre

Zijie Lin

Zijie Lin (MA Industrial Design, 2019, Central Saint Martins) is a project manager and curator for the XinHua Community Design Centre (CDC), a co-creator space which encourages residents to communicate, collaborate and participate in community governance. It’s also a learning space to grow collaborative social innovation.

CDC aims to build a democratic community life cycle and participatory community development hub.

The theory behind CDC is that by involving residents in discussions on public affairs relevant support and activities for the community can be developed and maintained. Initial ideas have included car-free days at the weekends and elderly-friendly events.

Zijie’s previous roles include Interaction Designer of Huawei. He is also the co-founder of Comupage, a web3.0 tool for community building. He designed and developed a program based on WeChat, which allows users to publish NFT badges for community engagement activities.

Zijie is speaking on Day 2 (Session 1) and addressing the theme Spaces for Wellbeing and Urban Regeneration

A group of people standing in a line on a stony beach, against a grey sky
Credit: Opes and Dreams

Alix Emery

Emerging artist and artworker Alix Emery (BA Fine Art, 2018, CSM) is a curator for Opes and Dreams, a community engagement project on the island of Portland, Dorset.

Opes and Dreams aims to re-envision and provoke possible futures through the notion of hoping, rather than wallowing in pessimism for too long.

Intergenerational groups, aged under 25 and over 70, collaborate in a series of workshops and the physical results will be added to an archive to inform future artworks and commissions.

The project offers a place for Portland’s ageing population, who are often isolated and homebound, to start bonding with other generations. Providing a chance to connect thinking and help alleviate feelings of loneliness. Engagement work within the project has concentrated on connecting different community groups in an equal approach, to share skills and tools to become more resilient for the future.

Alix specialises in socially engaged, performative, site specific and outdoor arts. She’s previously worked across roles in the art industry including events, curation, and publishing and has experience in environmental activism.

Alix is speaking on Day 2 (Session 2) and addressing the theme Spaces for Wellbeing and Urban Regeneration

Three London College of Communication students at a stall talking to a woman.
Credit: Resilient Ageing in AgeUK Lambeth

Jie Meng

Jie Meng (MA Service Design, 2021, LCC) is involved in the Resilient Ageing in AgeUK Lambeth project, to identify and create opportunities to support and enable resilient ageing in Lambeth.

The project, in collaboration with AgeUK Lambeth, looked into the future visions of ageing by researching the real experiences of elderly people.

The project found that, whilst loneliness and isolation can certainly be a problem amongst older people, it’s by no means the only story. Many older people continue to lead incredibly fulfilling, active lives. This led the project to question the preconceptions we carry about ageing and to think deeply about how it affects our communities, our families and ourselves.

Jie’s background covers product design, social design and service design in China, Austria, and the UK. She’s currently an experience designer for a global consulting company, as well as a special lecturer at 2 special schools and charities in China. Her research interests explore designing and creating a better world for the elderly and children with autism and trauma. Jie has 7 years’ experience in participatory design research approaches, particularly to engage people with special needs.

Jie is speaking on Day 3 and addressing the theme Ageing: Future Visions

About the symposium

What key challenges and opportunities are arising as a result of population ageing, and how is the globe responding?

This 3-day online symposium, from 20-22 September, explores how societies around the globe are responding and adapting to population ageing - a global phenomenon that has emerged as a result of social and economic development.

There will be a focus on 3 key themes:

  • Silver Economy
  • Urban Regeneration and Spaces for Wellbeing
  • Ageing Futures 

Through talks, roundtables and presentation, this symposium will present new models of international engagement, celebrate the creativity and activism of students, staff and graduates and speculate on creative futures.

Free and open to all.

For a full list of speakers and to book your place visit

This event is part of the London Design Festival.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact:

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