Raw emotion alert as lively +70 Londoners say growing old is rich in meaning and feels just fine!

Another summer holiday replay for you this week. This one’s a gem, a favourite. It’ll get you thinking about the road ahead if you’ve not quite managed to shift your thinking to feeling optimistic about getting to live as an older version of you.

As we know, far too many don’t get a chance to stick around and savour The Big Middle years – loosely, mid40s through mid70s.

Regulars will know I can’t bear all the angst and negativity around simply stayin’ alive to sample another day of whatever you make of it.

This episode from the summer of 2019 is a collaboration with The Liminal Space design consultancy and gerontology researchers at University College London.

Sarah Douglas, who you’ll hear in a tick, says the glorious ‘Unclaimed’ installation is ready to be rolled out in your town or city – just let her know where and when. Her details are in the show notes. Enjoy!


You will love the learning and sharing and raw emotion in this episode of The Big Middle. For this look at the big issues of longer midlife, I’ve teamed up with The Liminal space, a London design consultancy-cum-think tank. You may already know a space that’s liminal is one of transition and transformation, where what was becomes what next.

The studio teamed up with the Centre for Ageing Better and University College London to create Unclaimed, a quirky immersive installation about population ageing that had a great first run at The Barbican. Funds permitting, the exhibit will come out of storage for a tour of the UK and beyond.

The anonymous voices you’ll hear are the stars of Unclaimed, all 70 and older. But you don’t see what their owners look like or discover more about them than what they share. Director Sarah Douglas more than met the challenge of provoking deeper thinking about ageing without using images that might have reinforced ageist stereotypes. The Liminal Space team came up with a metaphor for all of life – a lost property office.


  • Interview of Sarah Douglas, Director of The Liminal Space, about Unclaimed
  • Montage of voices of +70s featured in audio vignettes in the interactive installation


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