Author Archives for InDI

Sites, scents and a sense of self

Published by June 22, 2017 2:30 pm

Looking back at Spring School 2017

GSA Highlands & Islands recently hosted the annual Spring School at the Creative Campus.

The seasonal schools for postgraduate research students – Winter, Spring and Autumn – are an important part of our innovative modes of distributed delivery.

InDI’s Master of Research and PhD students make up the Creative Campus Cohort. Students with shared interests work together to evolve Design Innovation methodologies.

Spring School is designed as an opportunity to not only bring the cohort together and build the relationship of the group but to deliver the skills required to be a world class researcher.

This year’s programme included a range of workshops aimed at developing critical writing and research skills. Students engaged in activities based around crystallising their research processes, articulating their own position within their context of inquiry, and reflecting on the multisensory elements of the methods and approaches that they are developing and applying.

A workshop ‘Artefacts, Sites and Processes’, hosted by Dr Frances Robertson and Mairi Mackenzie, involved object-orientated exercises, including a ‘smell walk’, a sense-driven journey around the Altyre Campus. Each student was also asked to communicate our practices and research contexts through the analysis of everyday objects. 

pots spring school

Objects chosen by the Spring School students to represent their practice. Image credit: Rhona McNicol

Stationary spring school

Objects chosen by the Spring School students to represent their practice. Image credit: Zoe Prosser

Here PhD student Anna Spencer reflects on her experience of the event.

There is a different quality to the cohort schools – being surrounded by a local community to that of being surrounded by your academic peers. This is the fifth school I have attended and I think I am now learning how to navigate them and make the most of the experience.

“Spring School 2017 had a clear developmental arc with specific moments of challenge and input along the way which demonstrated a depth of consideration to the cohorts’ current positions. In particular, the pairing of M.Res. students with PhD students in line with areas of common interest was really rewarding and offers a good precedent for how overlapping cohorts can interact over time with students clustering around shared themes.

“The emphasis of the week was to develop confidence in our sense of self – our practice, our position in the research and how we present this through our writing. Through contemplating site and scent we creatively explored the world views and assumptions we bring to our research. In order to better understand what is right in front of you, it must be viewed indirectly. It can be really liberating to look at your current research and practice through an entirely new lens.”

To read more about Anna’s work and the rest of the PhD students, see our PhD student page. More information about the M.Res. students is available here.

And you can also read about our programme of Seasonal Schools.

Lorianna Smell walk

Lorianna Paradise explores Altyre Estate during the Artefacts, Sites and Processes workshop. Image credit: Rhona McNicol

 


Water and Textile Interdependency in the Circular Economy

Published by June 14, 2017 11:30 am

Forres workshop to explore sustainability in the textile industry

Our researchers are hosting a special workshop in Moray on Friday, looking at the development of the circular economy.

The event – Water and Textile Interdependency in the Circular Economy – brings together a range of experts for a day of panels and workshops. There are still places available – you can register here.

The workshop, at Horizon Scotland in Forres, is organised by The Glasgow School of Art in partnership with Aurora Sustainability, of Forres, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

In a circular economy, resources are used and re-used for as long as possible.

Dr Isabella Guerrini de Claire, of Aurora Sustainability, said: “In the sessions we will discuss what it will take to remove barriers, create incentives and unlock global sustainable growth within the textile and materials industry, while reducing or purifying water consumption.

“The businesses that will prosper, in a future of scarce resources, are the ones who master to distinguish between competitive, collaborative and systems innovation. This is key to drive growth, share risk, increase resource efficiency and become more sustainable.”

Scissors and materials

Surplus textile. Image credit: Louise Mather

You can read more of Dr Guerrini de Clare’s work here. She will also chair one of the panels at the Friday event, as will InDI researcher Dr Paul Smith.

Among the guest speakers at the Friday event are Diane Duncan, Head of Low Carbon at HIE; Fleur Ruckley, Project Director of Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group; and Lindsay Green, of Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

The morning session includes a series of panels, while in the afternoon there will be a practical workshop involving a circular economy business toolkit for the textile industry – created by Aurora and GSA.

It builds on the Re-Mantle and Make project, which challenged designers to make a circular collar using surplus material donated by local companies. You can read more about Re-Mantle on our blogs or on the project website.

For more information on Friday’s event, visit www.eventbrite.co.uk

 


In pictures: Design Innovation students unveil their projects in Moray

Published by June 9, 2017 2:30 pm

Return of the Winter School projects

The spirit of Winter School returned to the GSA’s Highlands and Islands Creative Campus this week with. Glasgow-based MDES Design Innovation students travelled north to join their Forres counterparts for a special session to present the outcomes of their group projects.

The projects started at Winter School in January when teams of students worked with community groups and businesses from the Moray area to explore the theme of Innovation from Tradition. You can read more about Winter School and what happened in our blogs from the event, or watch the film here.

The local organisations were invited back to the campus this week to see the outcomes, give their feedback and discuss how the findings could be used in the future. The event on Tuesday involved presentations from 12 groups, covering subjects including arts, music, food and drink and the third sector.

There was also an exhibition of the project summaries, which were exhibited in the GSA’s Reid Building last month.

Presentation audience

The audience at the MDES student presentations at GSA Highlands and Islands. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Forres-based MDES group with community organisations

The Forres-based MDES students with Jackie Mclaren, of tsiMORAY (third from left) and Debbie Heron, of FACT (third from right). Image credit: Paul Campbell

Projects proposed included immersive visitor experiences at Knockando Woolmill; a service to match volunteers with suitable experiences, a whisky subscription box and a festival to encourage more civic participation.

The community and business organisations were impressed to hear the progress that the students had made.

Knockando Woolmill student group

Julie Schack Petersen and Junyuan Chen with Emma Nicolson, Marketing and Merchandising Manager at Knockando Woolmill (centre). Image credit: Paul Campbell

Students presenting Johnstons of Elgin project

Puja Parekh and Andrea Farias present their project, Re-imagining Johnstons of Elgin. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Now the students are in the final stage of their programmes: their final solo project. Their work will continue throughout the summer, culminating in their projects being shown at Graduate Degree Show on 1-8 September.

To find out more about studying Design Innovation, visit our Teaching pages.

Student project summaries on display

Project summaries on display at GSA Highlands and Islands. Image credit: Paul Campbell


Design Innovation students return to Moray to present their projects

Published by June 2, 2017 12:51 pm

Businesses and community organisations looking forward to hearing progress after Winter School

The Glasgow School of Art’s Design Innovation Masters students will present their end of semester projects at the GSA’s new Highlands and Islands Creative Campus later this month. The projects address a range of issues relating to Moray businesses and communities.

People from Moray-based organisations will attend the presentations on Tuesday 6th June to give feedback and explore how students’ ideas can be taken forward in the future.

The group of 22 students includes the first cohort to have attended the GSA’s Altyre campus since it opened last year.

Knockando Woolmill project

Student presentation material from Winter School 2017. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Students have addressed the theme of “Innovation from Tradition”, and have worked with a number of businesses and community groups including Knockando Woolmill, Johnstons of Elgin, and tsiMORAY. Students worked in teams to address various areas such as Craft and Making, Spirituality and Belief, Music and the Arts, and Community and the Economy.

They addressed research questions including:

– How can Johnstons of Elgin leverage its history, traditions and assets to generate new value?

– How can volunteering act as a two-way bridge between Syrian New Scots and the Forres community?

The Innovation from Tradition theme was launched during Winter School 2017: the GSA’s pioneering annual teaching event held at the campus.

Student presentations Winter School 2017

Material from the students’ presentation at Winter School 2017. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Students on Design Innovation Masters programmes worked alongside counterparts from Köln International School of Design (KISD) in Germany, and the Royal Academy of Art & Design (KADK) in Denmark, to frame research questions related to the local Moray community.

Through their studio work, students went on to investigate the role of ‘social design’ to engage with people, and the role of designers as innovators in the service of wider society.

Emma Nicolson, Marketing and Merchandising Manager at Knockando Woolmill, said: “It has been great to continue working with the international students and have them trial ideas at the Woolmill. It was interesting to see the interaction of the public with the prototypes they installed, and I am looking forward to seeing their findings in the final presentations.

“It will be exciting to see the full journey the project has taken from the initial research we saw back in January.”

Jackie Maclaren, Operations Manager at tsiMORAY, added: “Having met and worked with students from The Glasgow School of Art over the last few months, staff at tsiMORAY look forward with great interest to the outcomes of their projects. It has been truly refreshing and inspiring to have been involved with their creativity and innovation. We look forward to continued partnership working.”

Amy O’Meara, who is on the Design Innovation and Service Design programme, said: “Winter School was an immersive learning experience, which saw us engaging with various heritage organisations across the Moray region. The relationships we forged with these businesses, such as Knockando Woolmill and Johnstons of Elgin, either led directly to exciting design collaborations or informed how our project took shape throughout the term.

“Innovation from Tradition was the overarching theme that acted as a catalyst to propel our projects forward and also motivate us to extend the limits of our practice. Exploring how traditions could be innovated in the contexts of our projects was challenging but also hugely rewarding, giving meaning to our roles as Design Innovation Masters students.”

GSA Highlands and Islands

GSA Highlands and Islands. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Design Innovation lecturer Dr Brian Dixon commented: “Many of our students have explored aspects of the Scotland’s rich social and cultural heritage that are often taken for granted or overlooked. For example, the production of wool and cashmere, or community volunteering. As the projects have developed, we’ve found that, in many cases, partner organisations have really benefitted from the opportunity to reflect, take stock and recognise the potential of what’s already there.”

And to find out just what happened at Winter School please watch our film. There’s also more information about the two-week event in our collection of blogs.

You can find more information on our pages about the Design Innovation Masters programmes and GSA’s new Highlands and Islands Creative Campus.

 


Gearing up for XpoNorth

Published by June 1, 2017 2:30 pm

Our adventures at Scotland’s creative industries festival

Everyone at InDI is getting excited about Scotland’s ‘leading creative industries festival’, XpoNorth held in Inverness next week.

The Glasgow School of Art has a packed schedule of panels this year – covering heritage, design, branding and virtual reality.

It’s a great event for the north and everyone had a fantastic time last year when GSA took centre stage at the opening ceremony in the Ironworks, Inverness.

As we prepare for this year’s festival, we thought we’d cast our minds back to the highlights of last year.

Around 400 people packed into the city venue for a night of networking, fashion and digital displays.

The crowd at the XpoNorth 2016 opening party in the Ironworks. Image credit: Hannah Laycock

The crowd at the XpoNorth 2016 opening party in the Ironworks. Image credit: Hannah Laycock

The two-day festival was launched in spectacular style with a series of catwalks featuring designs by GSA fashion students. Models walked through the crowds wearing creations from the students’ white shirt and black silhouette project. The 2nd year students were delighted with the opportunity to display their work in front of so many people.

Meanwhile, heritage work by the GSA’s Digital Design Studio (DDS) (now the School of Simulation and Visualisation) was the backdrop to the evening’s entertainment. A huge screen projected the studio’s work on historical buildings and objects, while the audience was able to explore the technology used at the DDS exhibition.

One model walking through the crowds at the opening party. Image credit: Tim Winterburn

One model walking through the crowds at the opening party. Image credit: Tim Winterburn

Members of the audience also enjoyed displays about the work of the Institute of Design Innovation (InDI) under the Creative Futures Partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, as well as the Creative Campus and the GSA’s postgraduate teaching programmes.

Don McIntyre was our keynote speaker earlier in the day, discussing the emerging discipline of Design Innovation. He’s back this year, chairing a panel with Matteo Alessi, of Alessi, and Lorna Macaulay of the Harris Tweed Authority.

Our panels on design and storytelling prompted lively discussion among the audience, while Dr Paul Smith and Fergus Fullarton Pegg’s work on digital fabrication, including 3D printing and scanning, attracted lots of interest in the technology playground.

You can register for Xpo North on the website.

And you can also find out more about the Glasgow School of Art in the Highlands and Islands here.

XPONorth panel

Don McIntyre on an XPONorth panel in 2016. Image credit: Paul Campbell

 


Bridging the volunteer gap

Published by May 19, 2017 10:30 am

An update on the Forres students’ project

Our pioneering MDES Design Innovation students in Forres have reached another milestone in their studies – completion and presentation of their Stage 2 project.

This is the project that has its roots in Winter School, when Masters students from GSA worked with local businesses and community organisations.

The students worked to a research question of: “How can volunteering act as a two-way bridge between Syrian New Scots and the Forres community?”. They then engaged in an immersive research and design development phase with local groups. During this time the focus shifted from refugees themselves to volunteering practices in Moray.

You can read about the earlier stages of the project in our previous blog, Life at the Creative Campus: the teaching studio.

During their research activity, the students identified that the number of organisations in Scotland that rely on volunteers has rapidly increased and it is not uncommon for job seekers to find themselves being “voluntold”, i.e. forced to take a volunteering placement in order to receive their benefit package.

MDES volunteering

The Forres MDES students do some volunteering.

The students identified that this is in opposition to the very ethos of volunteering and that having not freely elected to volunteer, voluntolds are difficult to place. This creates challenges across recruitment, engagement and retention.

Addressing the challenge

To address this challenge, the students proposed a series of design concepts before finally refining their idea. Here one of the students, Finn describes their proposal in more detail:

“Bridge was designed to meet the challenges of ‘voluntelling’ as experienced by Scotland’s third sector. 

“Bridge is a service for connecting volunteers and volunteer organisations, through mini-experiences: short taster sessions offered by an organisation. It uses digital moodboards, an emotive collage of volunteer’s skills and interests or of an organisation’s experiences and values, to create an audial and visual profile. This profile can then be used to match or recommend mini-experiences based upon personal preferences, creating the opportunity for people to make an informed choice about which organisations they would like to work with and bringing freedom back to Scotland’s voluntary sector. 

“Volunteers placed within a context that they identify with and enjoy are more likely to make a valuable and sustainable contribution. Similarly, reducing the challenge of recruitment and retention of suitable volunteers could potentially have been both financial and time-saving impacts for organisations. 

“Bridge has an easy-to-use interface and can be downloaded as an app or used at pop-up events. As volunteers build up their portfolio of ‘mini-experiences’, this contributes to their work experience profile and can support them in future job-seeking.”

Communicating a concept is an important design skill and the students worked hard to refine their project into a clear and articulate message that was presented to the wider teaching and academic cohort at GSA’s Creative Campus.

Next steps

It’s now hoped that the idea could be disseminated by Scotland’s Third Sector Interface Network.

In addition, the students have recently submitted their project process journals (PPJs), a reflective record of their individual personal journal through the project for final assessment. The PPJs document the highs and lows of design activity, including any thoughts, ideas and decisions made throughout the 12-week project and are an important part of the learning experience.

The students are now working towards further dissemination of Bridge: first, a group exhibition to be held in Glasgow on May 22 with their MDES counterparts in Glasgow, and a final presentation on June 6 that will welcome the businesses and community organisations back to see the final concepts that have been developed.

To find out more about our MDES programmes, visit our Teaching pages on our website.

MDES student presentation

The MDES students giving their presentation at GSA Highlands and Islands. Image credit: Jane Candlish


Leapfrog at the Creative Campus

Published by May 12, 2017 2:45 pm

Academic writing and tool sharing

InDI was delighted to welcome the Leapfrog project to the Creative Campus at Forres for their Spring event last month.

Leapfrog is a collaboration between ImaginationLancaster at Lancaster University, and The Institute of Design Innovation at The Glasgow School of Art. It is a £1.2 million, three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project, which aims to transform public sector consultation through design.

The project sees close creative collaboration with Highlands and Islands community partners to design and evaluate new approaches for better engagement.

The visit allowed the Leapfrog team to meet members of the Experience Labs and share stories of design research.

Leapfrog research activity

A research activity during the Leapfrog event at GSA Highlands and Islands.

The Experience Labs were developed by the Institute of Design Innovation at The Glasgow School of Art. They are a central element in the Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI), a Scottish Innovation Centre funded by the Scottish Funding Council, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. They offer a safe and creative environment where researchers, businesses, civic partners and service users can collaborate on innovative solutions to the health and care challenges facing Scottish society.

The collaborative event highlighted some of the contrasts between the two, particularly in how they deal with the issue of tools.

Experience Labs researchers create bespoke tools to use in their workshops. These are designed to encourage interaction and help participants share their stories and experiences of a certain subject. Insights provided by the tools are then analysed by design researchers as they progress the project through the design innovation process.

Leapfrog tool sharing

Leapfrog’s Hayley Alter presenting during a tool sharing session with the Experience Labs.

On the other hand, Leapfrog sets out to work with people to design a tool, which is the outcome of the project. The designed tool is then shared publicly so that other communities can adapt it for their own use.

The Leapfrog team also used the trip north to plan their academic output for the next year, including a publishing timetable and draft abstracts.

Members of both teams found the event useful. You can read more in two blogs on the Leapfrog website:

Leapfrog Spring Internal event: the writing activity;
Leapfrog Spring Internal Event: Designing new tools with the Digital Health Institute.

Writing activity

The writing activity.


InDI at XpoNorth

Published by May 10, 2017 10:40 am

Our third year at Scotland’s leading creative industries festival

The team at InDI is really looking forward to being part of the line-up for XpoNorth in Inverness next month. Dubbed ‘Scotland’s leading creative industries festival’, this international showcase in the Highlands attracts people from all over the world.

This is the third year that the GSA has contributed to the festival. InDI has been in partnership for many years with funders of XpoNorth, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

This year, InDI’s Dr Gordon Hush and Don McIntyre host panels, which will include figures from across the world of design such as Matteo Alessi, of Italian design house, Alessi.

Matteo Alessi

Matteo Alessi

The GSA’s School of Simulation and Visualisation also has a significant presence with the SimVis team taking part on panels addressing themes around the future of heritage centres and the best use of Virtual Reality. The SimVis team will also present an array of games, demos and 360 films in a Virtual Reality showcase.

Our press release about the event will tell you more about what’s in store. And you can find out more about XpoNorth here.

We hope to see you there!

*Featured image shows Don McIntyre (left) on an XPONorth panel in 2016. Image credit: Paul Campbell.

Dr Gordon Hush portrait

Dr Gordon Hush will host a panel at XPONorth. Image credit: Paul Campbell


The transformation of the Creative Campus: in pictures

Published by April 27, 2017 10:30 am

GSA Highlands and Islands: before and after

Earlier this week (28/06/17) we heard the great news that Blairs Steading, which is home to the GSA’s Highlands and Islands Creative Campus is up for a top national award.

The campus located at Blairs Steading on the Altyre Estate near Forres provides high-quality research and teaching space and an exciting opportunity for students and staff to research and study in spectacular surroundings.

A 21st century design school in 19th century architecture
The Steading comprises a group of Grade ‘A’ listed Italianate buildings, built in the 1830s.

The buildings have been converted into a GSA campus, providing inspiring studio, workshop and exhibition space as well as state of the art areas for research, teaching, prototyping and flexible lab work.

Scottish awards for quality in planning
The Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning “are one of the Government’s most prestigious awards. They celebrate achievements in planning, from the detail of processing to the bigger picture of creating places which will become the legacy of our professionalism”.

Before and After
Our blog piece from earlier in the year shares some pictures of the restoration in progress:

Spring has finally arrived at the GSA’s Creative Campus in the Highlands and Islands. Beautiful daffodils are sprouting and other plants are pushing their way through the ground.

It’s also a real delight to see new leaves and buds appear on the quince trees in the courtyard – especially after watching their stick-like forms clinging on through winter.

daffodils at GSA Highlands and Islands

Daffodils springing up at GSA Highlands and Islands. Image credit: Jane Candlish

But that’s not the only transformation that’s taken place here.

The campus buildings underwent a major renovation to provide high-quality research and teaching space. Here we take a ‘before and after’ look of the GSA’s stunning new campus.

Tower GSA Highlands and Islands scaffold

The tower at GSA Highlands and Islands, rising above the scaffolding. Image credit: Fergus Fullarton Pegg

Converted Italian-style villa with tree branches

And the view when it was finished. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Since InDI officially moved to Altyre in November 2016, the Creative Campus has also changed on the inside.

Students and researchers have made the studio space their own. It’s great to see all the activity going on there now – research, meetings and teaching. True to GSA’s studio approach, our studio is at the heart of the campus. The studio walls are filling up with examples of work, sketches and plans, as well as the odd Post-it note.

The campus provided a spectacular setting for Winter School in January. Our students and visitors found it an inspirational place for the two–week event.

Studio GSA Highlands and Islands

The studio being stripped back. Image credit: Fergus Fullarton Pegg

Teaching studio at GSA Highlands and Islands

The finished studio is now occupied by researchers and students. Image credit: Paul Campbell

And there’s still a nod to the original use of the buildings in their new names.

The studio is The Dairy; the exhibition space is The Granary, and our operations base is The Cottages.

This is the just the start of the journey here at GSA Highlands and Islands: being specialists in Design Innovation means that we’re always looking to try new ways of working.

There’s lots of ongoing discussions about the future so watch this space!

Find out more about the Creative Campus here.

Granary GSA Highlands and Island renovation

The Granary as it was during renovation. Image credit: Fergus Fullarton Pegg

The Granary, Winter School 2017

The Granary was filled with student activity during Winter School 2017. Image credit: Paul Campbell


Designing the future from Rome

Published by April 20, 2017 3:20 pm

Highlights from the EAD Design for Next Conference

Seven of InDI’s design researchers have recently returned from the European Academy of Design’s Design for Next conference in Rome. Our tenacious team presented nine papers at the event. Here, Dr George Jaramillo shares some of the highlights:

“The ochre buildings of the Corso. The throngs of tourists at the Spanish Steps. The immensity of the Campidoglio. When a city contains beautiful architecture, art, food and people, it should be difficult to keep yourself within an auditorium to take part in a conference. Yet, last week gave us an exciting and intellectually stimulating experience at the EAD12 Design for Next conference.

Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps. Image credit: George Jaramillo

“From hearing talks on design democracy to the paradox of design thinking to developing the concepts of space architecture, the conference has opened up some refreshing discussion within the design realm. I particularly enjoyed hearing a talk by Craig Bremner on the Museum of the Future and how we can relate to the artefacts that are made and what it means to make a collective archive that may or may not be on display.

“For me, the key part of attending conferences is to share your work with others who may have differing opinions, as well as create new connections face to face. In this sense the conference provided a great forum for this exchange of information, especially in making new connections, for example, I’ll be picking up conversations with researchers from Sheffield Hallam about the use of digitally augmented heritage and archived collections.

Five of the InDI team in Rome

Our team taking in the sunshine after Day 1. From left, Cara Broadley, Michael Pierre Johnson, Mirian Calvo, Paul Smith, George Jaramillo. Image credit: Sneha Raman

“In regards to our own research, the concept of enlightened evaluation within evaluation complexity and the work of negative capability helps to further our own work.

“Overall, this conference encounter was a great way to share our research meet new people who are doing incredibly fascinating things and to create meaningful international links across our innovation world. I look forward to the next event in two years time in Dundee.”

You can find out more about the papers our researchers presented here.

To find out more about the InDI team, please check out our staff profiles.

Inside view of EAD12

EAD12 Design for Next: a well attended event. Image credit: Sneha Raman

 


Why you should visit this Moray social enterprise

Published by April 13, 2017 2:30 pm

Join a new collaboration with the community on Saturday

In our recent blog about the Teaching Studio at the Creative Campus in the Highlands and Islands, we discussed how our students are beginning to form strong ties with the local community.

Collaboration with local businesses and organisations is a central aspect of the MDes Design Innovation programmes, and provides invaluable experience for the students’ future careers.

Now, an event on Saturday (April 15) shows how GSA’s design students and local citizens can work together. Moray Waste Busters is hosting a pop-up café at their premises near Forres from 10am-3pm.

Here Finn Fullarton-Pegg, studying Design Innovation and Transformation Design at the Creative Campus, tells the InDI blog more about the project.

Finn Fullarton-Pegg

“Moray Waste Busters (MWB) is a fascinating organisation to work with. Their business model takes used household and garden items, ensure their quality before resale, and pours the proceeds back into the local community: turning trash into social capital.

“MWB has plans to diversify their re-use/recycle operation to cover more than furniture and electrical equipment, as well as continuing to provide a fun day out for their customers.

“As part of a wider collaboration between InDI’s Fergus Fullarton Pegg and Waste Busters, I’ve spent the past two months working with some of the staff. Together we’ve been exploring their visions for Waste Busters’ future, and the role that design can play in bringing those visions to life.

“One common suggestion among staff has been to open a café in partnership with another local social enterprise, Ray’s Opportunities. This organisation has a similar ethos to MWB, providing disadvantaged adults with the opportunity to learn a trade in a community café.

“The possibility of opening a café at MWB raises important questions, including: ‘Will this add to, or detract from, the familiar Waste Busters experience?’ At this point, design practice urges us to be adventurous, to prototype early and discover the successes and failures of ideas quickly.

“So on Easter Saturday (April 15), Moray Waste Busters is teaming up with Ray’s Opportunities to host a pop-up café for the public.

“The two social enterprises are working together to combine the adventure of bargain hunting with Ray’s delicious coffee and cake.

“As well as promising to be a fun day out for everyone who comes down, the café is also intended as a platform for engaging the public in Waste Busters’ future plans.

“And it’s an opportunity for the staff at Waste Busters to experiment with what kind of cafe they would like to see on their site in the future. All the furnishings and adornments will be taken from the venture’s extensive store of secondhand items. None of us know what the café will end up looking like but I think we can expect something eclectic, kitsch and vintage.”

The event takes place at Moray Waste Busters on Saturday from 10am-3pm.

To find out more about our MDES programmes and how you can apply to study here from September, click here.

Moray Waste Busters pop-up cafe poster


Spreading the word about our latest design research

Published by April 11, 2017 3:52 pm

Where to hear InDI staff during Rome design conference

InDI is buzzing with excitement just now as our researchers have had papers accepted at an esteemed design conference, and will be presenting them later this week.

We are really proud of our design researchers and the valuable work they do in the field of Design Innovation. The European Academy of Design conference, Design for Next, offers an ideal platform to share research carried out by our team, covering a selection of our projects including:

The Creative Futures Partnership: a partnership between GSA and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which brings together GSA’s distinctive strengths in creativity and innovation with HIE’s economic and community development expertise.

– The Experience Labs: a core element of the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI), this project provides a safe and creative environment where researchers, businesses, civic partners and service users can collaborate on innovative solutions to the health and care challenges facing our society.

The teams papers include reflections on how bespoke design tools were used in workshops with people in the Northern Isles, a critique of alternative and creative evaluation techniques and the preliminary findings from an Experience Labs project with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.

Design for Next takes place in Rome from April 12-14 and will be attended by hundreds of international delegates. The EAD was formed in 1994 and promotes the publication and dissemination of research through conferences, the publication of proceedings, newsletters and journals. It seeks to improve European-wide research collaboration and dissemination of design research.

There are nine different tracks at the Rome conference: aesthetics, economy, education, environment, health, industry, society, technology and thinking. The fact that our researchers are featured across seven of these subjects illustrates the breadth of our work. In total, seven researchers are flying to Rome to present nine papers, but as you can see below many more of the InDI team have been involved in the writing process.

As well as providing a platform for sharing InDI research with a wider audience, events like these are an opportunity to make new contacts, which potentially lead to new ideas and new collaborations.

The event takes place at the Faculty of Architecture of Sapienza University of Rome, in Valle Giulia next to Villa Borghese, one of Rome’s biggest public parks.

EAD Design for Next, Rome

You can hear our researchers at:

Day 1 (Wednesday April 12)
Environment
Room 12: 2.35pm –3.35pm*
Design for social sustainability. A reflection on the role of the physical realm in facilitating community co-design – Mirian Calvo* and Annalinda de Rosa

(all local times; presenter in bold)

Day 2 (Thursday April 13)
Economy
Room 1: 2.15pm – 3.35pm
Materiality Matters: exploring the use of design tools in innovation workshops within the craft and creative sector in the Northern Isles – Katherine Champion, Cara Broadley and Lynn-Sayers McHattie

Industry
Room 2: 9.30am-10.30am
Digital Makers Networks: globally connected local manufacturing – Paul Smith

Thinking
Room 5: 10.40am- 11.40am
Design-led approach to co-production of values for collective decision-making – Sneha Raman, Tara French and Angela Tulloch.

Day 3 (Friday April 14)
Thinking
Room 5: 10.40am-11.40am
CO/DEsign: conversational tools for building a shared dialogue around analysis within co-design – Michael Pierre Johnson, Jen Ballie, Tine Thorup, Elizabeth Brooks and Emma Brooks.

Aesthetics
Room 6: 2.15pm-3.55pm
Living on the Edge: design artefacts as boundary objects – Michael Pierre Johnson, Jen Ballie, Elizabeth Brooks, Tine Thorup.

Health
Room 9: 9.30am-10.30am
Well Connected: what does design offer in the complexity of the blood donor experience – Tine Thorup, Jen Ballie, Marjan Angoshtari.

Environment
Room 12: 10.40am-11.40am
Sustainable Design Futures: an open design approach for the circular economy: Paul Smith, Jen Ballie, Lynn-Sayers McHattie.

Society
Room 17: 2.15pm-3.35pm
Harmonics: towards enlightened evaluation – Katherine Champion and George Jaramillo.

Click here to see the full programme.

And watch this space to keep up to date with how our researchers get on! And don’t forget to follow all the latest snippets on our Twitter account: @InDI_GSA


Life at the Creative Campus: the teaching studio

Published by April 7, 2017 3:15 pm

An insight into learning and teaching on our MDES programmes

It was always part of the plan for the Creative Campus in the Highlands and Islands to bring postgraduate students to the region for Design Innovation programmes.

There are currently three Master of Design Innovation programmes based in the north: Transformation Design, Collaborative Creativity, and Interaction Design. Information on the courses and how to apply is available via the links.

A small group of students are pioneering the MDES Design Innovation at the Creative Campus during this first year: an exciting time for all involved.

But the location offers unique opportunities for the group.

MDES teaching studio

One of our MDES students Poopak with tutor George Jaramillo in the Forres studio. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Studio lead for this session is Leigh-Anne Hepburn, a Research Fellow who works with the Experience Labs. Here she tells the InDI blog about some of the students’ recent activities.

“Our Forres-based students attended Winter School 2017 in January, working alongside their Glasgow counterparts for the first time. This was a great chance for them to meet others going through the same experience.

“After this busy two-week event, they went straight into their Stage 2 group project and were tasked with writing a brief. This is a critical design skill and offered a unique opportunity for them to shape the direction of their study.

“Under the theme, Innovation from Tradition, the group considered the individual concepts developed during Winter School – of transient communities and the role of third sector volunteering – and worked to develop a shared direction.

Student presenting to group

MDES student Yara presenting her team’s project at Winter School 2017. Image credit: Paul Campbell

“This is essentially a live project and the students are encouraged to go out and actively engage with local stakeholders. Luckily the people of Moray are very receptive to the musings of MDES students!

“As an international group, they were particularly interested in exploring the refugee experience of moving to Forres and the potential role volunteering could play in supporting community integration. After identifying key stakeholders, the students build a strong connection with partner organisations during their field research.

“When you are working with participants who are enthusiastic about design – and who can see the real potential for change it offers – you want to deliver the best possible outcome and create some value in return. Our students had the chance to do this when they ran their first co-design workshop, ‘Designing your volunteer experience’ last month. Created in partnership with tsiMORAY for the organisations’s conference for the third sector, Join the Dots, the workshop was attended by more than 20 people. Delivering a participatory workshop is an exciting and immersive experience and our students were delighted that it went so well.

Scenario tool

One of the scenario tools created by the MDES students for the workshop. Image credit: Leigh-Anne Hepburn

“Every rich story and anecdote gathered during field research offers new insight and it’s tempting to keep listening instead of moving towards designing solutions. This is especially true of the fast-paced 12 week project that the students have embarked on. However, after this intense period of research, our students have begun to identify the key insights and are designing some exciting final concepts.

“In the middle of all this, we travelled to Glasgow to join the wider MDES student and staff cohort for interim reviews. These presentations give students an opportunity to share the journey of their project and emerging design concepts, receiving some essential critical feedback and peer review in return.

“And in addition to the studio project, the students have also begun working on their specialisms, with expert input from teaching staff across GSA. It’s a real team effort.”

Recruitment is ongoing for our MDES programmes starting in September 2017 in Forres and Glasgow – and there are funded places available. Click here to find out more on the GSA’s website.

Also, the GSA and Digital Health & Care Institute are offering a limited number of funded places on the Master of Research programme to students exploring health-related topics. Find out more on the GSA’s website.

MDES students conference workshop

MDES students who led the workshop at the tsiMoray conference. Image credit: Leigh-Anne Hepburn

*Featured image by Paul Campbell


Learning from Locality: an international residency

Published by April 5, 2017 1:24 pm

International residency programme visits the Creative Campus

Students from Belgium, France and Scotland came together in Findhorn and visited the GSA’s Highlands and Islands Creative Campus last week for a vibrant residency programme.

The GSA’s campus outside Forres has opened up new opportunities for staff and students to visit the area to research, work and study.

“We enjoyed the tranquillity of the GSA’s Highlands and Islands Creative Campus. It introduced us to other aspects of Scotland’s landscapes and environments,” explained Mark Luyten from Sint Lucas Antwerpen College of Art and Design.

Group of students and staff on residency on Findhorn Bay

Students and staff from the Locality II Residency visit Findhorn Bay. Image credit: Michael Mersinis

The residency, entitled Locality II, brought together postgraduate students from the areas of Fine Art and Design to discuss and respond to the theme of locality. Considering the Scottish landscape, its history and setting was central to the research. Students focussed on the importance of space and place in relation to their own work and that of the wider group.

The aim of Locality II was to ‘rupture the classical definition of specialism and to allow collaboration between different specialisms, schools and countries’. Students joined the residency programme from three schools across Europe: The GSA, École européenne supérieure d’art de Bretagne (EESAB) in Quimper, France and Sint Lucas Antwerpen College of Art and Design.

“We visited Forres and were shown around the Creative Campus staying for the afternoon where we all enjoyed student presentations,” explains Eimer Birkbeck from EESAB.

Learning in locality

Residency organisers chose the Forres location as an ‘ideal platform’ to explore the north of Scotland and immerse students in diverse aspects of locality. As well as time on campus, the students visited Culloden Battlefield, the Sueno’s Stone, the Falconer Museum in Forres and Findhorn village where the group stayed for the week. 

Small cottage nestled amongst trees and a field

Grounds around the campus: an inspiring location for artists and designers. Image credit: Paul Campbell

 Students considered themes including:

– Inhabited land
– The weather as a mechanism of forming the land
– The use of land within agriculture
– History of the natural landscape

“The opportunity to be displaced and placed again within a land that has its own rhythm and rules was a great privilege. There are certain qualities in the Scottish landscape that are truly unique. This particular sense of place permeated our thoughts and actions during the residency”.
Michael Mersinis, The Glasgow School of Art

The residency was the second part of a three year project, with the first part having taken place in Le Guilvinec in France and the third part taking place in Antwerp in Belgium.

What next?

For more information on Locality II please contact the GSA’s Michael Mersinis, Lecturer in Fine Art Photography, m.mersinis@gsa.ac.uk or Thomas Greenough, Head of International Academic Development, t.greenough@gsa.ac.uk.

Find out more about The Glasgow School of Art’s Highlands and Islands Creative Campus.

*Featured image of Findhorn sunset by Oliver Pilcher


Seasonal Schools: an innovative teaching method

Published by March 29, 2017 11:29 am

Research and Teaching on location at the GSA Highlands and Islands

InDI is proud of its teaching and research activities that support postgraduate students, researchers and academics. They offer an excellent chance to meet others in your field and learn about their experiences.

With the deadline for applications for Summer School 2017 in Lancaster extended until April 7, we’re reflecting on our Seasonal Schools and what they offer the people who take part.

InDI offers two main seasonal schools throughout the year: Winter School and Summer School.

Summer School

Organised by the Leapfrog team, the Summer School programme aims to help early career researchers to develop their skills. The three-day event includes a programme of lectures and discussions as well as sharing work and ideas.

Last year’s event was the first and took place in Forres, exploring action research with delegates from across the UK and overseas.

Leapfrog Summer School on the beach.

Leapfrog Summer School on Findhorn beach.

Applications for 2017 are open until Friday April 7. The event, from July 11-13, will take place at Lancaster University, where our Leapfrog partners, ImaginationLancaster, are based. The programme, titled Exploring Community Engagement for Research: Power, Impact and Collaborationwill share methods and insights around effective engagement and evidence the impact of these approaches. Professor Rachel Cooper OBE, Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University, will give a keynote.

Delegates will take part in a series of presentations, discussions and workshops to enrich their understanding and applications of community engagement in a wide range of research contexts.

This video of the 2016 event gives a flavour of the Leapfrog Summer School:

Leapfrog Summer School 2016: Action Research, Engagement, & Co-​design from leapfrogtools on Vimeo.

You can find more information about the 2017 event and download an application pack on the Leapfrog website.

Winter School

As you can tell from our recent blogs, Winter School is an action-packed and high profile event.

The two-week residency at GSA Highlands and Islands involves students from our own MDES Design Innovation programmes as well as students from Köln International School of Design (KISD) and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation (KADK) in Copenhagen. The international element is boosted by faculty from all over the world, who provide enlightening talks for the students.

Winter School 2018 will also involve students from Audencia Business School in France. Audencia and InDI have collaborated to develop an exciting MSc programme in Management and Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy. Led by Audencia, the programme launches in September 2017. GSA faculty members will teach one-third of the classes – and the two-week international Winter School at the GSA Highlands and Islands Creative Campus, is a highlight of the programme.

Jenny Houldsworth speaks to Winter School students

Jenny Houldsworth from Johnstons of Elgin speaks to Winter School students

The students explore a theme relevant to the local context and work with businesses and community organisations to gain insight into the topic. Working in groups, they explore a design research question. For GSA students, this is the first step in their Stage 2 project.

You can see what we got up to at Winter School 2017 in this video:

Winter School 2017 from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.

For more information about Winter School, please contact Dr Gordon Hush, g.hush@gsa.ac.uk


Re-Mantle and Make: Fashioning a way to a circular economy

Published by March 23, 2017 11:06 am

The story of Re-Mantle

InDI’s Re-Mantle and Make project wrapped up last week with an event at MakLab in Glasgow.

The InDI team was delighted with the way that designers took on the challenge of using local surplus textiles to design a prototype circular collar that could be worn with different garments.

The project was a six-month feasibility study researching the potential for developing a circular economy within the textile manufacturing sector. In a circular economy, resources are used and re-used for as long as possible.

Designers and researchers gathered to celebrate the success of this short project and view the results of two ‘Re-Make-A-Thons’.

Designer reusing red textile fabric with Dr Lynn-Sayers McHattie

The Re-Mantle and Make project: reusing textile fabrics to explore ways to develop a circular economy in the textile manufacturing industry

Find out how the team got on in the film of Re-Mantle and Make:

Re-Mantle and Make: Design for the Circular Economy from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.

More on Remantle and Make

The GSA secured funding for the study from the Royal College of Art, London, which is leading a larger project: Future Makespaces in Redistributed Manufacturing, a two-year research initiative funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. This wider piece of work explores the role of maker spaces in redistributed manufacturing.

Designer using a sewing machine to reuse surplus textiles

Making new from surplus while designing ways to develop a circular economy

InDI’s work was in partnership with Kalopsia Collective – a micro-manufacturing unit based in Edinburgh, and MakLab Maker Space in Glasgow.

And you can read about the Re-Make-A-Thons, in Glasgow and Forres, on the Re-Mantle website.


Helping you keep well at work

Published by March 17, 2017 10:07 am

Take part in an Experience Lab

We  are offering a second chance to take part in an Experience Labs project about wellbeing in the workplace.

The Glimpse project investigates ways for people can improve their health through gentle exercise carried out at work.

Taking part in a lab is a great way to help GSA researchers explore a health related challenge that can help people in the future. It also gives you the opportunity to meet our team and find out more about our work.

The Experience Labs are part of the Digital Health & Care Institute, one of Scotland’s Innovation Centres, funded by the Scottish Funding Council.

Lego desk

The team has organised a special collaborative design workshop in Glasgow on Tuesday 28 March, which is open to people with experience of desk-based working. This is the second workshop of the project after a successful session last month.

The partner on the project is Justin Eade, of Glimpse Ltd. Justin is a Workplace Wellbeing Consultant with more than 20 years experience. He hopes that the research will develop ideas for a digital application to counter the effects of sedentary work.

Dr Jay Bradley and Dr Michael Johnson explain more about what the session involves:

“At the first workshop, the participants explored the key issues around wellbeing and exercise within the workplace; the opportunities that exist for exercising at work and the activities they could incorporate into their working day. We now have an understanding of how people might feel about movement for wellbeing in the workplace and what exercises and situations would be preferable for challenging sedentary behaviour.

Dr Jay Bradley speaking at a lab

Dr Jay Bradley leads an Experience Lab. Image credit: Louise Mather

“The second workshop will build on the outcomes of the first. Participants will take part in co-designed prototype development. We will explore ways for people to learn and sustain movement exercises and routines at work.

“All information provided will remain confidential.”

The lab will take place at House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, on Tuesday March 28, from 11am-3pm.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided and reasonable travel expenses will also be paid.

To take part or to for more information, contact Dr Jay Bradley, j.bradley@gsa.ac.uk or Dr Michael Johnson, m.johnson@gsa.ac.uk


A Re-Mantle showcase

Published by March 16, 2017 11:26 am

See the results of the Re-Make-A-Thons

The Re-Mantle and Make project is approaching its end and to mark the finale, the team is showcasing the results of the two Re-Make-A-Thons held earlier in the year.

The project is a six-month feasibility study into researching the potential for developing a circular economy within the textile manufacturing sector. In a circular economy, resources are used and re-used for as long as possible.

Participants at the events in Glasgow and Forres were asked to use surplus materials from a range of well-known Scottish textile manufacturers to make a prototype circular collar that could be worn with different garments.

The exhibition will showcase the items that were made. A last minute venue change means that the event will be at MakLab, Charing Cross Mansions, 30 St George’s Road, Glasgow, tomorrow (Friday March 17) from 6.30pm-8pm.

Forres Re-Make-A-Thon

The scene at the Re-Make-A-Thon in Forres earlier this year. Image credit: Louise Mather

The Glasgow School of Art secured funding for the study from the Royal College of Art, London, which is leading a larger project: Future Makespaces in Redistributed Manufacturing, a two-year research initiative funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. This wider piece of work explores the role of maker spaces in redistributed manufacturing.

InDI’s work is in partnership with Kalopsia Collective – a micro-manufacturing unit based in Edinburgh, and MakLab Maker Space in Glasgow.

For more information, contact Dr Paul Smith, p.smith@gsa.ac.uk

More information on Re-Mantle and Make is also available on the project website and our previous blogs.


Meet our new Master of Research students

Published by March 15, 2017 3:57 pm

New additions to our Creative Campus cohort

InDI recently welcomed a new group of students onto our Master of Research programme.

They follow in the footsteps of the first four students from 2016. The five-strong group are all multidisciplinary creative practitioners, based in Moray at the Creative Campus and in Cowal.

The group is supported and funded by the Creative Futures Partnership (CFP). This is a pioneering venture between The Glasgow School of Art and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It has been established to deliver transformational benefits for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

The MRES journey started at Winter School 2017 in January, when students met some of the outgoing MRES group and the current PhD candidates.

The new MRESs took part in a range of research, training workshops and masterclasses to prepare them for their year of study.

They are part of the Creative Campus cohort, along with the three Creative Campus PhDs. Each research project is individually led but exists within the network of other researchers. Together they are pioneering academic research through a practice-based cohort at the campus distributed throughout the Highlands and Islands. The cohort also take part in Autumn and Spring School each year.

InDI is also currently recruiting for the next intake of MRES students. You can find out more about the programmes available on the GSA’s website.

Inquiries should be made to Dr Lynn-Sayers McHattie at l.mchattie@gsa.ac.uk

 

Meet the students

Hannah ClinchHannah Clinch

Since graduating The Glasgow School of Art in 1999 with a BA in Textile Design, Hannah has worked at the intersection of design and enterprise, providing tailored support to a range of SMEs, social enterprises and creative initiatives operating in a community context. Hannah has collaborated with a broad range of partners to develop multidisciplinary projects.

Read more about Hannah’s work here.

Rhona McNicolRhona McNicol

With a degree in Product Design, Rhona considers herself a designer with an accelerative interest in design for social environments. Working within the Highlands and Island landscape, her current work focuses on rural sheep farming and crofting in Scotland.

Read more about Rhona’s work here.

 

Lorianna ParadiseLorianna Paradise

Lorianna navigates the ever-accumulating totality of everything all at once through the lens of an artist embodying the concept of living as form. An ecologically minded holistic approach to all lifestyle practices informs and broadens the scope of her work.

Read more about Lorianna’s work here.

Zoe ProsserZoë Prosser

Zoë is a Glaswegian designer with a degree in Product Design. In response to emerging socio-economic movements she attempts to instigate social innovation on a local level by applying design practices with a grassroots approach. She has applied this style of working to the phenomena of community landownership in Scotland by co-design to encourage democratic participation and decision-making.

Read more about Zoë’s work here.

 

Sophia SheppardSophia Sheppard

Sophia has a background in Communication Design, with a particular interest in film. Her current research explores the way that film might be used in a dialogue to reflect and build on individual and shared narratives in rural Scottish communities. Her work is rooted in an underlying awareness of how people have been separated from their histories and an interest in documenting and discussing how aspects of the past may positively influence the future.

Read more about Sophia’s work here.


Watch Winter School 2017: the official film

Published by March 9, 2017 3:00 pm

Relive the spirit of Winter School

Our new film gives you a flavour of our recent Winter School, which brought together around 100 leading international design experts, researchers and students to the GSA’s Highlands and Islands Creative Campus in Moray. 

It shows all the sights and sounds – and the people – who took part in the hugely successful event. There’s some spectacular shots of our new campus and even a bit of ceilidh dancing!

Led by InDI, Winter School is one of the highlights of the GSA’s academic calendar. The two-week programme, which runs every January, includes lectures, workshops, research and joint projects with local businesses and communities. Students and academics explore themes rooted in the local context but with global resonances.

The theme this year was Innovation from Tradition, which explores how past tradition can inspire future ways of working and, in particular, the role that design can play.

Our guest speakers travelled from across the world to take part, including Portugal, Italy, the US, India and Singapore.

Postgraduate students from the GSA’s Masters students on Design Innovation and Communication Design programmes were joined by students from Köln International School of Design (KISD) and KADK (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation). 

Winter School 2017 from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.


Exploring graduate employability at Singapore Design Week

Published by March 8, 2017 6:00 pm

What do employers want from today’s graduates?

Part of our team’s work at InDI involves attending high profile conferences and events to spread our knowledge and make new links with international design experts. This week marks one of these major events: Singapore Design Week.

Running from March 3-12, there are more than 100 events taking place during the festival, which is now in its fourth year. Organised by the DesignSingapore Council, around 50,000 people are expected to attend over the 10 days.

The Glasgow School of Art’s Singapore campus is closely involved as one of the partners and has organised a graduate employability symposium, running on Friday. The full programme is available here.

InDI Design Director Don McIntyre will chair the final session of the day, a discussion panel called ‘Roles, Skills and Recruitment: What do employers want?’

The symposium takes place at the Singapore Institute of Technology’s (SIT) Temasek Polytechnic campus on Friday March 10, from 2pm-7.30pm with networking and refreshments until 9pm. Registration is free – you can sign up here: www.gsasdw2017.peatix.com

Singapore Design Week

The event will explore the current state of graduate employability in Singapore and how careers in the creative industries will evolve. It aims to discuss questions about the roles available for graduates and early career designers in Singapore’s creative industries and how they can contribute to developing an innovation-led economy.

A host of speakers has been lined up, including a number of GSA alumni who will reveal their different experiences in the jobs market since graduating.

Chris Hand, Programme Director of GSA’s Singapore campus said: “I’ve heard comments from several major players in the last week that ‘there’s never been a better time for design in Singapore’, and that certainly chimes with everything that’s going on here at the moment.

“DesignSingapore Council and the Economic Development Board here are really working hard to set the agenda and achieve the goals set out in the Design 2025 Masterplan. To have such recognition at government level for the important roles that design can play here is hugely inspiring, and I’m excited to see how GSA can contribute to both educational and economic development, now and in the future. We hope this symposium will be the start of an on-going dialogue in Singapore.”

The keynote speaker is Vinson Chua, the senior assistant director of the DesignSingapore Council. Vinson oversees the human development programmes, manpower planning and skills framework for the design sector.

Jayce Tham

Jayce Tham

Among the graduates sharing their experiences are: Christine Lim, Junior Art Director, DDB; Gideon W. D. Kong, independent designer/researcher; Mayguss Wee, Designer, ONG&ONG; Cheng Zhai Wei, Marketing Executive, Aalst Chocolate. The session moderator is Terence Heng, Deputy Programme Director, SIT.

And the discussion panel will include Chris Godfrey, GSA Architecture alumnus and the Global Principal of HBA Residential; Jin Kang, Vice-President of Experience Design at OCBC Bank; Jayce Tham, Chief Businesswoman at CreativesAtWork

Alongside the symposium, there is a chance to see a preview of June’s GSA Singapore Degree Show. The Work In Progress exhibition will showcase the work by final year students on the BA (Hons) Communication Design and Interior Design programmes.

The show will be on from 11.30am-10pm.

Singapore students - Work in Progress


Making a difference to business

Published by March 8, 2017 1:09 pm

Continuing Professional Development programmes for organisations

InDI’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes help organisations create cultures of innovation and develop creative capability. Here, Design Director Don McIntyre tells us how InDI’s design-led CPD programmes make a difference to businesses.

Don McIntyre portrait

Don McIntyre. Image credit: Louise Mather

Design-led CPD for businesses

Many organisations face similar systemic challenges as they look to the future. They may need to address complex issues that no company or government can tackle alone; adapt in the face of digital disruption, or create conditions for a new business to thrive.

Historically, innovation approaches have been found in disciplines such as management and engineering. In recent times, design has become a recognised strategic capability for individuals, organisations and even countries looking to deal positively with uncertainty, ambiguity, paradox and complexity.

Our programmes

Our CPD programmes in Design Innovation help businesses create lasting cultures of innovation. By tailoring our approach to each organisation, we create practical learning plans that are suited to organisational context and staff needs. We collaborate with partners to deliver courses that last anything from a day to a year, including:

– An introduction to design innovation

– Project-specific training and coaching

– Leadership development programmes

Organisations and individuals learn, think and act differently as a result of our programmes, delivering tangible results for their businesses.

‘We have seen up to six-figure savings in some of our products through cutting back on waste issues… [We are] quicker at making a decision and acting than before’

John Lupton, CEO, Scott & Fyfe

John Swinney MSP with Scott and Fyfe chairman Nick Kuenssberg and CEO John Lupton opening innovation space

John Swinney MSP with Scott and Fyfe chairman Nick Kuenssberg and CEO John Lupton at the opening of the company’s innovation space.

Learn more about our work with Scott and Fyfe during the Creating Cultures of Innovation project.

If you’d like to find out more about our CPD programmes please contact:

Iain Aitchison, Programme Director, InDI

i.aitchison@gsa.ac.uk

or

Don McIntyre, Design Director, InDI

d.mcintyre@gsa.ac.uk

 

 


Leapfrog into summer

Published by March 6, 2017 11:30 am

Thinking about coming to this year’s Leapfrog Summer School?

Applications are now welcome for the 2017 event, which will share methods and insights around effective engagement.

The Summer School, which will be held at Lancaster University (where InDI’s Leapfrog partner, Imagination Lancaster is based, aims to develop early career researchers’ capabilities. Discussions will also focus on how to capture value and evidence the impact of their approach.

The application deadline is March 24. More information is available here on the Leapfrog website. You can also read more about the Leapfrog project here.

Find out what happened at last year’s Summer School in Forres by watching this film.

Leapfrog Summer School 2016: Action Research, Engagement, & Co-​design from leapfrogtools on Vimeo.


Exercise for wellbeing in the workplace?

Published by February 22, 2017 2:15 pm

Helping desk-based workers keep well

Researchers from the Experience Labs are looking for people to take part in one of their latest projects.

The Glimpse project aims to investigate ways that people can improve their health and wellbeing through gentle exercise carried out at work.

Taking part in a lab is a great way to help GSA researchers explore a health-related challenge that can help people in the future. It also gives you the opportunity to meet our team and find out more about our work.

The team has organised a special collaborative design workshop in Glasgow later this month, which is open to people with experience of desk-based working.

Dr Michael Johnson speaking

Dr Michael Johnson describing an activity during an Experience Lab. Image credit: Louise Mather

Here Dr Jay Bradley and Dr Michael Johnson explain more about what the session involves:

“We are working with Justin Eade, of Glimpse Ltd. Justin is a Workplace Wellbeing Consultant with more than 20 years experience. He hopes that our research will contribute to development ideas for a digital application to counter the effects of sedentary work.

“The whole project involves two Experience Labs that will develop ideas generated by participants. We are looking for people to take part in the first event on February 28.

“The lab will use creative activities to explore how movement for wellbeing can be better incorporated into the workplace to address health concerns. The physical activities involved will be largely gentle movement and light activity – so no one will be asked to do anything too strenuous!

“We will also have group discussions about participants’ own experiences of desk-based work and its effects on health and wellbeing. All information provided will remain confidential.”

A woman's hands doing tai chi

The lab will take place at House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, from 11am-3pm.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided and reasonable travel expenses will also be paid.

To take part or to for more information, contact Dr Jay Bradley, j.bradley@gsa.ac.uk or Dr Michael Johnson, m.johnson@gsa.ac.uk

You can read more about the Experience Labs by clicking here.


A special visitor to GSA Highlands and Islands

Published by February 15, 2017 10:17 am

Deputy First Minister John Swinney tours Altyre studios

The GSA Highlands and Islands Creative Campus had a special visitor yesterday as the Deputy First Minister John Swinney toured the facilities outside Forres.

He was accompanied by Moray MSP Richard Lochhead and the pair were shown round the complex by Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam OBE, Deputy Director (Innovation) of the GSA and Director of the Highlands and Islands Creative Campus, and Dr Gordon Hush, Acting Director of InDI.

Among the projects presented to Mr Swinney was the Experience Labs, which has recently worked with local secondary pupils on a campaign to promote breastfeeding. Mr Swinney also heard about the new prosthetic greaves project, which aims to explore the emotional value of different aesthetics for prostheses. He also met MDES and MRES students based at the campus and saw work from the recent Winter School.

You can read more in the press release at www.gsapress.blogspot.co.uk

Tara French and John Swinney with prosthetic greaves

Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Dr Tara French examine items from the Prosthetic Greaves project by Naturally Useful. Image credit: Hannah Laycock


Winter School 2017: Working with Moray businesses

Published by February 13, 2017 8:50 am

Sharing our students work

Here the InDI blog showcases two of the student projects started at Winter School 2017. The projects are now ongoing as part of the curriculum within the GSA’s Masters of Design Innovation Programmes.

This year’s theme is Innovation from Tradition, which explores how past tradition can inspire future ways of working, and the role that design can play.

Students will continue their studies and collaborations for the next three months around themes relating to life and work in the Highlands and Islands and Moray.

A student looking at Winter School projects

Contemplating the Winter School 2017 work. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Theme: Community and Economy
Community groups:  tsiMORAY (Third Sector Interface Moray) and FACT (Forres Area Community Trust)

MDES Design Innovation and Citizenship student Juan Pablo Ortiz explains how his group approached this theme:

For the two weeks of the Winter School I was placed in a group with two other students from my specialisation and two students from the Masters in Forres.

The first week was dedicated to understanding what they do and how they work: the varied and complex system of the third sector and its particular activeness and importance in the area.

Having this mapped out, both conceptually and geographically, we identified volunteering and communication as the areas to focus on.

Group of students

MDES Design Innovation and Citizenship student Juan Pablo Ortiz and his group at Winter School 2017. 

During the second week, we defined a question as a starting point for our second stage project:

How could current knowledge transfer systems be transformed for the enablement of more sustainable and inclusive volunteering in Moray?

Over the last two days, we planned and built an exhibition to show our findings. We created a frame with three maps of Moray representing the theme and our findings. The maps covered three aspects related to the theme:

– Individual: represented through a diffused map using tea bags as a metaphor of the individual knowledge that spreads in the right conditions, and the dialogue tool to allow conversations.
– Organisational: represented through a map with strings of different thickness as the links between the organisations, showing also how this covers geographical areas.
– Macro: represented through a map with important fact and key words for the Moray third sector and economy.

Students' teabag installation

The exhibition piece made by Juan’s group. Image credit: Paul Campbell

What I enjoyed the most about the Winter School was how immersive it was in terms of sharing at a global scale (all the visitors and students from other schools) and at a local scale (the organisations we worked with and the places we visited), and see what is being done around this emerging field of design and its potential.

Debbie Herron, of FACT, said: “We were very excited to be invited to be part of the GSA’s Winter School, as it gave us the opportunity to meet those students that are studying locally as well as those from Glasgow.

“The questions asked and the work the students did enabled us to look at our work differently too and it was very interesting to see how things developed over the Winter School.

“We saw how the students all came at the different projects in such creative ways and the final presentations certainly gave us more information about our area and highlighted new ways of consulting and collecting information from our community. I certainly will be using the techniques in the future.”

Theme: Music and the Arts
Business: Knockando Woolmill

Music and The Arts has a rich history in Scotland and hand-made artefacts and song are intrinsically linked to many Scottish traditions. The scope for design opportunities and innovative solutions within this field was obvious in the project context of “Innovation from Tradition”.

Knockando Woolmill students

Students working with Knockando Woolmill getting ready for the presentation. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Students from Service Design worked with Knockando Woolmill. Here, Amy O’Meara shares how their collaboration will inform their future studies relevant to the region.

Through Winter School we worked with Knockando Woolmill, an 18th-century wool and textile mill within the Spey Valley. At the site, we were led on a comprehensive tour and met with some of the staff.

Coming out of the visit, a key insight we noticed was that Knockando functions as both a traditional production site while also being a tourist and heritage attraction, and as such there is a delicate balance within Knockando as a business. Further investigation may also involve what relationship Knockando has within the local community, in terms of engagement with local citizens.

We finished Winter School with a research question that aims to investigate the balance between tourism and production at Knockando. We aim to incorporate our theme of ‘music and the arts’ in terms of craft and production, in order to make it relevant to our them.

Knockando Woolmill spindles

The Knockando Woolmill project. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Emma Nicolson, Marketing and Merchandising Manager from Knockando Woolmill said: “It has been fantastic to work with the international students for their Winter School project, and have them explore the Woolmill site. It was interesting to see their interpretation of the Woolmill through their fresh eyes, and the potential challenges they identified in their exhibition.

“It will be exciting to see how the students expand on their initial research, and what modern design solutions they might suggest for our historical site.”

For more information, check out Knockando’s blog

For more information on Winter School please contact Dr Gordon Hush, g.hush@gsa.ac.uk

 


Design Innovation student projects launched following Winter School

Published by February 10, 2017 1:05 pm

Sharing the results of our work

Winter School 2017 may have drawn to a close, but it is only the beginning of the journey for many of the students who took part. Student projects, which were developed at the Winter School, have now launched as part of the curriculum within the GSA’s Masters of Design Innovation Programmes.

This year’s theme is Innovation from Tradition, which explores how past tradition can inspire future ways of working, and the role that design can play.

Students will continue their studies and collaborations for the next three months around themes relating to life and work in the Highlands and Islands and Moray.

Knockando Woolmill project

Student work from the project with Knockando Woolmill. Image credit: Paul Campbell

The Winter School saw around 100 leading international design experts, researchers and students from across the world come to the GSA’s Highlands and Islands Creative Campus to frame research questions and projects relevant to the region. Students from Köln International School of Design (KISD), and KADK (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation) joined GSA students to work with local businesses and communities to develop project themes.

A host of businesses and community groups took part including:
Findhorn Bay Arts
Johnstons of Elgin
Pluscarden Abbey
Ballindalloch Distillery
Knockando Woolmill
The Altyre Estate
Piping at Forres
Forres Area Community Trust
Third Sector Interface Moray
Forsyths
The Burghead Clavie
Findhorn Foundation
Gordon & McPhail
Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere Project

Students addressed a variety of themes with local people:
– Music and the Arts
– Community and Economy
– House, Home and Hearth
– Food and Drink
– Spirituality and Belief
– Community and Economy
– History, Fantasy and Myth

Hear what Jenny Houldsworth, Culture and Communication Manager at Johnstons of Elgin, had to say about working with the students:

Why Winter School 2017 was full of “happy surprises” for one business from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.

In our next blog, we’ll share two of the students project with you. Other Winter School blogs can be found here.

To read more about Winter School and our other Seasonal Schools, see our pages on InDI web.

 

Community and business representatives arrive for Winter School

Community and business representatives who worked with our Winter School students. Image credit: Paul Campbell


Save the date: Leapfrog Summer School

Published by February 10, 2017 10:00 am

Capturing value in research

No sooner is one seasonal school finished than we start thinking about the next one.

The Leapfrog team has announced the dates for their 2017 event, which will be held at Lancaster University from July 11-13.

This year the event is aimed at early career researchers and will focus on effective engagement, capturing value and evidencing impact in research.

You can find more information about the Summer School on the Leapfrog blog. And you can also read about last year’s Summer School.

Leapfrog bag at summer school event

Leapfrog bag for Summer School 2016. Image Credit: Ree Barthels


Join our Digital Diabetes Experience Lab!

Published by February 9, 2017 11:50 am

Exploring self management of diabetes

InDI’s Experience Labs explore innovative and exciting solutions to a range of healthcare issues affecting Scottish society.

They often include looking at how digital technology can be used to improve peoples’ lives and now there’s a chance for you to get involved.

One of the team’s biggest projects to date has been Digital Diabetes, a portfolio of seven promising innovation projects supported by the Digital Health & Care Institute.

Researchers have collaborated with people living with diabetes, carers and health professionals to understand their needs and design new models of service.

Gemma Teal Diabetes Experience Lab

Project lead Gemma Teal during a Digital Diabetes lab. Image credit: Louise Mather

The Experience Lab team has organised a lab in Glasgow later this month and are looking for people to take part. Project lead Gemma Teal tells the InDI blog a bit more.

“The project is looking at how people living with diabetes can be supported in managing their condition using digital technology.

“We’ve already carried out interviews with people living with diabetes, as well as Experience Labs throughout Scotland. The ideas generated will be used to shape future diabetes services and research programmes.

“Our next Experience Lab will be in Glasgow and we’re exploring how visuals can support self management for people living with diabetes.

“We’re looking for people over the age of 16 who manage their condition using insulin.

“The day will involve a three-hour interactive design workshop where you will share your experiences of living with diabetes. Participants will also work together on a design activity.

Diabetes workshop Experience Labs

Researchers have worked with people living with diabetes, carers and health professionals to understand their needs. Image credit: Louise Mather

“We want people to feel comfortable enough to talk about their experiences and help designers to understand how people live with this disease. Any information provided will remain confidential.”

The workshop will be held in Glasgow city centre, on Monday 20th February. Food will be available from 5pm and the workshop will run from 5.30pm-8.30pm. Those taking part will receive a £20 gift voucher as thanks for their participation and reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

For more information or to register to take part in the workshop, contact Gemma on 0141 566118 or g.teal@gsa.ac.uk or Tine Thorup, t.thorup@gsa.ac.uk


Winter School 2017: the final dance

Published by February 3, 2017 2:15 pm

Dancing into the wee hours…

One of the highlights was definitely the ceilidh on the final night. With the presentations completed, everyone’s minds turned to the meal and dancing.

With the marquee transformed into a dancefloor, things were a little slow to kick off. But soon students from all institutions were throwing themselves into the complex moves of Strip the Willow, the Gay Gordons and the Dashing White Sergeant – led by the Scottish contingent. And we enjoyed some traditional singing.

The whole of InDI was very impressed with everyone’s efforts. Learning Scottish dancing on the hoof is no mean feat.

And it is no exaggeration to say that the marquee was jumping and for many the night continued into the small hours. We hope there were not too many sore heads for the journey home.

Here’s some of the best pictures from the night and catch up with all the goings-on from the event on our blog!

Students birlin’ on the dancefloor. Image credit: Paul Campbell

ceilidh dancer

InDI staff Sneha Raman and Fergus Fullarton-Pegg take to the floor. Image credit: Paul Campbell

ceilidh kilt

Staff and students dancing the Dashing White Sergeant. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Group of people ceilidh dancing

Operations director Marianne McInnes gets in on the dancing. Image credit: Paul Campbell

ceilidh band

The ceilidh band. Image credit: Paul Campbell

ceilidh dancing

More Dashing White Sergeant. Image credit: Paul Campbell


Another chance to Re-Mantle and Make

Published by January 31, 2017 11:15 am

InDI researchers are offering another opportunity to take part in the Re-Mantle and Make project.

Designers are invited to sign up for the second Re-Make-A-Thon, this time at the GSA’s new Highlands and Islands Creative Campus in Forres.

The project is a six-month feasibility study into researching the potential for developing a circular economy within the textile manufacturing sector. In a circular economy, resources are used and re-used for as long as possible. Designers with an interest in these themes are particularly encouraged to join in.

Women with piles of material. Re-Mantle

Participants in the Re-Make-A-Thon get to grips with the materials. Image credit: Louise Mather

During the first Re-Make-A-Thon in Glasgow, textile designers from across Scotland were given a brief that asked them to transform surplus materials from local textile manufacturers into a prototype circular collar that could be worn with different garments.

They spent a day working on their designs, with some fascinating results. You can read more and see pictures from the day-long workshop on the Re-Mantle and Make website.

Now the team is preparing for their next session, which will take place at Blairs Steading, Altyre Estate, on Thursday February 2, from 9am-7pm.

If you are interested in taking part or would like more information, please contact Zoe Prosser, z.prosser@gsa.ac.uk

More information on Re-Mantle and Make is also available on our previous blog.

The Glasgow School of Art has secured funding for the study from the Royal College of Art, London, which is leading a larger project: Future Makespaces in Redistributed Manufacturing, a two-year research initiative funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. This wider piece of work explores the role of maker spaces in redistributed manufacturing.

InDI’s work is in partnership with Kalopsia Collective – a micro-manufacturing unit based in Edinburgh, and MakLab Maker Space in Glasgow.

Presenting the designs at Re-Mantle and Make

One of the designers presenting their collar designs. Image credit: Louise Mather

 

 


Five minutes with a Winter School expert: Catherine Morel

Published by January 26, 2017 2:00 pm

Catherine Morel is Professor of Marketing in the Culture and Communication Department at Audencia Business School in France. Catherine has collaborated with InDI over the last two years to develop an exciting MSc programme in Management and Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy. Led by Audencia in France, the programme and has been co-designed with InDI.

The programme launches in September 2017. GSA faculty members will teach one-third of the classes – and the two-week international Winter School, is a highlight of the programme.

Straight off the podium having delivered an inspiring keynote presentation at Winter School 2017, Catherine tells us more about the themes she addresses, and why Winter School helps deliver innovative business education for those in the creative industries.

Catherine, welcome to Winter School. Your keynote met a very warm reception, what did you share with the students?

My colleague Sandrine Stervinou and I wanted to share our research interest for cooperatives in the Cultural and Creative Industries. We have been studying them in France and we believe that they could be an answer for young creative practitioners. Co-ops are usually resilient and sustainable businesses.

These co-op businesses give a chance to those who want to escape precariousness and isolation whilst developing management and business skills in a collective, democratic and creative environment.

A collaboration between a business school and an art school may surprise some, can you tell us why it makes good sense?

I strongly believe that hybridity is the future of higher education. The fast-changing world in which we live calls for a wide mix of skills and competencies. Students will acquire them through renewed curricula which break subject and discipline silos. For instance, business students need to develop creative skills to deal with ambiguity whereas design and art students acquire this competence quite early in their learning. Design students could benefit from the ways we teach our students to analyse business environments and management issues. A blended business/design programme like the MSc we designed together with The Glasgow School of Art will enable students to change thinking caps on a regular basis.

And why is collaboration at the Highlands and Islands Creative Campus important to you?

The Highlands and Islands and Moray gives us a great platform to initiate projects – research or otherwise – which are relevant to rural regions internationally, and explore the role of cultural and creative industries in supporting the development of these areas.

I already have students asking when they can come!

What does the Winter School format offer you that is unique?

The School will be a pivotal moment on the Masters programme calendar as students will move their projects from theory into real-life entrepreneurial practice. Wearing a design hat, they will be plunged in a different cultural environment which will prepare them to ask the right questions for their collaborative entrepreneurial activities and career.

Finally, if you could sum Winter School up in three words, what would they be?

Am I allowed more than three?…

…humanity, trust, conviviality, open-mindedness, relaxed, family feel, flow, creativity, space

Catherine Morel lecturing at Winter School

A packed Winter School audience for Catherine Morel. Image credit: Jane Candlish

What next?

Further info on the Management and Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy (Programme subject to validation)

Find out more about Audencia Business School

Check out Catherine’s radio programme – Cash and Culture – which is supported by Audencia Foundation through the Audencia Research Lab.

 

 


Meet the people at Winter School 2017

Published by January 26, 2017 1:15 pm

Winter School is a highlight of the GSA’s annual calendar. This year, it has brought together around 100 leading design academics and students from all over the world to research and study at the GSA’s new Highlands and Islands Creative Campus.

Over two activity-filled weeks, students took part in lectures, workshops and joint research projects with local businesses and communities.

This year’s theme is Innovation from Tradition, which explores how past traditions can inspire future ways of working, and the role that design can play.

The GSA team at the Highlands and Islands Creative Campus have thoroughly enjoyed hosting such an exciting group at Winter School… And the good news is that the group have enjoyed it too! Find out what delegates at this year’s Winter School have to say about the experience:

Student Barbara Chalmers, who is on the MDES Design Innovation and Service Design programme.

View of Winter School: Barbara Chalmers from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.

Student Puja Parekh, from MDES Design Innovation and Service Design, tells us about working with local companies.

Winter School 2017: “An eye-opening experience” from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.

Professor Eva Brandt from the Royal Danish School of Fine Arts, School of Design (KADK), who has joined Winter School for the second year running. You can also read her blog piece here.

An international view of Winter School 2017: Professor Eva Brandt from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.

From Köln International School of Design, Professor Philip Heidkamp has also attended for the second year.

An international view of Winter School 2017: Professor Philip Heidkamp from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.

And last, but by no means least, Dr Gordon Hush who has led Winter School for GSA:

What to expect from InDI Winter School from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.

For contact details and more information on InDI’S Design Innovation teaching programmes check out our website.


Five minutes with a Winter School expert: Eva Brandt

Published by January 26, 2017 11:00 am

Professor Eva Brandt has joined Winter School for the second year running. Eva joins us from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design (KADK). She brings with her a group of 10 students from the MA programme in Codesign at KADK. Here she explains why the collaboration with GSA provides a refreshing take on design education.

Tell us a little about your Design background and interests, as well as the themes you brought to Winter School 2017.

EB: First of all, thank you very much for the invitation to be part of this. For more than 20 years I have worked in the fields of participatory design and codesign in various settings. I am co-lead at the Centre for Research in Codesign at KADK, and our MA programme in Codesign.

My research interests are two-fold. One concerns how designers can stage open design processes with many participants where they both can inquire into existing practices and explore possible futures in common. The other part concerns theorising about experimental design research driven by programs and experiments. Apart from this I love teaching. My talk at the Winter School was about “Challenges, strategies and experiences with collaborative design”.

From your perspective, what are the benefits of the research and teaching carried out at Winter School?

EB: I think that is very exciting to be here. Both students and faculty come from different countries, institutions and educational programs. The faculty is transdisciplinary and come with different competencies and research interest but have a common interest in social design. I think that we can all benefit very much from listening to each other and sharing interests and experiences.

What advantages does the school offer students?

EB: I am happy to see the students work hard and that they are engaged with their respective themes. An important advantage with this international Winter School is that the students can explore a theme in many different ways. These kind of reflections are essential as it gives new perspectives on one’s own ways of thinking and working. They hopefully also provide inspiration to experiment with other approaches. I think that the Winter School is an excellent opportunity for exchanging and learning.

I am very grateful that Gordon Hush from GSA spent a lot of time prior to Winter School finding external partners for the students to collaborate; e.g. Altyre Estate, Ballindalloch Estate, Pluscarden Abbey and Johnstons of Elgin. The external partners visited the students on day two and a few days after the students did a field visit at their premises. Even though two weeks is a short time the students have had the opportunity to engage with real partners on real issues which I think is great.

What do you hope that students have learned from Winter School?

EB: Designers need to be good at working from an open design agenda and getting to know a new field fast. It takes curiosity and an empathic approach. They have also found out how to deal with uncertainty. This Winter School is really about learning-by-doing. I hope that the students will have learned from experiencing some of this and that they are inspired to do more.

Why should we collaborate here in the Highlands and Islands?

EB: I think it is a good strategic choice for GSA to both have a campus in Glasgow and one in the Highlands and Islands. It gives students and faculty the opportunity to live, study and work in both urban and rural areas. It seems perfect for research to be close to the communities that you want to engage with, and I hope that being in the Highlands and Islands can lead to more long-term engagements. I am looking forward to following this initiative and think that it can be very inspiring for other educational institutions.

 

An international view of Winter School 2017: Professor Eva Brandt from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.


Winter School 2017: A tartan treat

Published by January 25, 2017 12:50 pm

Students at Winter School 2017 enjoyed a proper piece of Scottish culture yesterday afternoon when we welcomed a bagpiper in full tartan regalia.

Well-known local musician Spud the Piper came to Altyre to perform as a treat for students. Everyone took a break from meetings and project work to listen to the skirl of the pipes.

While a little shy at first, students were soon getting their pictures taken with Spud and questioning him about his work and his pipes.

Afterwards he became the first person to pipe in the main studio and in the exhibition space – an excellent preview of the traditional music to come during our end of school ceilidh!

Here’s a few photos of the spectacle!

Spud the Piper and bagpipes with students

Spud the Piper explaining what’s inside the pipes. Image credit: Jane Candlish

Students talking to Spud the Piper

Spud is swarmed after playing for students at Winter School 2017. Image credit: Jane Candlish

Crowds outside GSA Highlands and Islands

Winter School 2017 students, faculty and staff listening to Spud at GSA Highlands and Islands. Image credit: Jane Candlish

Piper in GSA Highlands and Islands studio

The first piper to play in the main studio! Image credit: Jane Candlish

Students listening to pipes at GSA Highlands and Islands

In the exhibition space: carrying out project works to the skirl of the pipes. Image credit: Jane Candlish

 


Five minutes with a Winter School expert: Pedro C. Almeida

Published by January 24, 2017 3:45 am

Pedro Carvalho de Almeida gave a popular keynote speech during the first week of Winter School 2017. He is Assistant Professor of Design at the University of Aveiro, Portugal – read more about his work here. Here he tells the InDI blog his thoughts about Winter School and explains some of his key themes.

You’ve travelled a long distance to be here, what has struck you about Winter School?

PA: The Winter School is a great example of how universities can transcend their traditional boundaries, which are often limited to their own academic scope and closed communities, such as conferences and academic publications.

Discussing the various levels and possibilities in which designers can collaborate with local organisations in their own contexts can help thinking about where, how and whom the discipline can be relevant to.

The openness and engagement capacity of the Winter School with its focus on the region’s specific issues, shows a huge respect for its socio-economic ground and the deeply engrained cultural traditions. This is a timely and pressing agenda.

Winter School is an exemplar model for others to emulate.

What can we learn from Winter School about Design in today’s world?

PA: One particularly relevant aspect is the shift in design approaches, moving out from traditional notions of the design studio, or bubble, into closer understanding of the broader contexts in which it operates. For example, social, historical and cultural contextualisation for bringing design interventions back to symbolic values and relevant meaning.

Another aspect is the crossing of different cultural backgrounds, by bringing together an international community of academics, researchers and students from across the world. This makes it possible to better understand the global conditions in which we live in.

You delivered a presentation at Winter School 2017, what were the key themes you addressed?

PA: My presentation was called: ‘Brand archives as generative resource’. Brand archives aim to provide a thorough understanding of a brand’s identity from a design perspective. This means ‘distilling’ its essence and uncovering its DNA in relation to its broader contextual history and local culture. It is a both a resource and a tool to understand the past so to derive meaning into the future.

The notion of brand archives entails rescuing visual and material culture related to a brand name, and also the conception of these materials as generative resources to foster future possibilities. 

In my presentation, I addressed the relevance of brand archives to companies, designers and the broader culture. My themes represent a critique and response around the cultural inheritance of locally specific brands, and how this can often be overlooked and dissolve amongst global influence.

In the present day, designers can play an important role concerning the preservation of traditional local industries and companies. Historical brand archives consist of rich strategic resources for fostering innovation, whether from a symbolic, cultural, historic, social or economic perspective.

Brand archaeology is at the centre of a process for both understanding organisations’ trajectories of historical development and to enable the creative exploration of their own legacy. The approaches and examples presented were intended to show the creative potential embedded within local and material cultures.

Are there any key learning points that you would love people to take away from your perspective on Design?

PA: One of the ideas emerging from Winter School that I would like to reinforce is the preservation of what is locally specific, and relevant to contemporary needs and concerns. This is opposed to practices that contribute to the wiping out of regional and national identities, leading to a bland uniformity of designed products and approaches.

Finally, if you could pick three words to explain Winter School, what would they be?

PA: If I may use four: Outside of the box!

Assistant Professor Pedro Almeida

Assistant Professor Pedro Almeida, University of Aveiro. Image credit: Carlos Teixeira

 


Catch-up on the GSA Highlands and Islands launch

Published by January 23, 2017 3:00 pm

InDI is still buzzing from Friday’s official opening of the GSA Highlands and Islands Creative Campus.

We had a fantastic day and it was great to see so many people including local Moray businesses and community organisations, students from across the world, politicians and the media. Thanks to everyone who came along – we hope to welcome you back soon.

All of our Winter School 2017 students joined in before presenting their project work so far to our academic faculty.

You can read the official press release about the campus here: www.gsablogspot.ac.uk

News of the campus is spreading far and wide and it featured in a range of media at the weekend: STV; The HeraldThe Press and Journal; and the Forres Gazette.

There’s some of the highlights from the day below – and you can check out our Twitter account and Instagram for more!

Prof McAra-McWilliam in front of audience for GSA Highlands and Islands opening

A full house of researchers, staff, students and guests for the official opening, performed by Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam. Imaged credit: Paul Campbell

Student being interviewed by TV crew

Forres-based MDES student Yara Al-Husaini gets interviewed by the STV crew. Image credit: Jane Candlish

Prof McAra-McWilliam at GSA Highlands and Islands opening

Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam at GSA Highlands and Islands Creative Campus. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Students in discussions in studio

Lively discussions in the studio as students continue their projects. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Groups of students presenting to academic faculty

Students presenting the results of their first week of work to faculty. Image credit: Paul Campbell


Launching GSA Highlands and Islands!

Published by January 20, 2017 3:07 pm

The sun shone brightly on the official opening of the GSA’s new Highlands and Islands Creative Campus this morning.

Our new exhibition space was packed with students, researchers and invited guests, including local politicians and representatives from businesses and community organisations.

Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam, the director of the Highlands and Islands Creative Campus, gave a great speech outlining the journey to the campus and the future plans.

You can read more about the launch at www.gsa.blogspot.co.uk 

And we’ve got more pictures and soundbites from the day at Twitter and on Instagram

Prof McAra-McWilliam at GSA Highlands and Islands opening

Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam at GSA Highlands and Islands Creative Campus. Image credit: Paul Campbell


What to do on a Winter School Weekend

Published by January 19, 2017 3:00 pm

Week one of Winter School 2017 is nearly at an end and thoughts are probably turning to the weekend and how to spend two days in Moray. The region offers some spectacular sights: here local student Freyja Harris reveals some of her top picks. Freyja is a GSA Product Design student who is on exchange at Köln International School of Design and attending Winter School. She grew up in Findhorn and admits she is biased towards its charms!

Smiling female studentHISTORICAL SITES

In and around Forres, there are a few interesting historical sites to visit. Nelson’s Tower sits on the top of Cluny Hill in the middle of Forres. When the flag flies from its parapets, you can climb the tower and see an incredible view of the surrounding area.

The closest distillery is Benromach and is only a short walk outside Forres; they offer tours and make tasty whisky. A short bus trip away is Brodie Castle, a grand building with all the original furnishings and rooms in tact with beautiful gardens and expansive grounds. It gives you a good idea of how the land owners of Scotland live(d).

If you have transport available the famous Culloden Battlefield is roughly an hour away, on the outskirts of Inverness. It hosted one of the biggest battles in Scottish history when the Highlanders lost to the Jacobites and it resulted in huge cultural and political change.

OUTDOORS

There are plenty of places to walk or cycle around Forres. Califer Hill offers a beautiful viewpoint over the area, while Culbin Forest, across Findhorn Bay is also a popular spot. The Dava Way, which runs close to Altyre, takes you inland along a disused railway line. The full walk, which ends in Grantown-on-Spey in the Cairngorms, is 22miles!

One of the easiest things might be getting to Findhorn Village on the bus where you can explore the beach and dune lands, and the neighbouring Findhorn Foundation. The Findhorn Village Marina offers boat trips into the Moray Firth, which is popular for dolphin-spotting. The boat is The North 58º but as it’s off-season they need a certain number of people to charter one boat and to book in advance.

SOCIAL

There are many pubs on Forres High Street: the most popular are the Mosset Tavern, The Red Lion, The Carlton, The Newmarket Bar and The Carisbrooke. In Findhorn, you also have The Crown and Anchor Inn and The Kimberly Inn (highly recommended). There are restaurants throughout, however in the Findhorn Foundation there is tasty takeaway pizza and crepes from La Bohème, and in Findhorn Village is The Bakehouse Café, which generally serves food during the day.

Logie Steading is a good location to go for a walk along Findhorn River and to end up at the cafe, but it is five miles away to the south of Forres.

 

Wherever you go, share your pictures with us via Twitter: @InDI_GSA or on Instagram: @GSA_InDI and using #winterschool2017

For more ideas, you can also visit Moray Speyside Tourism’s website, which offers a wealth of advice and information on where to go in Moray.

You can also watch their videos of the local area at www.vimeo.com/morayspeyside

 

 


Winter School 2017: Day 1 pictures

Published by January 18, 2017 3:46 pm

Winter School 2017 is finally underway and the schedule has been packed so far.

We’ve enjoyed lots of interesting keynote speeches, with useful insights into the value of design and tradition.

InDI was also pleased to welcome some of Moray’s leading community representatives and businesses, who spoke to students about their own practices.

Now students are starting their project work to fulfil the Innovation from Tradition brief.

To give you a flavour of what’s been taking place so far, here’s some pictures from Day 1!

Keep sharing your pictures with us via Twitter and Instagram – #Winterschool2017

Man speaking to crowd

Laurie Piper, of Moray Speyside Tourism, addresses students at Winter School about the charms of Moray. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Man speaking to students in large room

G. Alistair Campbell (centre), from Elgin’s Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere project, explains what his group is trying to achieve. Image credit: Paul Campbell

A monk in white robes speaking to students

Brother Michael from Pluscarden Abbey speaks to students. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Woman speaking to two students

Students listen to Kresanna Aigner, of Findhorn Bay Arts, during a Winter School session. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Older man speaking to students

Sir Alistair Gordon-Cumming, laird of Altyre Estate, meets students at Winter School. Image credit: Paul Campbell