MDES Design Innovation & Interaction Design

The relationship between humanity and technology has been the history of the world as we understand it, whether the technologies were agricultural, alphabetical, industrial or, as they are today, digital. The inter-relationship between the social, cultural and technological aspects of contemporary life defines the study of Interaction Design as a field of enquiry. Just as Gropius and the Bauhaus grappled with questions of form, function and utility in the industrial age, today’s designers must reconcile the interactions between science and society, between the digital and the ecological, between periphery and centre. Interaction is no longer merely a technological phenomenon, rather it is relational; it links every aspect of social life.

The one-year MDes Design Innovation & Interaction Design examines the relationship between a technological imperative of innovation and the societal search for personal equality, economic and cultural quality of life and community well-being. Students on this programme will explore how these societal issues are made possible by technological advance and social innovation within contemporary society.

The degree has an emphasis upon collaborative working and real world engagement, which is explored through projects exploring the impact of the Internet of Things, “big data” and emerging technologies on subjects as diverse as high-rise living, improving the experience of homeless people, encouraging political discourse. Many projects are “live” with organisations as diverse as Toshiba, the Scottish Government, Tesco bank and Alzheimer’s Scotland offering graduates a professional portfolio of work upon graduation.

International links are also important and the January Winter School held in the Scottish Highlands is a collaboration with students and faculty from Schools such as Royal Academy of Design (Copenhagen) and KISD (Køln), while participants from Japan and the USA may also feature. Sharing knowledge, methods and approaches to design issues shaped more by culture and context than by formal considerations allows students to explore complex issues and the experiences of the diverse users and stakeholders of contemporary design – whether these are artefacts, services or interactions.

Students on this course also attend Winter School at GSA Highlands and Islands.


You will study at GSA’s Creative Campus in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Located just outside Forres, the Creative Campus is a research and postgraduate teaching centre for international excellence in creativity and innovation. The combination of modern studio environment and workshop with a traditional highland setting offers a unique educational experience. We deliver Masters and PhD programmes, and the campus location enables us to research in geographically diverse and distributed contexts as well, as develop innovative forms of teaching with our academic partners around the world.

How to Apply

More information on this course is available here on The Glasgow School of Art website.

Further information on applying to the Graduate School is available from