Water and Textile Interdependency in the Circular Economy

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

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

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

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


InDI at XpoNorth

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

Why you should visit this Moray social enterprise

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

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

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.

A Re-Mantle showcase

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, [email protected]

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

Exploring graduate employability at Singapore Design Week

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