5 Advantages of Pottery for Kids [Part 2]

Foster Sociability

The kid will certainly take part in pottery courses with various other youngsters, as well as this should place him at ease, knowing that he is with people his age.

Pottery courses are silent most of the time, while the kids are busy with their art items with best pottery wheels for beginners. However, this does not suggest that they can not start a discussion. In ceramic classes, children will find support to talk to others, share suggestions, and clarify their artwork.

These conversations will open up brand-new doors for the youngster to make friends. This is important, as sociability can help the youngster establish positive psychological wellness.

Can you think of if your youngster hesitates to go outside the house speak with individuals? If he is, then he is missing out on many facets of cultural knowledge.

As mentioned earlier, ceramic can assist develop self-confidence. And when a youngster checks out himself favorably, he will certainly not fear to exchange words with various other kids. He will not be afraid to ask, and also he will certainly not be scared to provide his opinions.

Sociability is critical for a kid to find out how to work together. As well as when a youngster learns this, he will certainly really feel safe and secure towards culture, as well as most important. He will find out how to collaborate with individuals.

A pottery course can support this element of your youngster’s life. It makes children feel valued, shielded, respected, and also enjoyed.

Develop Spatial Intelligence

Spatial intelligence is the ability to picture something psychological. Have you ever questioned how musicians could turn something that is so mundane right into a fantastic art piece? Think of an item of wood that a musician turned into a sculpture.

Spatial knowledge is the vital to that.

This type of intelligence is what enables engineers to produce illustrations of homes, as well as exactly how artisans know just how a cabinet or sculpture will resemble.

Molding clay forces the youngster to consider precisely how the clay would look like after he executes an action. It is a three-dimensional task, as well as the kid has to turn the number around regularly. The result of this activity is interest, spatial understanding, and imagination.

A youngster that is molding a pot would certainly ask himself, “How can I place an opening in this block of pot?”

Or if the child wants to develop a round flower holder out of the clay, he will take a look at the various sides of the object to have different perspectives, as well as he will undoubtedly attempt to find out what a line or curve would do to the operate in development.

The following thing he’ll do is to experiment, and also he will certainly soon learn that pressing, molding, flattening, and all other activities have an impact on the outcome of the clay. And as he learns this, he will certainly soon realize that each action effects.

He will then utilize this knowledge to picture he ended up the item in his head.

As he progresses, he will establish the ability not just to identify shapes and also patterns, yet he will certainly have the ability to understand the relationship in between them and just how putting them with each other can develop something more significant than what they are as private forms.


Ceramic provides numerous benefits to the different elements of a child’s life. But like various other activities, perhaps not all children will undoubtedly be inclined to take part. But with appropriate inspiration, your youngster can create an eager interest in art, mainly, pottery.

Pottery is a secure leisure activity, albeit it involves a great deal of dirt. The result, nevertheless, is a keepsake that your youngster can maintain till he grows up.

Part 1

5 Advantages of Pottery for Kids [Part 1]

One of the things that can create moms and dads to stress over their kids is the ever-growing existence of innovation. The web is a place where human creative thinking understands no bounds. Because of this, children are drawn to it yet might have an inactive way of life, viewing programs on their tablet computers all day.

While it holds that computer games develop electric motor abilities, you might intend to think about various other hobbies for your kids. The best pottery wheel for kids can improve a lot of the child’s physical, mental, and also emotional well-being.

Aside from being healing and also relaxing, there are extra substantial advantages that a person can receive from it, especially youngsters that are in their developmental years.

Right here, we will certainly be having a look at how pottery can profit kids, as well as why taking your kid in a pottery class is a significant factor to consider to provide your kid a method to discover not simply art, but additionally various other abilities.

Boost Electric Motor Abilities

Motor skill describes an individual’s capability to perform with precision what his mind desired the muscles to do. Basically, this is the ability to effectively use components of your body to relocate at the correct time, with precision, presently you meant to make the activity, as well as likewise attain the desired result.

Have you ever before seen highly competent craftsmen at the office? How around basketball players or gymnasts that relocate with precision?

Anything that your mind willed to do, such as however is not limited to strolling, running, and also realizing, comprise your electric motor abilities.

A youngster that participates in pottery classes will undoubtedly take advantage of his hands usually. This permits his mind and hands to coordinate because he has to mold and mildew the clay as the wheel turns. He has to apply the best pressure at the ideal spots, and also at the correct time to produce the desired shape.

In innovative classes, the child will additionally use his feet to pedal the ceramic wheel. In such circumstances, he will find out just how to relocate his hands and feet in a rhythm that favorably influences the shape of the clay.

It is similar to driving, where your mind, eyes, feet, hands, and also arms all interact to achieve harmony, without which you can not drive successfully.

Grow Issue Addressing Capacities

Analytic does not just happen in mathematical situations. We are all flooded with problems every day, and also this consists of youngsters.

The difference between adults as well as kids is that we have currently created sensible pathways in our minds. We know what actions to require to resolve a problem, yet a child is still learning his methods.

In ceramic, the problem that your kid is most likely to face is the one that he created.

He would ask himself, “Just how can I turn this (the clay) into a pot?”

As well as considering that he is left on his very own, he understands that he needs to fix it. It is true that he can request the assistance of the instructor, however at the end of the day, he needs to roll, squash, push, as well as smoothen the clay in the position where he believed was proper.

Fundamentally, the kid is required to believe.

And as he attempts to address the trouble, he begins his journey to exploration.

If he unintentionally put a lot of water, he will certainly quickly uncover that he needs to include clay to revive the ideal appearance. If he utilized a metal structure, he needs to find out exactly how to bend it without warping the whole framework.

If he is producing something much more intricate than a straightforward pot, like a human porcelain figurine, where is he going to make it develop the hands? What concerning the joints?

Ceramic places your youngster in a bothersome situation– an innovative one, that is– and this motivates the kid to either experiment to discover options, or to request for assistance from the trainer to find out the solution.

Improve Self-worth

Pottery classes do not work like traditional colleges. In schools, children are ranked according to their output. They receive grades, and also they get either ridiculed or ridiculed if they choke up, while those that did well are commended.

An environment like that can cause your youngster to view himself from the perspective of others. If he performs poorly in his academics, he may not check out himself with esteem, thinking that only smart individuals should have that.

The possible results are that your youngster will undoubtedly mature being peaceful, courageous to talk his mind, as well as withdrawn from other individuals who he views are the “great ones.”

In a pottery class, the child is free to produce. He can allow his creative imagination to fly, as well as he does not have to obtain fretted about being held liable for it. Whatever he develops, the kid understands that this is the item of his own hands.

There are no grading systems in ceramic courses. No person is the very best, as well as no one is the weakest.

The absence of a grading system gets rid of the anxiety of not carrying out. And also because of that, the youngster does not feel boxed within a collection of expectations, and even he would certainly recognize that it is a location where he can freely share himself.

His job will be acknowledged, and also he knows that his capabilities to create are limitless– that he only needs time to find out, as well as he will obtain it done. There is no stress, as well as consequently. There is little possibility of giving up.

And the result? You have a kid who believes in himself, as well as that wants to commit to learning a craft since he recognizes he will certainly never get penalized regardless of what the outcome is.

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Pioneering design research in health and care

A flavour of our design research in health and care

As well as a home to post-graduate teaching, GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus plays host to a portfolio of pioneering design research. The campus is home to the Experience Lab team, a group of design researchers who are central to the Digital Health and Care Institute.

Lasercut model of a nurse used in a design tool during an Experience Lab

Lasercut model of a nurse used in a design tool during an Experience Lab

So, what does all this mean? Why do designers work in healthcare? What do they do exactly? How does Design make a difference? What is an Experience Lab?

These are just some of the queries raised around the exciting and developing role of Design Innovation. Our design researchers specialise in the discipline which sees them designing beyond products, and into services.

To help explain our work to you, one of our research fellows, Gemma Teal is here to help in the video below. Gemma is an experienced design researcher who has almost a decade of experience working in the area of health and wellbeing. 

Gemma Teal Diabetes Experience Lab

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

Before we hear from Gemma, here are some frequently asked questions:

What do our design researchers do?
Our researchers work in many different contexts, from business to healthcare.  They address complex issues through new design practices and bespoke community engagement. Our team research the new qualities of design that are needed to co-create contexts in which people can flourish: at work, in organisations and businesses, in public services and government.

Why is this important in a health and care context?
Gemma and our wider design research team play a core role in the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI). Across the world, models of health and care are struggling to meet the challenge of our ageing population. Digital health and care interventions are recognised as key to the solution in tackling this. Our design researchers explore and prototype possible solutions to these issues.

What is an example of this in action?
Recently, our team has explored how to innovate the experience of Outpatient departments in hospitals.  The waiting period ahead of an Outpatient appointment was identified as a key area to innovate working with the NHS staff, and those who live with long-term conditions.

“Revolutionising the Outpatient Experience” was a DHI event, which GSA designed and facilitated. This work gave Gemma the idea to innovate the waiting experience.

As our work in DHI continues, Experience labs are continuing to innovate in this area. We are now collaborating with The Scottish Government on The Modern Outpatient strategy. Part of this programme of work will include looking at how to innovate the waiting experience.

Following the DHI event, which involved health and social care staff and a number of projects that explored experiences of people living with long-term conditions, the team held an internal prototyping workshop to give form to the insights and ideas generated. Their aim was to develop prototypes that respond to the identified need to reduce patient anxiety and prepare them to get the most from their appointment. 

The prototypes designed on the day will feed into the ongoing project, which includes:

  • Interviews with people with lived experiences of Outpatient care
  • A series of co-design sessions
  • A pop-up public engagement tool

…All designed to inspire meaningful conversations around aspirations for care with people who use Outpatients services.

Watch our Experience Lab team in action
Here, and with some help from Gemma, you can watch our designers at work together at the GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus:

GSA Experience Lab team at work! from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.


If you’d like more information about our previous work on Revolutionising the Outpatient experience you can read the report online.

To find out more about our portfolio of research please visit our website.

Learn about design and help a local social enterprise

Design workshops: sharing perspectives and imagining Newbold House together

Do you live in or around Forres and would love to find out more about the world of design, while helping your local community?

One of our design research teams, called Leapfrog, are hopping….sorry… hoping, that you can come and join them for a design workshop which is going to help shape the future of social enterprise, Newbold House.

Women taking part in a Leapfrog workshop

A Leapfrog design workshop in action!

Leapfrog is a £1.2m 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 and Moray community partners to design and evaluate new approaches for better engagement.

In this case, the team plan to design a tool that will capture and share all the great ideas that come from people who are interested in different aspects of the Newbold Trust.

Leapfrog PhD researcher, Mirian Calvo tells us a little more:

“The tool aims to inspire great new ideas and share them with the intention of engaging with people towards the refurbishment of Newbold House, alongside advice on how this can make a meaningful contribution to the local community.

“For the tool to be a success, we need the the knowledge and experience of the local community, so we are looking for willing participants to join us for these exciting co-design workshops.

“We don’t exactly know what will go into the tool, only that it will be creative, sharable and all the content will be designed by people who potentially could benefit from the future services and facilities of Newbold House.

Leapfrog research activity

Designing design tools: get creative, learn about design…and help your local community!

Are you interested? If so, Mirian would love to hear from you. To book a place please email her: [email protected]

Leapfrog is a collaboration between ImaginationLancaster at Lancaster University, and The Innovation School at The Glasgow School of Art. The team make all the tools, which are free to use and can be fond on the Leapfrog website.


GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus: An experience to never forget

International students wowed by the GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus

The summer holidays may be in full swing but the GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus keeps busy with many visitors and activities.

We regularly host students and faculty from all over the world. Our location on the Altyre Estate outside Forres gives us an ideal opportunity to showcase life and work in the Highlands and Islands and Moray to a global audience who are interested in the region for research and study. 

Last week was no exception with some very special guests. Ten undergraduates from the US came to the campus as part of the prestigious Fulbright Programme.

Fulbright students outside GSA Highlands and Islands

Fulbright students outside GSA Highlands and Islands

The Fulbright Scotland Summer Institute on Technology, Innovation and Creativity is a three-week cultural and academic programme for US students, hosted by the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Strathclyde. As part of the programme, students explore Scotland’s culture, history and creative and technological industries. As our campus has only recently opened, this was the first time the we have hosted the cohort here.

If you’d like a sneak peak of the day, GSA product design student and intern at the campus, Sean Fegan has produced a video of the day to give you a flavour of what happened…

GSA Highlands and Islands – Fulbright students’ visit from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.

The students took part in seminars in key GSA Design Innovation projects including digital health in rural economies and water and textile interdependency in the circular economy. So what exactly does that mean? 

GSA’s Dr Paul Smith hosted a workshop in the sunshine and explains:

“We spent a really great morning exploring the circular economy in textiles with some exceptionally bright students here on the scholarship. Circular economy is a significant step towards addressing the complexities of a more sustainable future, and the ten undergraduates showed real enthusiasm and intelligence with the task we set them. 

We asked them to work in teams to deconstruct the whole product ecology of a familiar textiles product and then reimagine it in a more circular material future. They looked at the origins of materials, the manufacturing processes, distribution and post use. They scrutinised the whole products life and then came up with some amazing sustainable alternatives. It was an inspiring and very illuminating time.”

20 year old Carly McCarthy, a student of Science, Technology and Society at Butler University in Indianapolis and 19-year old Jacob Easley, a Mechanical Engineering student from Mississippi State University with the outcome of their design workshop at the GSA's Highlands and Islands campus

20 year old Carly McCarthy, a student of Science, Technology and Society at Butler University in Indianapolis and 19-year old Jacob Easley, a Mechanical Engineering student from Mississippi State University with the outcome of their design workshop at the GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus

19 year old Jacob Easley, a Mechanical Engineering student from Mississippi State University said: “Going to the GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus was an experience I’ll never forget. Even during the short time I was there I was pushed to expand my thinking of what design really is.”

You can find out more information about the Fulbright Programme, or check out GSA’s press release about the visit.

And if that’s whetted your appetite to find out more about the campus then please visit our online pages.

Tool Stories: Comic Book

From tool to artefact and beyond

In the latest Tool Stories blog, design researcher Sneha Raman shares a tool from the Game Jam project and explores its journey from tool to artefact and back to tool.

Game Jam worked with a group of young people with learning difficulties and sought to create design requirements for a learning/educational game to encourage safe practice online. A series of five labs explored different aspects of the game and included activities such as story-sharing and mapping learning needs.

The design of tools was particularly important in helping to shape engagement tailored to the group. One was a comic book, which provided scenarios to encourage participants to think about areas of risk online and ways of overcoming those problems.

Sneha Raman comic book

Design researcher Sneha Raman with the Comic Book tool. Image credit: Hannah Laycock

Sneha takes up the story of how the tool was used:

“The nature of the group that we were working with definitely influenced the aesthetic and the language of the tool. We had to think about making things visual and engaging, keeping text simple, keeping the language simple… more everyday language or casual tone.

“I think it was effective because of the aesthetic. The general idea behind a comic strip is more light-hearted and that made the prospect of talking about some of these challenges less threatening to the participants. They didn’t feel judged in expressing or sharing some of their experiences using this tool.

“… it (the comic book) transitions between being a tool and an artefact. As the activity progressed, participants started to respond to some of the problems and build onto the scenario presented in the comic strip. The tool captured all their new ideas and thoughts. I think that’s how it became an artefact.

Comic Book in lab

Close-up of the Comic Book being used in the Game Jam Lab. Image credit: Louise Mather

“The artefact was brought back to a subsequent lab with the same audience. Here, it acted as a tool because participants were asked to then think of ways that these solutions could be incorporated into the learning game that they were designing.

“We consistently brought back the artefacts created in previous labs to the next ones. Overall it helped to create continuity but also gave a sense of being valued and having important role to play in the process.”

Read more about the project and the use of the tool here:

– radar.gsa.ac.uk/4857/
– radar.gsa.ac.uk/5285/
– radar.gsa.ac.uk/5192/


Tool Stories: Music Box

Supporting interaction

The second of our Tool Stories series features a tool made one of our design researchers, Jeroen Blom.

He was part of the team working on The Box project, which aimed to develop a flexible and creative way in which to make the delivery of therapy-based musical interactions achievable for all, regardless of musical ability. Initiated by BW & FM Sherret Ltd, a company based in Nairn, The Box project was supported technically and creatively by the University of the Highlands and Islands and The Glasgow School of Art, working in partnership.

The Experience Labs team visited a primary school unit for children with various complex needs, as well as a children’s hospice. Various musical interaction tools were created, one of which was a music box that played four different sounds – drums, guitar, bells and organ – with the tone changing depending on how hard the coloured pads were pressed.

Music box

One of the musical devices made for The Box project. Image credit: Hannah Laycock.

Here, Jeroen tells the InDI blog how the tool was used by the children:

“Some of the children couldn’t move any limbs but because the object vibrates, a parent can put it on a leg or an arm, or the tummy, and press it. Since there is a clear link between sound and vibration, the children understand that if someone does something to it, it vibrates and that’s what you feel and that’s what you hear.

“The shape seemed suitable because it’s a nice shape for two people to hold.  Using different colours was something that came from the observations done before. Clearly the children like the visual stimuli so different colours means different things.

“As a thing to support and trigger interaction, the musical tool worked really well. We gave it to them and said if you press that it makes sounds and it will vibrate and they understand that. There’s nothing more to it but they were still using it for 10 or 15 minutes because they liked the vibration and they liked to do something to each other or with each other. That was a real sign that even though that particular musical tool is a very simple thing and not going to be an end solution, it’s already something that people value for their own interaction.

“There were two little girls who didn’t have any motor skills or any verbal interaction. It was difficult for me to read in them how they were feeling. But I saw their eyes light up at some points, particularly with the bell sound that they liked a lot. When their mum figured that out, she just kept closer and kept playing with the bell sound.

“It’s up to the people to find the real meaning in the interaction and the girls looked at it and smiled: it’s those meaningful moments that you want your tool to offer. You can then see what they respond to and that’s what you want to focus more on in the next iteration.”

Music device components

The music device and its various components. Image credit: Hannah Laycock


You can find out more about the work of our Design Innovation researchers here.

Tool Stories: Swallows

Capturing conversations

Design researcher Leigh-Anne Hepburn is the first to pick a tool from the Experience Labs for our Tool Stories series.

Leigh-Anne led the recent Crossreach Confidential Connections project. Crossreach is a charity providing counselling services across Scotland. Their main centres are in the central belt, although they have outreach posts in other areas, including the Highlands and Islands, and Moray. Due to increasing demand for perinatal depression counselling, Crossreach wishes to consider opportunities for using digital technology to deliver services.

The Labs explored the experience of counselling, from the perspective of both people experiencing perinatal depression and counsellor. Participants’ experiences were recorded using specially designed tools bearing the image of a swallow.

Here, Leigh-Anne describes the tool and the effect it had on participants.

Design researcher Leigh-Anne Hepburn with swallow cards

Design researcher Leigh-Anne Hepburn with some of the items from the CrossReach project. Image credit: Hannah Laycock.

“For Crossreach, we were looking for something that represented a journey. We came up with the idea of the swallow.

“It has a lot of cultural interpretations. It’s used in seafaring – sailors used to get tattoos for every 5,000 miles of a journey. But there are also other interpretations: freedom, motherhood, faith, steadiness and lifelong partnership. Those interpretations fitted in quite well with the Crossreach values and about that journey through a counselling experience.

“We laser-cut swallow tags and while participants were sharing their experiences, we used the swallows to capture conversations. The swallows were hung in a row so that as well as people sharing, their stories were visualised. Everything that went up on the line became shared knowledge.

“We asked both groups, health professionals and past service users, to map their journey of experience through the counselling service. We used the swallows to map the points of interaction with the service and what it felt like for them. The swallows represented each point of their journey.

“As well as acting as a prompt to begin conversations and sharing of experiences, the tool worked to break down barriers. Because the Crossreach project tackled a very sensitive topic, it was often challenging for participants. This was perhaps the first time they had recounted their own personal experience. They were going back to a point in their lives that was challenging and something they hadn’t revisited in a long time.

“I feel the tools enabled them to do that in a much more careful and considered way.”

Swallow templates Crossreach

Participants filled in the swallow templates and hung them on a line. Image credit: Hannah Laycock

Read more about the Experience Labs on our Research pages.

Introducing Design Tools

What is a design tool?

Our Experience Labs team has worked on more than 20 digital health projects in the past three years, covering subjects such as diabetes, back pain, counselling and Internet safety.

The Labs were developed by InDI and 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.

Because each topic and group of participants is different, the design researchers create special tools to use in each workshop. These are designed to engage participants and encourage them to share their own experiences.

In a series of blogs, called Tool Stories, members of the Experience Labs team reflect on some of these bespoke tools and why they were so effective.

Blank swallow cards CrossReach

Image credit: Hannah Laycock

But what is a tool?
We asked our design researchers and for this, the first blog, we bring you their definitions. Let us know what you think about the term.

“A tool is something that gives form to thought…we’re trying to capture experiences and asking people to share their stories… The tools help people to visualise that experience because perhaps they can’t do it in a conversation.
Leigh-Anne Hepburn

“A tool is anything that is populated with experiences or thoughts in a session. It moves the conversation beyond a chat, and makes the structure and shape of the process tangible.”
Jeroen Blom

“A tool is something that facilitates engagement and helps people either to think about new ideas or express and share their experiences and ideas. It is anything that helps to articulate and makes tangible the different thoughts and experiences that people bring to the labs.”
Sneha Raman

“A tool is anything we use, whether it be software, hardware, a piece of paper, that facilitates discussion, can be used to record discussion or can be used to provoke some reaction and then discussion.”
Dr Jay Bradley

Until the next blog, you can read more about a different approach to tools on the Leapfrog page and by searching our blogs.

Sites, scents and a sense of self

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

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


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


Leapfrog at the Creative Campus

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.

Designing the future from Rome

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


Spreading the word about our latest design research

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)
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)
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

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

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)
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.

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

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.

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

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

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.