Seasonal Schools: an innovative teaching method


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, [email protected]


Leapfrog into summer


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.


Save the date: Leapfrog Summer School


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