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

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:

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

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

[email protected]


Don McIntyre, Design Director, InDI

[email protected]