A PROGRAMME of events for businesses and designers is underway across the Highlands and Islands.
The programme was unveiled by the Design Network, part of the Creative Futures Partnership between the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The Design Network will take the form of an internationally-linked, entrepreneurial design and design research network.
The ‘Design on the Road’ events began in Inverness last week where Iain Aitchison, director of London-based design strategy consultancy, Plan, shared his experience and expertise with design practitioners.
The second event will be in Oban on 10 September, for small to medium-sized creative businesses who are keen to reach out to national and international clients.
It will feature David Freer, co-founder of boutique design studio, O Street.
A third event will take place in Lerwick on 1 October with Shetland-born Don McIntyre, from the GSA’s Institute of Design Innovation, returning to his roots to lead an exploration of creative approaches to using software tools to help small businesses.
Further events will take place elsewhere across the region as the programme develops.
The initiative is led by Kate Hooper, senior production manager at the GSA’s Institute of Design Innovation and Iain Hamilton, head of creative industries at HIE.
Kate Hooper said: “Through the Design Network the GSA and HIE are collaborating to support a flourishing design community in the Highlands and Islands, It will link communities and businesses in the region into national and international design expertise and design research.
“We are particularly aiming to develop a nuanced understanding of design and designers in the region, and to create a greater awareness amongst non-design companies of the transformational qualities that design brings to businesses and communities.”
HIE’s Iain Hamilton, added: “We’re delighted to launch the Design Network, which will give voice to the design community across the Highlands and Islands.
“The idea is that the network will grow along with the businesses themselves, and by recognising the skills and talents that already exist in the area we can all work together to grow this reputation far beyond the region.
“I am particularly excited to see the level of demand that there has already been for these sessions.”
The Creative Futures Partnership’s Design Network is a collaboration between The Glasgow School of Art and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It aims to offer communities and businesses across the Highlands and Islands access to national and international design expertise through a range of formal and informal events. Its programme will also be aligned with the research and teaching work of the Glasgow School of Art.
DESIGN ON THE ROAD 1: SKILLS FOR STRATEGIC DESIGN CONSULTANCY
Date: 21st August 2015, Inverness
This was an informal session aimed at designers and aspiring designers who may be interested in broadening their roles. Research shows that there is a direct link between design and better business performance. As a result, designers’ skills are increasingly in demand in a wide range of strategic roles advising on areas such as business processes and decision making. Iain Aitchison is director of London-based design strategy consultancy, Plan. He often works from the Highlands and Islands, where he has a home. He shared his perspective on the top skills designers in the region can develop to take on more strategic roles. From being able to frame complex problems to facilitating multidisciplinary decision-making or developing your own design brief, Iain shared his top tips from over a decade consulting to top global firms, including Bacardi, British Gas, Lenovo, Mars, Samsung, Unilever, Wrigley’s and Yamaha Motors.
DESIGN ON THE ROAD 2: BESPOKE, BOUTIQUE AND INTERNATIONAL
Date: Thursday 10th Sept 6-8pm, Oban
This informal session is aimed at small to medium-sized creative businesses who are keen to reach out to national and international clients, and is hosted by David Freer, co-founder of boutique design studio, O Street. David will share ideas and examples on building new business leads and relationships in national and international locations, as well as looking at new ways of working remotely. David co-founded boutique design studio, O Street in Glasgow eight years ago. He specialised in Graphic Design at the GSA and Rhode Island School of Design. He has lived on both sides of the Atlantic and spent the start of his career at Saatchi & Saatchi in London. He is now also a research associate of the Institute of Design Innovation at the GSA.
To sign up for the free event visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/design-on-the-road-2-bespoke-boutique-and-international-tickets-18202711801
DESIGN ON THE ROAD 3: EXPLOITING CREATIVITY WITH SOFTWARE TOOLS
Date: Thursday 1st October, Lerwick
Creative Technologist and Programme director at the Institute of Design Innovation, Don McIntyre, heads to the place of his birth to host this session, which explores creative approaches to using software tools to help small businesses. Booking information will be released soon.
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