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 recognizing 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.