Innovation from Tradition workshop held in Shetland

01 December 2016

The final workshop took place yesterday (Wednesday 30 November) at Mareel, Lerwick, Shetland.

Innovation from Tradition is a new approach that looks at traditional craft practices in the creation of new opportunities for islanders, particularly in terms of new creative ideas and industries.

Run by the Creative Futures Partnership - a joint venture between Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and The Glasgow School of Art (GSA), the workshop series, which also took place in Orkney, is part of the Bag O’ Clews project. It aims to explore the role that Design Innovation can play in supporting, developing and growing the craft and creative industries in rural and island geographies.

At the first workshop, held in early November, design tools were introduced as well as techniques that can be used to support development and enhance creativity.  Don McIntyre, design director at the Institute of Design Innovation (InDI) was the keynote speaker and shared insights based on real examples of the development of new products, services and processes.

Iain Hamilton, head of creative industries at HIE and Pamela Connacher, director of crafts, fashion and textiles at Emergents, and John Mackenzie from HIE's innovation team encouraged innovative ways of thinking to take forward a business or idea.

Kathy Coull, owner of Fair Isle Textiles who took part in the workshop, said: “The workshop provided support and advice to both distil and develop ideas. Since Fair Isle is an island steeped in traditions from the past, continuing in the present and hopefully in the future, it is helpful to have this kind of framework to follow. To have support from various experts, and taking advantage of networking opportunities between creative people from a geographically dispersed area is also beneficial.”

Lynn- Sayers McHattie, programme director at InDI said: “We are delighted with the calibre of speakers and experts and are sure that this will offer inspiration, advice, and support that will be extremely valuable throughout this intensive, immersive process and beyond."

Kirsten Nicolson, account manager at HIE’s Shetland area team, said: “The first workshop in the series explored new collaborative ways of working, generating ideas and concept development. The second day focused on further developing these ideas with one-to-one support from the Creative Futures Partnership team.

“We are delighted to be able to help businesses access to such a wide range of experts covering important themes and challenges facing them today."


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