British Council in partnership with The Glasgow School of Art
British Council ‘Knowledge is Great’ Lecture
Iain Aitchison, Programme Director
Don McIntyre, Design Director
Institute of Design Innovation, The Glasgow School of Art
Design Innovation: Developing creative capability for the innovation-led economy
Most developed countries face similar systemic challenges as they look to the future: addressing complex societal issues that no one government agency or company can tackle alone; helping organisations born in the 20th century adapt in the face of digital disruption, or creating the conditions for the new enterprises of the 21st century economy to thrive.
Although innovation approaches have historically been found in disciplines such as management and engineering, since the 1990s there has been a growing interest in the discipline of design as a spur to innovation in a variety of contexts. As faith in the ability of traditional disciplines to respond to the complex ‘wicked problems’ of society has waned, design has mainstreamed as a recognised strategic capability for individuals, organisations and even countries.
Surveying this new landscape of design practice around the world, organisations in public and private sectors alike have experimented with a range of approaches to developing design capability: from the growth of specialised strategic design teams at the heart of governments and corporations around the world, or the rush to train entire organisations in ‘design thinking’ techniques.
This lecture will introduce this wider context and the work of The Glasgow School of Art’s Institute of Design Innovation (InDI) in pioneering the field of design innovation. It will bring to life how InDI works collaboratively with public service agencies, SMEs and multinational companies to address complex issues through new design practices and bespoke engagements that work to co-create ‘preferable futures’ and foster creative capability.
About the Speakers:
Iain Aitchison is a specialist in design innovation at the intersection of practice, education and research.
Iain has recently joined Glasgow School of Art’s Institute of Design Innovation as Programme Director where he is helping to collaboratively lead the development of its research and teaching culture, foster local and global strategic partnerships and research outcomes. Previously Director at London-based product strategy consultancy Plan, over the last 10 years Iain has consulted to global clients including Bacardi, British Gas, Lenovo, Mars, Samsung, Unilever, Wrigley’s and Yamaha; leading global design innovation projects in over 15 countries around the world, and developing long-term internal education programmes to enhance the design and innovation capabilities of teams.
Alongside his new role, he continues to advise businesses on the strategic integration of design capability and help teams develop their capabilities through training and mentoring programmes. He is also working part-time towards a PhD, entitled, ‘People, Practice and Products of Curriculum Design in post-graduate design education’.
Iain has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art since 2006, and is a Board Member of both the Design Management Institute, USA and Creative Scotland, the national body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries. He chairs, writes and speaks at conferences and universities internationally on the subjects of design management and education, and is external examiner for the MA Industrial Design programme at Central Saint Martins, London.
Having graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Product Design, Don went on to complete an MSc in Computer Science from Strathclyde University, building a then unfashionable expertise in the combination of creative and technical disciplines. His first role as 3D designer with Leicester based virtual reality pioneers Virtuality utilised this blended skill set and Don was part of the Tokyo based team that ported Pac Man from 2D to an immersive 3D environment. In mid 90’s he moved to London, working as a Designer and later Digital Project Manager with a number of web development and communications agencies, including Oyster Partners and Crown Business Communications. On returning to Scotland Don became Operations Manager with DA Group, the Glasgow based company most widely known for creating Ananova, the first ‘digital newscaster’.
Don retains his passion for design and technology, and has spoken on the emergence of Design Innovation as an integrative discipline at a number of forums including Cambridge University, MIT and Harvard University.
Work wise, Don splits his time between the Institute of Design Innovation where he is Design Director, Glasgow based digital agency Chess Digital as Creative Lead and as Design Director with the DHI.
Timings and Location:
The lecture will take place at the Auditorium, Level 2, National Design Centre, 111 Middle Rd, Singapore 188969
6.00 p.m. - Registration and arrival of guests
6.30 p.m. - Introductions, Iain Aitchison and Don McIntyre to commence lecture
7.15 p.m. - Question and Answer Session
7.30 p.m. - Networking and Reception
8.30 p.m. - Event Close
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