GSA Announces Full Details of Contribution to 2016 XpoNorth Festival

GSA Announces Full Details of Contribution to 2016 XpoNorth Festival

Fri 3 Jun 2016 / News



  • An opening evening event with design showcases by Fashion students, the Digital Design Studio and the Institute of Design Innovation.
  • Panel discussions bringing together leading international design experts.
  • Design workshop featuring 3D printing
  • Keynote speech by Don McIntrye

Details of The Glasgow School of Art’s contribution to the 2016 XpoNorth Creative Industries Festival in Inverness were confirmed today, 3rd June 2016. The internationally acclaimed Architecture, Art and Design School already has strong links with the region through an innovative partnership with Highlands & Islands Enterprise and its Institute of Design innovation (InDI), based in Forres. The GSA recently confirmed that it would be developing a Creative Campus, Highlands and Islands at Blair Steading on the Altyre Estate. 

The GSA contribution to 2016 XpoNorth festival will range from fashion and digital design showcases on the opening evening (Wednesday 8th June at the Ironworks) to a keynote address (4.30pm – 6.30pm on Wednesday 8th June at Eden Court), and includes panel discussions bringing together international experts to explore the role of Design in tackling 21st century issues.

The GSA counts among its Fashion and Textiles graduates Pam Hogg, one of the new wave of designers who took London by storm in the 1980s and went on to be achieve cult status; Jonathan Saunders, recently appointed Chief Creative Officer of Diane von Furstenberg in New York; and Jonathan Douglas currently working with Tommy Hilfiger / Calvin Klein. As part of the opening event for XpoNorth Festival at the Ironworks venue on the evening of 8th June the current cohort of second year students on the Fashion Design programme will stage a showcase of new work. The outfits will be presented by 16 models who were recruited at special open casting sessions in Inverness last month. 

Also at the opening evening the GSA’s Digital Design Studio will present a show reel of its world leading 3D Heritage Visualisation work including the Scottish Ten (created through our partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, the Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation) and the Mackintosh Building at the GSA. Meanwhile, work from the Masters in International Heritage Visualisation, Medical Visualisation, Serious Games & Virtual Reality and Sound for the Moving Image programmes will also be on show. Elsewhere in the festival three of the Serious Games & Virtual Reality students will present “Curvish” in the Technology and Gaming Playground (8th June, Eden Court). Calum Sinclair, Ahmad Nursalim and Alexander Horowitz recently won a prestigious Tranzfuser award to help bring this new game to market.

The GSA’s Institute of Design Innovation (InDI) will also host an exhibition during the Welcome Ceremony focusing how GSA staff and students are bringing their design expertise to help address issues facing today’s modern world.

Earlier on 8th June (4.30pm, Eden Court) the keynote address at 2016 XpoNorth Festival will be given by Don McIntyre, Programme Director at the GSA’s Institute of Design Innovation and Interim Design Director for the Digital Health Institute. The GSA has pioneered new ways of working creatively with partners nationally and internationally, across academic, business and civic sectors in order to address complex economic, social and health issues. Don McIntyre’s keynote address will look at how this approach has been developed and the results it is delivering.

Through the Festival and the year round programme of activities XpoNorth is an increasingly important voice for the Creative Industries not only in the Highlands and Islands, but nationally and internationally,” says McIntrye.  “I am delighted to be able to give a keynote address at this year’s XpoNorth Festival.”

Through our work at the Institute of Design Innovation we have further developed fruitful partnerships that the GSA has fostered with businesses, academics and communities at home and overseas. It has been of particular pleasure to work in the Highlands and Islands, and we are looking forward to expanding our commitment to the region and to further developing our work with local partners and communities through the ground-breaking projects which will be led from our new campus in Altyre.”

The Digital Design Studio is looking forward to showcasing its acclaimed 3D visualisation work and the cutting edge research being undertaken by our students at the opening event for the XpoNorth Festival,” says Dr Daniel Livingstone.  We are particularly pleased to be able to be part of a festival that brings together so many people from so many different creative sectors.”

Our Second Year Fashion Design students are thrilled to have been invited to present a Fashion Walkabout as part of the XpoNorth 2016 launch event,” adds Jimmy Stephen-Cran, Head of Fashion and Textiles at the GSA. “Organisation of the event has been entrusted entirely to them and they had to acquire professional skills very quickly to bring this event together. I am confident that attendees will very much enjoy the individual and collective efforts of our students.”

Two major panel discussions will be staged at XpoNorth and hosted by The Design Network. The Design Network is one of the initiatives being developed by the Creative Futures Partnership, a pioneering collaboration between the GSA and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

XpoNorth gives us a fantastic opportunity to bring international designers to the region and develop valuable connections with local designers, businesses and communities,” says Kate Hooper, Senior Production Manager at InDI who leads the Design Network for the GSA. “Designers work across so many walks of life. Our panel discussions explore the breadth and impact of Design in today’s world and the exciting role of the discipline to effect transformational change across businesses and communities, as well as new areas of opportunity opening up for designers in the region.”

Beyond the Logo: designers in towns cities and communities (8th June at 12 noon – Eden Court) brings together leading figures from the international design world to explore the transformational impact of design and the areas of opportunity opening up to designers in new fields. The panelists include Ingrid van der Wacht, Ambassador for Design for Europe and freelance international projects manager for Dutch Design Week; Alex Milton, Programme Director of Irish Design 2015; and Anne Guiney, Director of Research at New York’s Van Alen Institute. The discussion will be chaired by Claire English, BBC Culture and Social Affairs presenter.

Meanwhile, Designing content and storytelling for 21st century audiences (8th June at 1.30pm – Eden Court) will be an inspirational ‘show and tell’ from four very different perspectives. Leading designers and content makers will present and discuss examples around the latest thinking in trans-media content, and share ideas on how businesses can create their own great content. Once again chaired by Claire English, the panel will comprise Dr Daniel Livingstone programme leader at the GSA’s Digital Design Studio; Paula Zuccotti, Strategist, ethnographer, industrial designer, trends forecaster and founder of The Overworld; Charles Kriel, Games, platforms and digital products creator; and Eric Huang, book publishing, licensing, brand development expert.

For further information on XpoNorth visit:


For further information on the GSA contact: 
Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474 /
For further information XpoNorth contact: 
Jan Patience 07802 427 207 /

Notes for Editors
The annual Inverness-based XpoNorth festival, until 2014 known as goNORTH, is Scotland's leading creative industries festival. A hot-bed of creative activity, XpoNorth takes place over two exciting and energising days and nights in the Highland capital of Inverness. The only festival of its kind in Scotland covering crafts, fashion and textiles; writing and publishing; screen and broadcast; and music. XpoNorth is a unique event in the UK's cultural calendar.

The Glasgow School of Art and Highlands and Islands Enterprise are collaborating on the pioneering Creative Futures Partnership, which has been established to deliver transformational benefits for the Highlands and Islands. It combines the GSA’s strengths in creativity and innovation with HIE’s economic and community development expertise. Through research and teaching programmes the partnership is committed to the long-term and sustainable development of a creative, entrepreneurial and internationally connected region.