InDI meets IH

November 25th 2014

The Institute of Design Innovation - or InDI for short - is a research institute within the Glasgow School of Art.

We use design methods to structure group creativity to reach valuable outcomes, and we apply and research the role of design in challenging modern contexts such as healthcare, business and fragile communities.

Quite literally, our heart is in the Highlands and Islands; our headquarters are in Forres and we have a long-standing partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise. A core aim for us is to support the development of a creative and entrepreneurial region, where the arts enable our communities to flourish.

Throughout 2014 we have worked closely with Ionad Hiort, and we look forward to the year ahead as our relationship continues to develop. We’ve spent a great deal of time in Uig, where we’ve held workshops with the group to help focus ideas and develop direction for the St Kilda centre. We’ve also taken the 40 mile boat trip from Mangerstadh to the archipelago together, during which time firm friendships were made despite some succumbing to the trials of seasickness!

Central to both the workings of InDI and design practice is the idea of collaboration; we bring an interesting and relevant group of people to the projects we run. We work closely with academia and business both nationally and internationally. In this case, the skills and experience of Donald McLean, Professor of Strategy from the University of Glasgow, (who works very closely with InDI) have been valuable in helping Ionad Hiort shape the strategy for the centre, as well as produce the briefs to commission the required consultancy work.

Developing a strong network around the centre is critical to its success, and we hope that our internationally linked network will prove valuable to the development of the centre as well as bring people and ideas who can help to support fragile island communities.

Currently, we are shaping a programme of arts events and design activity which relate to our research, and which are intended to drive awareness of the centre’s development on an international stage as well as locally. Community engagement is very important to us and two of our designers have plans to work with young people in Uig and share their expertise in digital making using techniques such as 3D printing.

Importantly, though, and similarly to Ionad Hiort, we see the centre as a benefit to the whole Western Isles and we’re really keen that our events and activities engage communities across the breadth of the islands. We may even come knocking on your door to help us design them.

A key motto of the Glasgow School of Art is ‘Innovation from Tradition’, which is at the heart of InDI’s work with Ionad Hiort. We care about supporting and developing a modern Highlands and Islands, where communities thrive and young people have fulfilling lives. We aim to do this by embracing the traditions, the language and the culture that make our region such a unique and special place to be, and to make these relevant and beneficial to communities in a modern context. For us, this is just what Ionad Hiort is aspiring to do, and we are delighted to be a part of it.

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