Donna Leishman BA (Hons), MDes, PhD

Job Title:

Head of Communication Design


School of Design



Still from 'Front' (2014)
Leishman & Olson

Still from 'Front' (2014)


Donna Leishman

Dr Donna Leishman is Head of Communication Design and is a media artist and researcher; her work is a combination of critical writing and practice-led research in digital art. Her research career began in 1999, and has seen her cross disciplines such as electronic literature, ludology (the study of games), digital media and more recently human computer interaction, sociology and psychology. She investigates a variety of subjects such as social and literary identity, immersion and interactivity. Research themes include contemporary human activity within digital media: exploring how digitally mediated narratives extend authorship, reception and presence, what role media technologies have in forming or disturbing social identity and ultimately what art and design practices can offer to current debates and societal challenges. In 2013 She was featured in “Canongate’s Future 40”, a list voted by her peers that celebrates the best of contemporary Scottish storytellers.

Creative and research works have been presented in museums, galleries, conferences and festivals around the world including: UkinNY festival (NYC), Resistor Gallery (Toronto), Centre for Contemporary Art (Glasgow), TechnoPoetry Festival (Georgia Tech) DeCordova Museum (Boston) OFFF (Barcelona). Digital Arts & Culture conference (Melbourne), M.I.T (Boston), The Six Cities Festival (Glasgow) Designersblock – The Scottish Show (Milan/London) ELO Visionary Landscapes (Vancouver USA), The Arnolfini (Bristol, UK) The Travelling Gallery. Her work has been featured in: CIAC's Electronic Magazine,,, Histories of Internet Art: Fictions and Factions, Design Week, The Herald, Create Online, Computer Arts, The Scotsman, The Guardian, Desktop Magazine (AUS), The List. The New York Times, Leonardo Electronic Almanac.

Donna has taught projects experimenting with a variety of digital technologies to design, media, art and animation students. She has delivered communication design history and theory, semiotics and Narrative Theory and take pleasure in supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

Other appointments and affiliations have seen her examine practice-based PhDs at the University of Edinburgh and University of Dundee and undertake external examiner-ships at the Royal College of Art, University of Falmouth, University of Brighton and the University of Newcastle. She is also currently Peer reviewer for the journal VaroomLab, an academic platform for exchange and discussions of ideas round the broad subject of illustration and has guest edited for Leonardo Electronic Almanac.

View Donna Leishman's work on RADAR

Guest Comment: A Living Room for the City

Guest Comment: A Living Room for the City Leishman, Donn...

04/03/19 10:14

Fluxing Reality

Fluxing Reality Leishman, Donna (2011) Fluxing Reality...

04/03/19 10:10