Scottish Ballet collaboration

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Research Themes
Design Innovation
Digital Visualisation

Research Staff
Paul Anderson

Scottish Funding Council’s Innovation Voucher scheme

The Digital Design Studio (DDS) at The Glasgow School of Art has worked with two partners – Scottish Ballet and BirthSparks – on research funded by the Scottish Funding Council’s Innovation Voucher scheme. The scheme supports the creation of new collaborative relationships between small or medium enterprises and higher education institutions that lead to new products, services and processes that will benefit both partners, as well as the Scottish economy.


Scottish Ballet

DDS’ collaboration with Scottish Ballet sought to enable Scotland’s national dance company to understand the opportunities provided by new digital technologies. Digital innovations have created endless possibilities to connect with audiences and to capture and express dance. Scottish Ballet needed partners to help them keep up with the speed of digital innovation, and this project has enabled them to access expertise that exists at The Glasgow School of Art.  The collaboration has explored new ways of capturing and disseminating dance through the use of the School of Simulation and Visualisation’s motion capture technology and expertise. The resulting piece was used as a trailer for the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival. As the possibility of working with higher education is now an accessible reality, innovation capacity has been enhanced across Scottish Ballet. This will ultimately enhance the organisation’s reputation and competitiveness and increase engagement with ballet and dance. The collaboration between Scottish Ballet and the School of Simulation and Visualisation represents the start of a continuing relationship and a new project has subsequently been commissioned.    

‘This had been an extremely successful experience for Scottish Ballet.  Interface opened the door to working with higher education and introduced to a great deal of innovation within the organisation, added to our artistic output and enabled us to reach and engage new audiences’ Charlotte Gross, Scottish Ballet



Birthsparks develops innovative products within the field of women’s healthcare. UK hospitals are not usually set up to support a natural seated or kneeling birthing position. BirthSparks developed the Comfortable Upright Birth seat in order to improve the birthing experience for both mothers themselves and caregivers, especially hospitals. BirthSparks’ collaboration with the School of Simulation and Visualisation aimed to provide a simple and coherent visual message to support birthing education and to raise market awareness of the benefits of a natural birthing position. The completed animation by SimVis provides narrated visual guidance for pregnant women and their carers on the correct use of the product to facilitate natural birth. The resulting educational video will be embedded in their website and also accompany the product when sold. The animation will also help with the promotion of the product in the large private and hospital-based markets. The project provided an opportunity for DDS to enhance its position within the field of medical visualisation and to demonstrate to prospective markets the value of using digital technologies to enhance their marketing effort.