What does it mean to interact with digital technology? What are the skills that artists and designers need to exploit the creative possibilities opened up by digital technologies? The Interaction Design degree aims to produce graduates that are innovative users of technology.
The 21st century is seeing exciting changes ripple through art, design and architecture; changes driven by fresh ways of thinking informed by advancements in digital technologies. The Interaction Design programme at The Glasgow School of Art (previously BDes (Hons) Digital Culture) embraces the creative possibilities opened up by such technologies to reveal alternative approaches for design and artistic expression. Digital art and design crosses different boundaries and builds its foundations on good practice developed in a variety of creative disciplines including photography, moving image, 3D, sound, graphics, web, interaction and more.
In Interaction Design we teach the fundamentals of code in an accessible manner alongside visual thinking and creative problem-solving. When combined these aptitudes gives students access to a fully featured and essential digital toolset. Skills and confidence are developed through supported exercises, which form the building blocks of knowledge and techniques, which students can quickly apply to the creative problems set in project briefs. Current projects include the process of digitisation, data visualisation, 3D form generation, contemporary narrative structures, interaction design, procedural drawing and motion graphics. The projects change year on year to reflect the fast pace of innovation in digital culture.
The ability to mix code and procedural thinking, with aesthetic consideration and critical awareness, allows students to create interactive virtual and physical artefacts, and gives graduates access to the exciting and innovative world of digital art and design.
The discipline is fast paced and prone to constant flux so it is imperative that digital artists and designers keep up with current advances. They require a passion for technology and innovation, along with forward thinking imagination and the capacity to develop great ideas. The content of the programme is kept current and topical through strong links with industry and digital arts practioners. During the four years of study students participate in critical discussions and inquiry led learning to explore historical and contemporary theories associated with digital culture and consider their impact on interconnected global society. There are ever growing opportunities for sustainable creative careers relating to the creative digital industries.
Forum for Critical Inquiry
In each year of the programme students will undertake courses in the Forum for Critical Inquiry alongside other Fine Art and Design undergraduate students. FoCI courses make up 20 of the 120 credits studied in each of the first 3 years. Additionally, year one students participate in the Cross School Course which is where all year one students participate in the same project. In year four students are required to present a piece of personal research in the form of an Extended Essay (20% of the final degree mark) or a Dissertation (30% of the final degree mark).
Interaction Design students will also undertake 20 credits of Design Domain courses alongside other students from the Design School.
Teaching and Learning
Throughout the four years students are required to attend lectures and discussion groups, to make oral presentations and to write essays. Through a robust guest speaker programme students benefit from lectures given by a range of external experts and they develop research expertise through written and practical projects.
The range of teaching styles varies from traditional keynote lectures to interactive discussion groups and experiential learning. Courses are constructed in order to both underpin studio practice and to open out and extend the range of student research. The nature of the teaching and learning style at GSA - focused on the studio - gives students the freedom to explore the possibilities of digital technology in a wider and more in-depth way.
Students requiring learning support are provided with additional teaching tailored to individual needs.
There are a broad range of potential careers open to graduates in Interaction Design (previously Digital Culture) which might include:
- user interface design
- user experience design
- data visualisation
- motion graphics