Design and the role of the designer are changing. Designers now must apply their creative skills within new industries and social practices that are continuously emerging. The focus is no longer just on the solving of existing problems or the refinement of solutions – but reimagining experience and finding ways to make this tangible.
Product Design at The Glasgow School of Art is a degree with a long heritage, but possessing a future focused perspective on the discipline. Our notion of what a product is challenges tradition, encompassing everything from physical artifacts, to services and interactions, but with an emphasis upon creating tangible experiences. We aim to produce graduates who are able to apply their skills in response to diverse and evolving contexts, and can act as the creative and strategic link between technology and society.
Our students are encouraged to explore complex social, ethical and environmental issues as subject matter for design. They are asked to engage with and understand the people who will use and be affected by their designs, and learn to apply research methods and analytical skills from the Social Sciences in order to do so. Furthermore, our students are taught to be explorative and to learn to think through making, resulting in designers who are both critical and creative thinkers.
With designers operating in an increasingly global context we also believe international experience is an important aspect of design education. Product Design students at GSA have the option of taking part in the Masters of European Design (MEDes) programme, which is unique in the UK. This five year Masters was conceived and developed at the GSA, in partnership with six other leading design universities across Europe, and it allows our students to do year-long exchanges at two different partner schools. Additionally, our students on the B.Des (Hons) degree have access to a global network of Universities and Design Colleges for exchanges and placements in schools across Europe, Japan, India, North America and Australia.
The programme content, both at the GSA and its partner institutions, is delivered primarily within the design studio. This approach creates a socially interactive, yet individually driven, working practice, with teamwork & shared experience core to our philosophy. The small size of each year-group, typically 30-35 students, coupled with close & frequent contact with the tutors, creates an informal yet highly effective student-led learning environment.
In addition to design studio practice, our students also acquire knowledge of a foreign language and a grounding in the theories and methods of the social sciences.
Our staff have skills and expertise in various disciplines such as product design, service design, interaction design, social innovation, participatory design, environmental design, engineering, social sciences, design ethnography, experiential design, biomedical science and bioethics.
Our visiting faculty and honorary professors include:
Joe Heapy, Founder of Engine Service Design
Iain Aitchison, Director of Product & Strategy consultancy, Plan
Federico Casalegno (MIT).
Our external examiners are: Chris Downs
Graduates can be found at the following companies: Method, Engine, Seren, Seymour Powell, Participle, Troika, Fjord, Ideo, Continuum, Fuel For, The Amazings, Snook and ReD Associates.