Project Type

Short Term

Area of Expertise

Interface Design


KISD Students Took Part in Glasgow School of Art’s Design “Winter School“

In the winter term 2016/17, students of KISD – Köln International School of Design participated in a two week design Winter School in the Scottish Highlands. The workshop on the topic “Innovation From Tradition “ in the Scottish city Forres, organized by The Glasgow School of Arts (GSA), brought students and academics from KISD, the GSA, and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, in late January 2017 together in order to discuss and identify key issues on how past tradition can inspire future ways of working and the role that design can play in it, especially approaches from the realm of service design.

Over two weeks, students of these three design and art schools worked collaboratively in teams and with people from local Scottish businesses and communities, international design academics, and contributors from economic and political life to jointly find areas and topics in which both design and innovation can help improve life in rural communities. Given the fact of an increasing global drift to the cities with the abandonment of rural facilities, KISD students together with their international counterparts analyzed how these rural living conditions might alter and how these rural estates, communities, and companies can best adapt to migration developments – using tradition as a tool for new innovation.

In the project, students were assigned to use conceptual skills and craftmanship as design tools applying them to socio-economic aspects in rural parts of Scotland. Thereafter, these experiences, interviews with local companies and people included, served as a good tool in order to draw abstract conclusions for similar international issues with regard to rural-urban migration, design, politics, business, ecology, and sustainability.
From KISD, eight students in the degree program “Integrated Design“, together with three students from Cologne Game Lab, were among the around 100 people taking part in the GSA Winter School, including guest speakers from Portugal, Italy, the USA, India, and Singapore.

“Design Innovation means both innovation through design and innovation of design. GSA Winter School in Forres is a fantastic chance to work in international design teams from different cultural and educational backgrounds on a shared topic. I am looking forward to seeing different stakeholders of civil society, culture, and economy being part of this participatory process,” said KISD professor Philipp Heidkamp.

“We are delighted that colleagues from Cologne and Copenhagen have joined us in Forres with groups of their students at our Winter School,” claimed Dr. Gordon Hush, Head of Product Design and Program Director at the Institute of Design Innovation at The Glasgow School of Art. “Winter School is an opportunity for international students and design experts to come together to address issues that have both a local and international resonance.”

In the next years, KISD professor Philipp Heidkamp and Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts professor Eva Brandt will continuously work on the evolution of the Winter School program with Dr. Gordon Hush as the responsible person for the Winter School. KISD – Köln International School of Design is sure that new and great opportunities will emerge from this cooperation.

“Innovation From Tradition“, Winter School 2017
organized by the Glasgow School of Art
January 16 – January 27, 2017, Forres, Scotland