Taught course

Design Innovation and Transformation Design

Glasgow School of Art

Entry requirements

All applicants should normally have a good honours degree or equivalent professional practice. Previous study or experience need not be in an art or design discipline, and we welcome applications from any background.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme is taught at the GSA's campus in the Highlands of Scotland.

In a world of increasing complexity, in which businesses and governments must consider the diverse and ever-evolving needs of the people they serve, design has become a vital tool for helping organisations transform their strategic direction.

Transformation Design focuses on change-oriented approaches to design, which engage with complex social or systemic issues. This programme looks at ways to understand complexity and work with stakeholders using participatory processes that trigger transformation. Research and teaching feeds into projects that combine strategic thinking with hands-on exploration to shape future concepts in areas such as healthcare, education, housing and politics.

As a material practice, design brings form to and contextualises transformation within wider ecosystems at various scales; exploring person and place in parallel to people and planet. The co-creation of knowledge artefacts will play a key role in navigating and socialising this complexity in order to map strategic pathways towards meaningful change.You will explore a range of techniques, engagement tools and design-research approaches to identify key insights, opportunities and drivers to support creative capacity-building and collective future visioning.

Taught at The Glasgow School of Art’s Highlands Campus, the programme provides opportunities to explore new forms of design in relation to public participation, social and technological innovation and policy-making. You will be encouraged to develop your own personal perspective on Transformation Design and to define new roles for your practice within complex social, economic and political contexts.

The course also provides an opportunity to share knowledge and methods with students from prestigious international universities as part of the annual Winter School. This seasonal event brings together students and faculty from leading institutions around the world for a two-week programme of lectures, workshops and networking opportunities that offers an insight into what a career in design as a global activity looks like.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MDes
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details