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The Glasgow School of Art works with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to explore how engagement with design, innovation, architecture and art can help to enrich life across the region. This ongoing partnership led to the establishment of the GSA Highlands and Islands campus at Altyre in Forres, near Inverness.

At Altyre, a thriving community of postgraduate students, researchers and teaching faculty inhabit a purpose-designed campus on a historic Highlands estate. The academics and students partner with communities, organisations and businesses across Scotland and beyond to explore how innovation can create cultural, technological and economic opportunities for those who choose to live amongst the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. 

Recent collaborations have included the founding of the Moray Textile Network, work on healthcare with NHS Grampian, and contributions to the Inverness-based Xpo North conference, which focuses on the role of the creative industries.

The GSA-HIE collaboration has also underpinned the establishment of the annual Winter School, held every January at Altyre, which invites design schools and students from across Europe to gather and participate in workshops led by a roster of international academics and theorists.

Xpo North

Xpo North is an annual festival and conference addressing the creative industries and the people who work in them. We work with both the Xpo North organisers and HIE to promote and strengthen the event. Each year sees GSA faculty present work, share new ideas and demonstrate new technologies to an ever-expanding audience. GSA also invites international partners and collaborators along, drawing upon our MEDes network of academic schools and alumni working around the globe.

XPO North
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Altyre Campus

The partnership between GSA and HIE has evolved over a decade and led to the founding of GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus. The site at Altyre supports a thriving academic community, including postgraduate students engaged in Masters degrees in Innovation, Collaborative Creativity and Transformation Design. It also houses the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI) – an Innovation centre focused on helping the NHS transform how it uses digital technologies to support health and wellbeing.

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