Activities Exhibitions

Product design Exhibition: Made in R.16

Made in R.16: collected works from ECA 3rd year Product Design students.

Named after our place of work, it represents the importance of the studio working environment, and the craft practices that take place within it.

The projects on exhibit explore and articulate new views and possibilities, tackling some of the urgent issues our world is currently facing. One of the main topics is sustainability, and under the collaboration with the Edinburgh Remakery, this concept is explored through 8 works from different designers.

A collection of other selected projects from the year will be shown as well.

Everyone is welcome to join us for the opening night, starting at 18:00pm on May 1st, 2018. There will be food and drinks available as well.

Opening night: 18:00pm, 1st May
Exhibition opening time: 10:00am — 17:00pm, 1st-3rd May

Activities Touch Don't Touch Work in Progress

Briefs within Industry

Design Tutor, Isla Munro, and first year Product Design student Marcus Wong, attended an event hosted by Digital Radio UK in Edinburgh, on Thursday night.

Marcus and his classmates are responding to a brief set by Digital Radio UK to design a DAB radio for use in the home and Isla gave a presentation of the work so far, as a panel member discussing the future of radio.


Super Power Agency and Civic Soup Projects – Week 1

Bomb Voyage: Micol, Joanna, Liam, Marcus 

We took a grandfather clock, made the base with an openable door. Inside there are 3 washers with images to help kids with some stories”


Razzmataz: Alexandra Ross, Chris Hardman, Maria Khartonova, Preston Kneen

“A code breaking activity which leads the kids to prompts placed around the bus. It will have an “address book” which which houses the codes and the idea is that each number corresponds to a letter; once all the letters are found, they will have a word to unscramble, this will be the place on the bus have to go to in order to get their prompt”


Inferior Five: Guillaume, Ladina, Vasilisa

We modified the chair by adding a table that flips up, added a helmet that ‘connects you to the universe’. We also created an activity that involves the children picking cards that represent their real life superpowers to build confidence and a sense of identity”

Old Shadows: Yifu Liu, Zidong Lin Jonathan Hazel Katie Mcgroarty

“It’s a machine to find hidden password to get in the bus.”

Chicken Nuggets: Erica, Amos, Chris, Brad

“We created a system for the bus. This is a game the children will play once they step onto the bus. It will allow them to create their own superhero while applying their reading comprehension skills. This is more of a platform for how the bus would be designed and ran, for all the books on the bus will correspond with the questions within the game”

Magic: Fangqian, Findlay

“We created a superhero gun, where the children can create their own superhero logo, and then by cutting it out and sliding it into the slot in the gun, they can then turn on a torch which will then shine their logo onto a wall or surface like in the batman films”

Kapow: Ben Manders, Harvey Everson, Shannen Tioniwar, Niamh Mundy

“We created the Super-Word Cannon. It’s an interactive game for groups of around five that helps spark creative stories for the children. By firing out words from different categories; e.g Places, Verbs, Actions, Objects, Adjectives and Bonus words the children catch one of each to inspire stories around their own superhero. It’s aim is to be a fun, exciting and interactive game with the outcome of an original short-story created by each child.”

Activities Projects

Week One with Super Power Agency and Civic Soup

For a full and intensive week, Product Design and Design Informatics students will be working together with Super Power Agency and Civic Soup to design interventions for the Super Power Bus.

The Super Power Agency is a new and exciting charity founded by The Invisible Woman and some like-minded superheroes to help some of Edinburgh’s most deprived children close the all-important attainment gap in education. The Super Power bus functions as a fun mobile classroom for these children, where learning is part of a playful experience, an exciting opportunity for design.

Project Launch: Monday, 15th Jan, 12.30pm in the West Court Theatre, Main Building ECA. Participation in the project is core for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year Product Design students, optional for 4th years.

Final Presentation: Friday, 19th Jan, 12pm Product Design Studio R16 at ECA Hunter Building.


Schedule for this project

15th Jan 16th Jan 17th Jan 18th Jan 19th Jan
12.30pm Kick off 10am Visit to Leith Academy and Super Power bus 10am Feedback Civic Soup 10am Feedback Dave Murray-Rust 12pm Final Presentations Product Design Studios: R5, R7 and R16
1pm Feedback Super Power Agency in the Studios 1pm Feedback Isla Munro 1pm Feedback Sam

Activities Exhibitions

Inventory Exhibition Opening Night

The Product Design and Glass collaborative exhibition had a successful opening night with plenty of visitors from all around ECA and outside the college – here are some photographs from the opening night!


Activities Exhibitions

Inventory: Product Design & Glass Exhibition

Product Design 4th year and Glass MA / MFA at the Edinburgh College of Art are hosting an exhibition in the ECA Fire Station space from the 5th to the 8th of December. A work-in-progress exhibition showcasing the weird and wonderful, speculative and dicursive, monstrous and mysterious workings-of-the-minute, and a sneak peak for the 2018 degree show!

You are warmly invited to our opening night and drinks reception at 5PM Tuesday 5th December 2017. The show is open thereafter from the 6th – 8th December, 10AM – 4PM daily.

The address is: Fire House, Edinburgh College of Art, 76-78 Lauriston Pl, Edinburgh EH3 9DE.



#MakeYourMark Gallery

Last week we took part in the #makeyourmark event run by the University of Edinburgh Buisness School. MakeYourMark is a 3-day start-up project where students from different courses get together to develop business ideas for a social enterprise based upon a particular topic.
It was a great experience to work with students from different course backgrounds including Business & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Chinese Studies, Textiles and more. We learnt a lot about the different ways a business can get funding and how a social enterprise works, especially from the perspective of addressing a selection of social issues such as loneliness in elderly people, gender equality, financial literacy and homelessness. After pitching to business professionals, prizes were given to the teams who came 1st, 2nd and 3rd which included one-to-one consultation with a business expert!


Keeping in touch with the Dutch!

Last week, Product Design 4th years Alvin and Joe have visited the annual Dutch Design Week (DDW) held at Eindhoven. Here are some of the highlights:


Design Academy Eindhoven Graduation Show

Located in town centre, the Design Academy hosted their annual degree show, MINED during DDW. Exhibited were graduate projects from the class of 2017, which resulted in a plethora of thought provoking artefacts based on each student’s individual context and research.

Kristaps Polïtis, Printstrument

This is a collection of 3D-printed modular instrument components that allows children to learn music in a more experimental manner. Children mix and match the components to assemble a customised instrument, enhancing the element of play when learning musical instruments.


Billie Van Katwijk, Ventri

Ventri is a series of leather fashion accessories and fabrics that is process from cow stomachs as a way to reducing waste in the meat industry. Cow stomachs are conventionally waste byproducts, yet are transformed into unique fashion artefacts that feature a visceral, natural aesthetic.


Strijp-S is the centre venue of DDW where many of the major exhibitions are gathered.


With the omnipresence of the internet, Materialising the Internet explores how does the ever integrating digital and physical world effect our experience in the consequently augmented world? One example is materialising the infamous euphemism ‘Netflix & Chill’ into an Airbnb room available for single night rentals.


In Embassy of Food, this participatory installation Algen Bar connects visitors to the algae ecosystem housed in the jars. Visitors breathe into the tube which proves valuable nutrients for algae, and earn a fresh algae beverage when nutrition levels are satisfactory.


Biodesign for Social Impact Workshop

Joe co-hosted a workshop with his fellow Bio Design Challenge (BDC) ’17 team members Design Informatics MA graduates Eva and Sean, and I had the pleasure of helping as event photographer. The Biodesign for Social Impact workshop enables participants to imagine society under the rapid development of biology and design, creating speculative scenarios that have profound changes in the future.

There were so many other more things on show at DDW, not one day has passed by without being intellectually stimulated, if you still haven’t checked out DDW yet, be sure to check it out next year!



Electives in Product Design

Product Design has now fully migrated to the new curriculum and we are welcoming students from all areas at the University of Edinburgh.

We would like to let everyone know about the 3 exciting (Level 7 and 8) electives that we have available this year:

Design From Data (Sem 1 – Tuesdays PM), Electronic Things (Sem 1 – Thursdays PM), and Re-Value (Sem 2 – Tuesdays PM)

Design From Data

This course offers an introduction to qualitative and quantitative methods for gathering data, information and knowledge from participants in design projects. Through a series of lectures and practical exercises students will be introduced to the importance of user-led research and the role of empirical data to inform the design process. The course focuses on the initial phases of a design cycle: discover and define. The first part of the course will explore how data can be derived from users within specific settings, introducing approaches such as cultural probes, user observations, interviews, and questionnaires. The second part of the course will focus on how data is used to define audiences, identify problems and understand challenges before development phases begin. Students will engage in field studies using the various methods, before analysing the data in order to design briefs. The course will also introduce ethical issues involved in working with people.


Electronic Things

The course provides an understanding of how designers are increasingly required to work with electronics and microprocessors in order to create products which are responsive and agentitialal around their human counterparts. Through an introduction to hardware and software platforms, students will be supported in the designing of digital artefacts. Digital artefacts are capable of sensing the world around them, interpreting and re-presenting the data to the people with whom they co-exist. Creation of these artefacts combines the social science goal of collecting information about the use and the users of the technology in a real-world setting, the engineering goal of field-testing the technology, and the design goal of inspiring users and designers to think of new kinds of technology to support their needs. A combination of a series of lectures that reflect upon current creative electronic practice, and workshops that provide technical and creative will support students to develop their own electronic artifacts for deployment in settings informed through their own interests.



Through a series of lectures that explore the concept of value and worth in different contexts and markets, students will gain an understanding of the historical models of value and how the digital economy is changing the way we buy and use products and services. The course will reflect on design’s place with established models of value chains and consider the implications for the discipline in value constellations. Students will be encouraged to consider what they value in the world around them, the artefacts and the way we use them, in order to understand how value is created.

Through a series of social contexts that present an increasing complexity away from convergent to divergent models of value, students will respond through practice to becer understand how value can be produced and sustained.


Daisy Ginsberg

Daisy Ginsberg, Royal College of Art
Monday, 5th June, 3.30-5.00pm
1.06 Old Surgeons’ Hall
Designers often advocate that design makes things better. In promising a better future, they are not alone: engineers, marketers, politicians and scientists also invoke the imaginary of better, creating dreams that have very material effects. In some of these visions, “better” will be delivered by science and technology; in others, the consumption of designed things will better us or the world. “Better” itself has become a sociotechnical imaginary; progress, without the philosophical baggage. But better is not a universal good or a verified measure: better is imbued with politics and values. And better will not be delivered equally, if at all. “What is better?” and “Who gets to decide?” are questions with great implications for the way we live and hope to live. This seminar explores how critical design can be used to address these questions, while considering critical design’s complicated relationship to bettering, as a critical yet optimistic practice. Drawing on my experiences working amongst the architects of synthetic biology’s powerful dreams of better, I consider how critical design can question better, opening up the possibility of alternative dreams.

Further details:

This event is part of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies Seminar Series

Activities Exhibitions

Further exhibitors at Major Externality Crisis

Our PD3 End-Of-Year show will exhibit work designed to address current social narratives, as well as examples of designs for those with disabilities. We invite you to come to our opening night drinks reception on Monday 24th April at 5pm in the Edinburgh College of Art Sculpture Court.


Activities Exhibitions

Upcoming exhibitors at Major Externality Crisis

A preview of some of the work being presented at our upcoming exhibition in the Sculpture court at ECA 24th-28th April. From slime mould computers to harvesting energy from waste, this is the beginning of things to come…