MDes Design Innovation Projects 2017 – Glasgow School of Art

The Glasgow School of Art Graduate degree show ran from 1st – 8th September this year, highlighting the work of students from various disciplines. I spent a lovely day wandering through hundreds of excellent projects but here are my four favourites from the MDes Design Innovation section.

‘Mental health of veterans’ – Poopak Azhand

A subject quite close to my heart, this project focuses on connecting ex-Armed Forces personnel with mental health services in the Moray area. While the majority of us are aware of mental health issues to differing degrees, individuals suffering with mental health issues are still subjected to stigma and discrimination, which can prevent them from seeking the help they desperately need.

Focusing on ex-Armed Forces personnel who may have experienced situations others can’t imagine, Azhand suggested changing the messaging associated with mental health issues. Rather than focusing on there being an ‘issue’ in the first place, he suggests more positive messaging towards learning more about yourself and enhancing your life.

‘Tenemental’ – Stephanie Stewart


Stewart’s housing solution aims to solve three very large problems at once: the carbon crisis, the housing crisis and the mental health crisis. ‘Tenemental’ encourages people to interact with others in their building through the use of a large communal ‘co-working hub’ and café. The properties are far cheaper than the standard housing options in Glasgow at the moment with the added benefit of a ground floor, which can be rented out to commercial ventures with the rent contributing to the mortgages of the residents above.

More people are now looking to live in cities and Stewart rightly points out that promoting the idea of living and working in the same place reduces the need for commutes and therefore reduces your carbon footprint. Promoting the idea of ‘togetherness’ battles the feeling of isolation many millennials have revealed they feel.

‘Do you manage your money well?’ – JeeHyun Cheong

Money Management

Admittedly, managing finances in university wasn’t a big issue for me personally (thanks Nana for hammering home the importance of budgeting!) but I vividly remember friends at uni blowing through their loan in the space of hours and panicking for the rest of the month over how they were going to feed themselves. The reality is that university is the first time a lot of us have had to fend for ourselves when it comes to money – and it does take practice.

Cheong’s genius app design allows you to set daily budgets and receive reports on how well you’re doing at managing your money. It promotes the idea of saving and easily gets you into the habit of putting money away by starting off small, hopefully laying the ground work for great life-long habits.

‘In sync’ – Isabel Ferreira

An image from the Glasgow School or Art Degree Show

I will happily say that this is my favourite project from the degree show. Ferreira’s ‘In Sync’ identifies the huge presence digital devices have in our lives and how we no longer have to wait for anything because it’s all just a click away. Don’t get me wrong – I do enjoy that aspect of digital, I built a career from liking it … however, I have spent far too many evenings at parties where no-one is talking because everyone is on their phone!

The project looks at household objects which block the signals allowing us all to connect to the rest of the digital world – dining tables, bedside tables, key bowls etc. Once the device is on or in the object, the signal is blocked so there’s no contact through the device from the outside world. This allows individuals to actually talk to each other without the disruption of a digital device, which certain generations are actually becoming addicted to. I would say with absolute certainty that I would purchase this sort of furniture.

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