Professor Tom Inns has been appointed the new director of the Glasgow School of Art. Inns, who is currently Dean of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and Director of Research in the College of Art, Science and Engineering at the University of Dundee, Tom brings to The Glasgow School of Art an ambition for the School which builds on the GSA’s role as Scotland’s specialist university-level institution for the visual creative disciplines, its small scale and high-impact, and its distinctive studio-based culture. He will succeed Professor Seona Reid, who is stepping down from the role of Director after 14 years in the post.
Announcing the appointment, Philip Rodney, Chair of the GSA Board of Governors and the Selection Panel said: “The appointment of Tom as the GSA’s next Director has been an extensive and thorough process which attracted a very strong field of national and international candidates. Tom’s calibre and clarity of ambition for the future means he is ideally placed to lead the GSA in the next and important stage of its development and successfully build on the School’s achievements in recent years.
I am delighted that we have found an outstanding successor to Seona Reid. Seona has made an immeasurable contribution as Director of the GSA. The current standing of the School globally is testimony to that. Building on that platform, I believe that Tom Inns’ appointment heralds another equally exciting chapter in the GSA’s development”.
Professor Inns said: “The School has its own very particular history and provenance, a very distinctive portfolio of activity and all set within a dynamic, spirited city. The role of Director will be highly challenging, but enormously rewarding. I am excited by the opportunity to lead Scotland’s only specialist higher education institution for the visual creative disciplines, build on its current international reputation and unlock its future potential”.
Tom studied Engineering at Bristol University and then completed his Masters in Industrial Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art. In 1990 he was a co-founder of the Design Research Centre at Brunel University, becoming Director in 1996. He completed his PhD in 1998 and moved to DJCAD as Professor of Design in 2000 becoming Head of the School of Design in 2001. In 2004 he was appointed as Director of the AHRC/EPSRC funded Designing for the 21st Century Research Initiative. Over a five-year period he led this £6.5 million initiative co-ordinating the work of 41 design research projects in universities across the UK. In 2010 he was appointed as Dean of DJCAD, a school with 1200 students studying across the spectrum of Art & Design disciplines. He has a strong interest in the future of design and the way design thinking can facilitate interdisciplinary discussions. He teaches strategic design at both, the University of Dundee and University of St Andrews, School of Management. Tom regularly designs and facilitates knowledge sharing events and workshops both internally within the University of Dundee and with innovation agencies across Europe.
The Glasgow School of Art is internationally recognised as one of Europe’s foremost university-level institutions for creative education and research in fine art, design and architecture. It is a creative hothouse, a small concentrated community of committed, creative people bound together by a shared visual language and a concern for visual culture. At the heart of one of Europe’s most influential and creative artistic communities the GSA provides an energetic environment in which new ideas can flourish. Its Researchers produce work that influences world culture by generating new knowledge through creativity and conceptual thinking, and the GSA supports economic growth through knowledge exchange and the application of creativity and innovation. Since the School was founded in 1845 as one of the first Government Schools of Design, as a centre of creativity promoting good design for the manufacturing industries, the GSA’s role has continually evolved and been redefined to reflect the needs of the communities of which it is part of, embracing in the late 19th century fine art and architecture education and today, digital technology.
Professor Inns will join the GSA in early autumn 2013.
Photo: Saskia Coulson