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Ангус Колвин

BA (Hons) Product Design programme leader

Programme Leader, The Design & Crafts Programme.
Senior Lecturer, Product Design.

Professional biography:

Born in Scotland in 1970 Angus Colvin has worked in design practice and education for the last twenty-five years.

After training as woodwind instrument repairer and maker in the early nineties Colvin set up a business in Amsterdam and embarked on the research and development of single reed mouthpieces and other associated products for the saxophone ranging from carrying cases to key-work mechanisms. His research led to the development of novel manufacturing techniques, the design of associated industrial equipment and new and innovative mouthpiece designs.

A return back to Scotland in 2004 forced a change in career and Colvin was offered a fully funded place to study a master’s degree in Design and then a PhD in design process (cut short by a change in workplace). His research interests in this period changed from engineering to human factors in the design process and led Colvin to develop collaborative visioning and design theories and methods. Some of which were later
used in practice in as varied areas as product development in banking and industry, internationally funded academic research projects, design facilitation, team visualisation, counter terrorism research, and by UK Government departments for team and information transfer facilitation.

During this period Colvin was also teaching Product Design and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Dundee and Grays School of Art, Aberdeen and eventually went on to become Course Director of MSc (Hons) Product Design at Dundee.

In 2012 Colvin moved to the British Higher School of Art and Design in Moscow where he took up the position of Senior Lecturer in Product Design and is currently head of the Design Crafts programmes there. This involves the management and development of four BA (Hons) programmes; Product & Industrial Design, Textile Design, Jewellery Design and Ceramics & Glass design.

Research / professional practice interests:

My principal research interests lie in the field of inter-disciplinary design facilitation and how models and prototypes can be employed to enhance communication in the collaborative working environment and in user centred design. I am particularly interested in the way people communicate and share knowledge around physical objects and how these interactions deepen our shared understanding of design processes and the artefacts they produce. 

I am also interested in experimenting with the digital prototyping of acoustic surfaces in wind instruments and how these products and industrial techniques can be developed for that market.

Academic qualifications:

2004 - 2005 MDes - Collaborative Visualization
1991 - 1993 Higher National Diploma - Woodwind and Brass Instrument Technician, Stevenson College of Further Education, Edinburgh.


Colvin, A. Facilitating Collaboration: a new role for the prototype in design.
Emerging Trends in Design Research, International Association of Societies of Design Research, 12-15 Nov, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.

Colvin, A. Managing Innovation: how collaborative design visualisation can facilitate teamwork. International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, 13-14 September 2007, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

Colvin, A. Visual planning: how designers can facilitate it and how it facilitates understanding in multi-disciplinary teams. Emerging Trends in Design Research, International Association of Societies of Design Research, 12-15 Nov, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.

Townson, D. Colvin, A. Baxter, S. Collaborative Visualisation: a new technique for coping with complexity. D2B - The 1st International Design Management Symposium, 16-19 March 2006, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai.


Product Scotland
AHRC ICT Methods Network funding
Status: Named participant on grant application
Partners: Dr Jon Pengelly (RGU), Craig Whittet (GSA), Alex Milton (ECA), Mike Anusus (Strathclyde)
Value: £4990
Start date: 1st October 2007
End date: 31st December 2007
Description: A three-month seed project to explore a new network of product design research across Scotland. The network was formed from the major product design departments across Scotland and included members from over 40 SMEs. Dundee was a major partner in applying for funding and facilitating workshops and dissemination. At the heart of Dundeeʼs expertise was the notion of “Digital Product Design”.

Research Workshops:

  • Past, Present and Future Crafts Practice. Research Mapping Workshop. The Visual Research Centre, Dundee 17 May 2006.
  • Designing for the 21st Century. Reflection & Projection Workshop. The Lighthouse, Glasgow, November 8th, 9th & 10th 2006.
  • PhD Student Forum, Creating Links Workshop. The Visual Research Centre, Dundee. 05 March 2007
  • Safer Spaces: Communication Design for Counter Terror.The Visual Research Centre, Dundee. 08 May 2007.
  • “Makeopoly” Research Workshop. The Visual Research Centre, Dundee 06 June 2008.
  • NCR “Makeopoly” Industry Workshop.Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art 25 June 2008.
  • “House of Cards”, 25.11.08. Team building and visioning exercise for Master of Design Students at The University of Dundee.