We draw on Edinburgh’s unique combination of strengths in Informatics and Design, to inspire, equip and nurture a new generation of design-informatics researchers, practitioners and entrepreneurs. Informatics provides the theory for, and technologies of, information processing, while Design provides the methods to adapt and create products and services.

The Institute delivers design-centred solutions for commercial, cultural and civic sectors.

For instance:

  • Security – applied ethics for secure domestic internet-of-things devices and the future of AI;
  • Health – informatics to support conditions associated with ageing communities;
  • Mobility – models of data driven transport across civic and private networks;
  • Finance – payment services within peer-to-peer lending frameworks and the future of money.

Our community of interest spans both private and public sectors.

On the one hand, we have established relationships with agencies and companies including Oxfam, Google, NCR, Microsoft, RBS, Tesco Bank, GCHQ, and the NHS.

On the other hand, the Institute is valued by cultural and civic partners including: Scottish Government, National Museums Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh City Council, Lothian Buses and the City’s Museums and Galleries.

For more information on our current workshops please see below.

If you have any questions or would like to work with our Business Development contact Nicola Osborne at or Lynne Craig at


Get in touch with us

Project Mercury

During the summer of 2017 we sat down with Dave Shaw and Grant Bourbousson from Tesco Bank to design a year long programme that would approach...

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Geocoin Workshop

This workshop will introduce new developments such as blockchain and smart contracting technologies to participants in a tangible and experiential...

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Company Engagement

The Centre has worked with a wide range of small local companies through the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Innovation Voucher scheme. The scheme provides...

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BlockExchange Workshop

Explore the future of value beyond money in a dynamic workshop activity, run by you! The world has changed.  The push economy that has long...

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Go to case study

The Fruitmarket Gallery has partnered successfully with Design Informatics on a number of past and ongoing projects, including engaging Wallscope as an industry partner in a 6 month pilot project in 2015. That project sought to encourage a deeper engagement with our programmes through the creation of a semantic service attached to our website to demonstrate dynamically linking our content with DBPedia and other external sources.

Elizabeth McLean, Deputy Director

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Go to case study

We first began working with the Design Informatics team way back in 2010 when they ran a pop up experiment in an Oxfam shop in Manchester - they transformed the way we considered value. Their design technology that allowed customers to listen to stories that were attached to donated items caught our imagination, and the imagination of the BBC, The New York Times and Wired by linking where an item had come from to where the money might go. Ever since I’ve enjoyed working with the team to inspire and provoke Oxfam into thinking differently.

Emma Joy, Operations Manager

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