City of Culture, and today…
1991 – present

During the 1990s and 2000s Glasgow’s reputation as a cultural centre steadily grew. Many GSA graduates stayed in the city, contributing to its creative economy and cultural success. A number of alumni became famous through winning awards such as The Turner Prize and Beck’s futures, or by establishing successful design and architectural companies. All of these factors brought a renewed international interest in GSA and its activities.

The School’s international links, courses and campus all expanded in the 90s and 00s. Student exchange and study programmes were formed with institutions in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australasia. A new Digital Design Studio opened in 1997, acknowledging the increasing use of digital technology in creative practice, and a number of specialised postgraduate courses were introduced in the 2000s. In 2014 the Reid Building opened to provide new facilities for the School’s design courses.

In the 1990s, The Students Representative Council established itself as a key music and club venue in the city, a reflection of the close links between music and the visual arts in Glasgow. Their building The Vic underwent a major refurbishment during 2012-2014 providing enhanced exhibition, music and social facilities.

Browse 1991-present images ›


Some key facts for this period include:
  • 1990 – John Whiteman is Director for the year
  • 1991 – Professor Dugald Cameron becomes Director (holds post until 1999)
  • 1991 – Photography Department burgled with £32,500 losses incurred
  • 1991 – The Student’s Material Store begins trading to the public
  • 1991 – Student Numbers: 2072
  • 1992 – Student Numbers: 2195
  • 1993 – The School’s Material Shop is leased out
  • 1993 – Glasgow University begins to award the school’s degrees in Fine Art and Design
  • 1993 – Student Numbers: 2084
  • 1994 – Student Numbers: 2256
  • 1994 – Harry Barnes Building purchased at 9-11 West Graham Street and conversion begins (completed 1995)
  • 1995 – Margaret Macdonald House completed and named
  • 1995 – J.D. Kelly Building converted again, from student residence to academic accommodation
  • 1996 – Bisland House sold
  • 1997 – Digital Design Studio established and moves into House for an Art Lover
  • 1998 – Extension to Foulis Building completed – designed by ZM Architecture
  • 1999 – Professor Seona Reid takes up post of Director
  • 2000 – Centre for Advanced Textiles (CAT) established
  • 2003 – Student Numbers: 1502
  • 2004 – Student Numbers: 1599
  • 2005 – Student Numbers: 1554
  • 2005 – £8 million Conservation and Access project for Mackintosh Building submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF funding confirmed the following year)
  • 2006 – Plans made for Digital Design Studio to move to purpose built premises at Pacific Quay
  • 2006 – Major Heritage Lottery Funding received to catalogue the archive of Gillespie, Kidd and Coia Architects
  • 2006 – Student Numbers: 1684
  • 2007 – Student Numbers: 1748
  • 2008 – Decision is made to close Ceramics Department
  • 2008 – Student Numbers: 1765
  • 2009 – The Glasgow School of Art launches £50 million competition to redesign the campus (retaining Mackintosh Building)
  • 2009 – Winning competition team announced as Steven Holl Architects with Glasgow practice JM Architects
  • 2013 – Professor Tom Inns becomes Director
  • 2014 – The Seona Reid Building opens
  • 2014 – A fire takes place in the Mackintosh Building, destroying the Library
Bicuspid, by Steven Anderson, c1996-1997

Bicuspid, by Steven Anderson, c1996-1997