Gary Gowans

+44 (0)1382 388273
Course Director (Graphic Design)


I joined DJCAD as a full time member of staff in 1996, initially working with students to support the development of computer-based design skills. My experience in industry during the early years of touch-screen technologies supported my research into interaction design, which for many years focussed on creating computer-based systems to help people living with dementia. My work with colleagues at the School of Computing, University of Dundee, and the Department of Psychology at the University of St Andrews culminated in the launch of CIRCA (Computer Interactive Conversation and Reminiscence Aid), a computer-based system designed specifically to support communication/conversation in dementia care environments. We also developed LIM (Living in the Moment), a system that provides computer-based pastimes for people living with dementia. Our team also supported the development of the BBC Archive’s on-line reminiscence tool ‘RemArc’ and a prototype video phone version of CIRCA created by colleagues at the Kyoto Institute of Technology, Japan.

As an artist/designer my work has been shown at The Imperial War Museum, the Royal Glasgow Institute (RGI) and the Society of Scottish Artists (SSA). I currently work extensively in motion design and I recently completed a large-scale urban installation, featuring six 3D animations, for the National Festival of Architecture; and an award-winning live action short film called ‘Axis Mundi’. I am a member of the International Society of Typographic Designers Education Team and a visiting lecturer at the Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development (CAPOD), University of St Andrews. I have also worked over a number of years with the Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto, Japan.

Research projects

Axis Mundi: International Award winning narrative short film. Live action and CGI, 35 minute running time.

Enlightened Dundee: Large-scale urban exhibition/installation, Festival of Architecture 2016, in association with The Royal Institute of Architects Scotland. Features 6 animated films using 3D visualization and projection.

Typo Generation: Documentary short film (work in progress) looking at contemporary practice in typographic design. Working in association with the International Society of Typographic Designers and the National College of Art & Design Dublin

The Voyage Out. An International Anthology of Writing, Art & Science. Exhibition and chapter in book. Exhibition and launch, RRS Discovery, Dundee, 2016

Research outputs

Gowans, G. Axis Mundi (narrative short film), Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, Semi-Final In category Award. Dec –Jan 2017. 

Gowans,G. Axis Mundi (narrative short film), International Independent Film Awards, Encino, California. Narrative Short Category Silver Award Winner, December 2016.

Gowans, G. Enlightened Dundee, large-scale projected urban installation (featuring multiple 3D animations), City Centre Dundee, in association with Dundee City Public Art, The Royal Institute of Architects Scotland, for the Festival of Architecture 2016.

Gowans, G. Black, S. Gunn,K. et al. 2016. ‘The Voyage Out, An International Anthology of Writing, Science and Art’, chapter in book, pp059-063, ISBN 978-0-995123-0-6. Published by The Voyage Out Press, 2016.