During her early career she was an exhibiting artist with the Francis Kyle Gallery in London, which included solo and group exhibitions. During this period as an independent artist, she was invited by the Glasgow Print Studio to develop limited edition prints, produced in collaboration with their master printer.
She lectured in both The Glasgow School of Art and Edinburgh College of Art over a number of years before taking up a Senior Lecturer post and then becoming Head of Design at The Glasgow School of Art.
Alison joined Heriot-Watt University in 2008 from Singapore where she was Dean of the Faculty of Design at Lasalle College of the Arts. Alison's research interests are: Design and the Archive, examples include a funded Arts & Humanities project on the 20th century textile designer Robert Stewart and the interpretation and production of the textiles for Charles Rennie Mackintosh's "House for an Art Lover"; Design Publication and Exhibition, projects include collaboration with Singapore designer, and illustrator Joe Magee for WERK No:16 winner of two D&AD Awards, showcased in Tokyo; Design Innovation and Collaboration, the development of projects such as the Fashion Institute for Singapore and the Centre for Advanced Textiles for Glasgow School of Art. Current projects include the Scottish Academy of Fashion and the School of Textiles and Design Knit Research Centre for HWU. Alison also has experience of Transnational Design Education and Innovation; she led the introduction of the first vocational curriculum in Bhutan for Master Tailors, funded by the UN and has also been involved in the early stages of a similar development in Bhutan for hand-woven textiles.