Creative Dundee

Dundee Design Festival – Full Programme

If you haven’t already heard (where have you been?!) Dundee, the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design, is hosting the first Dundee Design Festival, from 25 to 28 May. Check out the full programme below and also find the pdf online.

Within the former print works of DC Thomson, the UNESCO City of Design team will host an exhibition of some of the most innovative design in the country. With a theme of health and well-being; including digital, games, textiles, healthcare, social design and architecture, the ground-breaking work will examine how design affects all aspects of our lives – design is everything, and everything connects.

Over the four days…

The exhibition will feature projects by architecture and design agency Lateral North, models by Frank Gehry and Kengo Kuma, objects selected by Maggie’s Centre architects including Rem Koolhaas, Richard Murphy and Zaha Hadid, fashion design by Hayley Scanlan and Kerrie Aldo, games by Space Budgie, Guerilla Tea and A Fox Wot I Drew, digital design by Slurrp and eeGeo, medical animation by Vivomotion plus Hands of X – a participatory project that brings amputees together with designers and makers to create prototypes of simple hand designs.

If that wasn’t enough, the festival also features exhibitions by V&A Museum of Design Dundee, Design in Action, as well as playing host to Scottish Jewellery Week, a showcase of the best jewellers and silversmiths in the country.

Design in business – 25 May

Design economy and the effect of design on business is the focus on the first day of the festival at Design Revolution – 25 May, with talks by high profile speakers including Ulrich Weinberg (School of Design Thinking, Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam) and Stephen Miller (The Design Council). There will be lightning talks from local and national designers, case studies of good design practice and workshops teaching practical skills. Tickets cost £30 and are available now.

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Creative collaboration – 26 May

On Thursday 26 May, Creative Dundee and Creative Edinburgh are co-producing a day long forum; Mass Assembly will bring together those who are part of creative hubs, collectives, networks and clusters from all locations, rural and urban. With speakers from New York, Belgrade, Amsterdam and London, the main focus will be on building connections with the 150 people in the room from across Scotland and beyond. In the evening, Pecha Kucha Night Dundee returns, with a great eclectic line up of super fast talks by local, and international talents.

Talks and workshops 

There will be a series of talks and events that echo the themes of social design, design for all and health & textiles throughout the festival.

There’s time in the programme to get your hands dirty with design too, including a weaving workshop with Cally Booker, a service design workshop that will help participants think about the city of Dundee and its tourism future. Also, the Dundee Wearable Art team will be encouraging participants to design new items of… wearable art, of course!


Cally’s Bonny Claith – Image:

On Friday 27 May you can examine how the healing power of architecture can work, with the Director of Maggie’s, Dundee. Later that day a team from Helsinki will discuss how design brought about social change in Finland

On Saturday 28th May, a series of workshops will take place that are aimed at the youngest in the design community, with workshops in screen printing, comic creation and designing a new game. You can also hear from Maria Maclennan, a forensic jeweller, who tells how objects can piece together stories after death or disaster.

Fuel for the festival will be available from a pop-up café, with delicious, locally sourced food available all day, provided by Masterchef winner, Jamie Scott.

There’s a whole host of cultural activity taking place during May including Ignite Dundee, a month long festival of creativity. To find out more, delve into the programme below and discover more of Dundee.

As a City of Design, Dundee has a set of City Values which any organisation can be part of – an agreement which shows Dundee’s commitment to using design to improve people’s lives. Read more about how to get involved here.


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Follow the festival action: #DundeeDesignFest

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