Creative Dundee

A year of Dundee’s Innovators, Architects & Designers

During the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 there have been high profile events and activities across Scotland –  celebrating outstanding heritage and contemporary practices known locally and across the globe, from cutting-edge technology to textiles, architecture and craft.

Creative Dundee wanted to put a spotlight on and share the stories of Dundee’s own innovators, architects and designers throughout this year, particularly as the city is the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design. We interviewed a range of artists, designers and creative businesses during 2016 and have collated a recap of all the features below.

We hope you enjoy and are inspired by these behind the scenes insights into diverse creative practices and what makes Dundee a great base. Keep sending us your content and we look forward to sharing this throughout 2017.

Dreamland Clothing: Nostalgic prints and vintage fashion


Our first interview of the year was with Dreamland Clothing, a quirky design label from Ruby Coyne, influenced by the 1980s, Saved By The Bell and the Rugrats. Ruby talked about life after graduation and setting up a clothing label in the city. Read it here.

Spotlight on: Cobra Mobile


Our second Innovation, Architecture and Design feature was with Mark Ettle of Cobra Mobile. We felt that it would be great to explore one of the many successful game/technology companies based in Dundee and this interview looks at how being based in Dundee means you can still be successful on an international level. Read it here.

Dundee’s Creative Hubs


Next up it was the turn of creative hubs – the physical workspaces across the city where people make and create their work. These important spaces, often led by passionate and committed small groups of individuals, have really helped contribute to the transformation of Dundee’s cultural identity over the last few years. Read it here.

KerrieALDO: Handmade and practical designs


To highlight craftsmanship in Dundee, we looked no further than Kerrie Alexander – owner of coat and jacket brand, KerrieALDO. Kerrie believes that in a time filled with mass-produced fast fashion, it is important to emphasise the expert craftsmanship, time and care that goes into her designs. Read it here.

Rodney Mountain: Design in healthcare

Dundee Design Festival - photo by Dylan Drummond from Son of The Sea Photography

Dundee Design Festival – photo by Dylan Drummond from Son of The Sea Photography

There is so much more to design than products, and we wanted to learn more about design ‘behind the scenes’ in areas that are not necessarily thought of but are useful for someone’s practice. Rodney Mountain, Otolaryngologist at Ninewells Hospital is championing innovative methods of design to improve healthcare in Dundee and explained more about what he does. Read it here.

Pretty Fly: Independent designs in a contemporary store

nicola pretty fly

During the summer we spotted Pretty Fly, a brand new store on Broughty Ferry’s Brook Street which provides a platform for independent jewellers, illustrators and designers to sell their products. Run by local jeweller Nicola Morrison and her husband, Gregor Fletcher. Nicola and Gregor talked about their journey to setting up shop and the importance of supporting local design. Read it here.

LJRH: Award winning architecture from Dundee


Not forgetting architecture, we then spoke with Graeme Hutton and Mark O’Connor from Leadingham Jameson Rogers + Hynd (LJRH) architects. Whilst Mark is based at the practice and teaches at DJCAD one day a week, Graeme is Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching at Dundee University and works with LJRH on certain projects. Read it here.

NCR: Design for Global Impact 

Image: NCR 2016

Image: NCR 2016

What many people may not realise however is that NCR has a Design and Innovation hub right here in Dundee, as well as a design department in their Atlanta headquarters. Eager to compare the difference between individuals or small design organisations we’ve previously highlighted, and a large organisation which uses design such as NCR, we met with Charlie Rohan, Senior Director of User Centred Design and Steven Birnie, Consultant Industrial Designer for User Centred Design. Read it here.

 Anna Day: Dundee City of Design


Dundee was awarded UNESCO City of Design status back in 2014, making it the first city in the UK to receive the title. The accolade has put a spotlight on our transforming city, but what benefits does it create for our design communities in Dundee? Anna Day, Manager of UNESCO City of Design, discussed what the designation means for our city. Read it here.

SCRAPantics: Affordable supplies for making


SCRAPantics, a scrap store in Dundee uses donations and sources scrap materials that can be used to make anything and everything. We met with Sandy Greene, Managing Director of the Douglas Court shop, which is an Aladdin’s cave of scrap treasures, to learn more about the store and her plans for the future. Read it here.

Biome Collective: Collaboration For Good

Biome Collective’s projection at Light Nights.

For our final Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design feature we spoke to Biome Collective, a group of game developers in Dundee who do a lot of collaborative work. The group recently collaborated to make an interactive audio and visual display on The Steeple during the city’s winter Light Nights. We spoke to them about being based in Dundee, and why collaboration is good. Read it here.


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