Work With Us
Creative Dundee’s speciality is working in partnership with other people and organisations to benefit creative communities, the city and its citizens.
We develop strategies, engage communities, design events and workshops, give talks and tours, and create tools and resources. Here’s a brief snapshot of some of the local, national and international projects we’ve been part of. Please do get in touch if you would like any further info or to discuss working collaboratively, as we’d love to hear from you. Here’s a selection of our activities.
Small Society Lab: Japan x Scotland (now taking place in 2021)
Seemingly unconnected, the cities of Dundee and Kobe have experienced dramatic periods of renewal, resilience and have rebuilt their civic confidence through culture and design. As a result, both cities have been recognised as UNESCO Cities of Design. Working with partners, UNESCO City of Design Dundee, and Design and Creative Center Kobe (KIITO), supported by the British Council and Creative Scotland, we will run Small Society Lab Japan x Scotland in the run up to the Olympic/Paralympic Games now taking place in 2021. Bringing artists, designers, technologists and citizens together across the two cities, the simultaneous Labs will feature live link ups, enabling communities to share, learn from each other and explore how we inhabit our city spaces of the future.
Creative Dundee developed and facilitated the first Hubs for Good capacity building 2 day training programme, for 17 established creative hub leaders across Malaysia, in March 2019. The creative and cultural sectors play a significant role supporting economic, social and cultural progress, therefore creative hub leadership is critical to the success of our cities, regions and towns globally. During this practical workshop, we focused on developing leadership skills, explored the broader impacts which creative hubs generate, and developed strategic approaches for future sustainability and growth.
Fabric: a creative leadership programme for the city (2018 – 2019)
We believe that it’s in our collective interest to take a proactive approach to nurturing the talent and values that will lead us to tomorrow. That’s why Creative Dundee has launched the second phase of Fabric – a creative leadership programme for the city – which aims to build a collective intelligence for Dundee’s thriving creative sector and requires to be driven by people who are actively interested in the direction of the city. Fabric aims to create an informal peer learning space for current leaders to connect with and begin investing in emerging leaders, and for all to develop their creative leadership skills and agency in the city.
Creative Dundee curated a conversation about the steps towards equality in Scotland, as part the Festival of the Future. Exploring themes like the media’s approach to diversity, representation and equality, as well as some of the harshest economic realities in the country today, speakers, Ellie Mae O’Hagan and Alberta Whittle, shared a provocation and then participated in an open panel conversation. We have also produced a Act Locally Zine: Perspectives on Inequality, which was giving out at the event, and commissioned Hamzah Hussain to share his reflections on the event and theme: What does equality mean to you?
Shpeel is a prototype tool exploring how video games technology can support mental health care, particularly to better enable young people to communicate their feelings to professionals without words. The 360 degree immersive Shpeel environment was designed by Biome Colletive, as a multi-person interactive installation representing the city of Dundee. Designed by Biome Collective, it was produced by Tilde Arts, in partnership with Creative Dundee, supported by a range of partners: Creative Scotland, UNESCO City of Design Dundee, Abertay University, NEoN Digital Arts Festival, University of Dundee, Epson, The Corner, NHS Tayside, and Hot Chocolate Trust.
Live Audits (Ongoing)
The Live Audit was a tool we developed in partnership with Creative Edinburgh in 2016, as a way to both gather feedback during our events, and also importantly make the data open for others to also see and use. Creating instant feedback loops using the Live Audit has become a critical research method for our activities with communities, and this approach has proved popular – enabling us to delve into a range of varied themes, including understanding creative business ambitions, through to exploring our own organisation’s offer.
Young People PKN TAKEOVER! (2018)
This event was co-created with 25 young people in Dundee, delivered by Creative Dundee in partnership with Dundee Design Festival as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. It featured an inspiring panel including 14 young speakers aged 12 – 26 years, who took part in a series of four workshops in the run up, on different aspects of event planning, from marketing, to preparing a talk. Of the 410 attendees, 115 young people accessed free tickets to attend. Find more about the night here.
Dundee’s Creative Industries Strategy 2017 – 2021 was launched on 17th October in partnership with DCA. The event featured contributions from local creative businesses, Dundee 2023, Creative Scotland and the Creative Industries Federation. The Strategy has been initiated and driven by Creative Dundee on behalf of the city; and co-designed over the last two years with those working/studying in the city’s creative industries sector and the local and national agencies who support the creative industries. Find the Strategy available to view, download, comment, and even listen to as an audio podcast here: www.dundeecreates.com.
In 2019, Creative Dundee produced the fifth crowdsourced city guide in collaboration with people who live here and love it, our first was back in 2012. The response to our call for suggestions has been great, we received so many ideas on things to see and do in our city which could help people navigate the city and find out the local favourite spots – from indie shops to cafes, galleries to green spaces. The guide has been distributed by partners across the city, and has been given to thousands of fresher students. It can be found here.
Dundee Soup (ongoing)
Dundee Soup events give micro grants to local community based projects to make ideas a reality, over a simple supper dinner – the first was held in April 2017. Dundee Soup was produced in partnership between The Circle and Creative Dundee. Find out more about the event which takes its inspiration from the original Detroit Soup here.
Creative Renfrewshire (2017-18)
Creative Dundee led the refresh of this network, which operated as a voluntary led initiative since 2013. Introduced new activities and events, including Pecha Kucha Night Paisley, and a ‘What’s Next?’ event considering the future of creativity in the Renfrewshire area. Creative Dundee developed the three year Organisational Development Plan, and supported the organisation with the recruitment of a brand new Board of Directors to drive the organisation forward. Find out more here.
Culture Connects (2017)
As part of an exciting collaboration with Dundee Place Partnership, Creative Dundee has been carrying out research and consultation to find out more about where cultural activities are taking place across the city, what barriers there are, and what could be improved to help cultural access. Visiting community festivals, events, community hubs, out of school clubs and more across the city has ensured that we reach a huge number of people from a broad range of backgrounds. You can read more about the research here.
Dundee is a city in transition. It’s almost half way through its current 30 year waterfront transformation, which has seen dramatic alterations to the city’s physical surroundings; and significant global changes have influenced the ways we live, work and play over the last decades. Creative Dundee worked in partnership with Dundee 2023 to collectively imagine what the next thirty years on from this title should hold for the city and its residents. Topics explored on the night by speakers from a broad range of backgrounds included the future of: culture / living / working / money / love / health / environment / play / communication and more. Read more about the event here.
The MIX IN: Cultural Tourism (2017)
The MIX IN was an evening event designed to inspire and develop collaborations around cultural tourism across the Dundee and Angus region. Creative Dundee partnered with Scottish Enterprise to lead and host this event at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath. Hearing from a number of speakers on a range of cultural tourism topics, attendees discussed the issues and opportunities – current and future, urban and rural. Read more about The MIX IN here and find details of our previous MIX IN: Food and Drink in 2015 here.
Behind the Scenes Dundee (2017)
Dundee Contemporary Arts and Creative Dundee teamed up to offer a behind the scenes cultural tour of the city. Run as a pilot in May and September 2017, Behind the Scenes Dundee is a two-hour tour led by the Creative Dundee team which gives you the opportunity to take in four of the local cultural organisations – DCA, The Rep, The McManus and Fleet Collective. Filled with behind the scenes talks, tours and stories, this event provides the kind of insider knowledge you can only get from experiencing these spaces first-hand! Find out more here.
WRKSHP at Dundee Design Festival (2017)
WRSHP was a practical temporary work base for designers and makers to work from during Dundee Design Festival 2017, a place also to share their practice with other creative practitioners and festival visitors. WRKSHP featured a programme of practical workshops and demos by designers and makers, also providing workbenches and desktops for shared working. There were shelves packed with resources, materials, tools and machines that visitors were invited to delve into and start making. Creative Dundee also brought its popular regular Make/Share event to West Ward Works for the duration of the festival. Find out more about WRKSHP here.
Boost by Design (2017)
BOOST by Design is a programme for Dundee’s social enterprises from all backgrounds keen to develop their understanding of service design, creative innovation and digital skills. Developed and led by Creative Dundee with support from Open Change, V&A Dundee and the UNESCO City of Design Team, the project included four half day workshops, design mentoring and support and a final celebration event. Find out more about the programme here.
Creative Dundee hosted a special Powered by Pecha Kucha event to celebrate two decades of Abertay University leading the world’s first video games education programmes in Dundee. The quick-fire talks held during the Digital Graduate Show in May included speakers from Dundee, Edinburgh, London, Montreal and Malmo. Giving profile to the vibrant video games sector, this event looked at the history, present and future of the games scene in a fun and informal way. Find out more about this event here.
Creating Engaging Events (ongoing)
We’ve organised and hosted talks/workshops at a number of events in collaboration with a range of partners including: BBC’s Make it Digital campaign – helping younger audiences discover their creative potential through hearing from established creative technologists and designers; GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland – enabling participating artists to speak about their work during the year; ArtWorks Scotland – leading talks by participatory artists at two of their annual forums; hosting the learning event of TTS. Digital – Creative Scotland’s funding programme designed to inspire digital creativity in young people; hosting speaker sessions at Visit Scotland’s Tourism Industry event; partnering with Architecture Fringe for Turncoats Dundee – exploring if Dundee is losing itself in the chase for glamour; and looking at What is the Future of Domestic Life with them and British Council.
Creative Industries and Cultural Visits (ongoing)
Over the years we’ve welcomed people from all over the world to the city and shown them Dundee’s vibrant creative industries scene and cultural activities. From European and Australian policymakers, UK wide arts leaders, journalists, tech experts, to international travel bloggers, we’ve always tried to make sure people experience what makes Dundee’s scene special – the rich blend of small independents, collective ways of working and larger organisational activities. You can read more about one of these visits here.
Speakers on the Creative Industries and Networks (ongoing)
The Creative Dundee team have spoken about the organisation’s work, ethos, delivery model and impacts for the creative industries and cultural economy at a number of events including: ASEAN Creative Cities Forum in Manila, Philippines; Teesside Creative Social Enterprise Forum, in Darlington, UK; Creative Hubs Forum in Lisbon; Creative Hubs Skills Workshop, in Madrid, Spain; Ulyanovsk Cultural Forum, Ulyanovsk, Russia; Skopje Creative Hub Conference, Skopje, Macedonia; Crowdsourcing Summit, Warsaw, Poland; We are Upland Symposium, Dumfries, UK; Bandung, Indonesia; and Belfast Culture Forum, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The Creating Care Forum (2017)
The Creating Care Forum was a one day workshop and platform exploring the opportunities of collaboration between healthcare and the creative industries. Produced in partnership between Creative Dundee, Creative Scotland and the Academic Health Science Partnership in Tayside, the day featured exemplar case studies, discussions and practical workshop sessions to establish high level engagement between senior policy makers in both sectors. Find out more about the project, and read the Summary Report here.
European Creative Hubs Network (2016 – 2018)
Creative Dundee was associate partner to Creative Edinburgh in the European Creative Hubs Network, a 2 year project during 2016-18. Our aim is to help creative hubs connect and collaborate across Europe. British Council is leading the work co-funded by the European Commission, in partnership with six European creative hubs – Bios in Greece, Addict in Portugal, betahaus in Germany, Kulturni Kod/Nova Iskra in Serbia, Creative Edinburgh in UK and Factoria Cultural in Spain – and the European Business and Innovation Network. Over the two year project they have calls for creative hubs to join them at Forums, Skills Workshops or take part in Peer to Peer Study Visits, or you can upload your hub details to their map – if hubs are of interest then check out their website, sign up and find out more.
UNESCO City of Design (2014 – present)
As Dundee is the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design, Creative Dundee works closely with the team, and making sure the design sector is represented. After receiving the designation in December 2014, we ran a community engagement event to find out what being a city of design means to people living here, during the launch in January 2015. We’ve assisted with developing plans and also run events during Dundee Design Festival. Find out more about the designation here.
Fabric Dundee (2016)
Throughout Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016, Creative Dundee ran a new peer project Fabric Dundee bringing creative practitioners and businesses together to strategically develop the future of the creative sector in the city and benefit those living, studying and working in and around the city. Creative Dundee has led the development of the city-wide Creative Industries Strategy 2017 – 2021, designed in collaboration with the creative sector through Fabric and the agencies which support them. In 2015, Creative Dundee set up and has since chaired the creative industries stakeholder group, which includes 25 local and national agencies who have a remit for supporting the creative sector and have contributed to the development of this strategy. Find out more about Fabric Dundee.
NEoN Digital Arts (2011 onwards)
Since 2011, we’ve collaborated with the NEoN Digital Arts Festival each year to tie in Pecha Kucha to their November programme, and also run other events such as the Crafting Light workshop, using Fibre Optic Wearables, with Smart Materials expert Sara Robertson; and This Much we Know event, a retrospective journey through Dundee’s creative past, hearing from the people who made it happen. Find out more about NEoN here.
The Creative HubKit (2015)
Creative Dundee and Creative Edinburgh developed the content and co-wrote The Creative HubKit on behalf of British Council. This toolkit is for people looking to set up their own creative hub, diversify an existing hub, or understand the hub movement from an outside policy perspective. The toolkit has been made by hubs for emerging hubs, and has now been translated into several languages and used around the world, as part of British Council’s extensive Hubs programme. The HubKit can be downloaded here.
Local Heroes (2016)
Local Heroes was a brilliant pop-up exhibition at Edinburgh Airport’s outdoor plaza presenting a new narrative around contemporary Scottish design to an international audience, in August 2016. The exhibition ran throughout August, curated by Dr Stacey Hunter and featured exciting new commissions which reconsidered the notion of the souvenir and responded to the theme of travel. Collaborating with Creative Edinburgh we ran an events programme to celebrate Scottish design alongside the exhibition during August/September. More about Local Heroes found here.
Light Bytes (2016)
Over 200 artists, technologists and cultural organisations joined us at Light Bytes events in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. Light Bytes was an exciting initiative to stimulate innovation with creative technology across the arts, screen and creative industries, through a partnership involving Creative Edinburgh, Creative Dundee and We Throw Switches, in association with Creative Scotland. The events aimed to stimulate debate, thinking, risk and experimentation, and explore innovative ways of making the most of creative technology, and following the events, we launched some prototype micro funding. You can read more about what happened at these events here.
Northern Lights (2016)
In partnership with Creative Dundee and Scottish Enterprise, V&A Museum of Design Dundee created Northern Lights, an exhibition to shine a light on nine exceptional designers who have chosen to stay in Scotland to build their careers by showcasing then in Victoria and Albert Museum during London Design Week 2016. Exhibiting designers included Dundee based Hayley Scanlan and Lat_56. Joining the Dundee designers were Angus Ross, Instrmnt, Isabelle Moore, KellyDawn Riot, Scott Jarvie, Tom Pigeon, and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design alumni Beth Lamont. Read more about this here.
Mass Assembly (2016)
Mass Assembly was a one day forum exploring the future of collective working for creatives and the places they are based, it brought together 130 people who are part of creative hubs, collectives, networks and clusters from all locations, rural and urban. Creative Dundee and Creative Edinburgh joined forces in May during the inaugural Dundee Design Festival to run the forum. We also developed and ran this Live Audit on the day – a collective snapshot of what the landscape looks like for creative hubs at this point in time. More about the forum can be viewed here.
Make/Share (2015 – 2018)
Make/Share is a free monthly event which brought people together to gain a behind the scenes insight into the work of people from a mix of creative, science, social and technology backgrounds. We’ve created this event because we think that processes behind turning an idea into a reality aren’t discussed enough. It was a chance to present work in progress and get constructive feedback, and helped inspire and create opportunities for collaboration to happen. See previous speakers and watch video about the event here.
Creative City Networks (2014)
Part of a collective of three creative city networks, Creative Dundee, Creative Edinburgh and Creative Stirling. Each network is independent, focusing on their own distinctive aims and objectives tailored to each of the three cities and has received funding support from Creative Scotland. In 2014 an independent review by EKOS was carried out of the networks, the review can be downloaded here.
We Dundee (2013)
Developed a digital crowdsourcing platform in partnership with Fleet Collective and the Dundee Partnership for people to highlight what they loved about the city and would love to see happen in future. Over 4,000 people contributed their thoughts and ideas and many have been taken forward into Dundee’s Culture Strategy and UNESCO City of Design plans. Visit wedundee.com and find out more about the project here.
Screen in the Square (2014)
Part of Dundee’s Commonwealth Games 2014 programme. Creative Dundee ran an open call for content – films, animations, music videos to be shown on the large screen in City Square. 36 films were screened to a 250 strong audience from a great mix of contributors – established film makers through to school pupils, community groups and up-and-coming creative talent, based locally and internationally – all with a connection to the city. Read more here.
The City GIF Wall (2015)
The City GIF Wall is a way for people to engage with the city in a playful way, showing it from multiple, often hidden perspectives. The aim is to show the city’s vibrancy and personality in a visual and accessible way. Following a call for GIFs, we received hundreds of GIFs which were included in the Wall and shown as part of V&A’s Digital Design Weekend in London, part of London Design Festival 2015. The Wall was created by digital artist, Tom deMajo in collaboration with those at Small Society Lab 2015, and built/shared by Creative Dundee. Read more about the project here and visit the City GIF Wall.
The MIX IN (2015)
As part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink 2015, Creative Dundee worked with Scotland Food and Drink Network and Perth & Kinross Council to develop an event which brought together the area’s local food and drink producers with creative and digital individuals and businesses. The event gave the 100 attendees the chance to showcase their products/produce and hear about current and future innovative practices. Read more here.
Follow Me! (2015)
Follow Me! was a project connecting people, places and stories from around the Stobswell area of Dundee. The aim was to capture the stories behind the area’s hotspots, the places most important to local people – told through their own voices. Working in collaboration with a designer, photographer and film maker, Creative Dundee took Follow Me! to the annual Celebration in the Park event at Baxter Park. The final outputs were a series of portrait photos, a map of the area and this great film, A Postcard from Stobswell.
Working with established partners of Small Society Lab – DCA and University of Dundee, Creative Dundee led SSL 2015 which connected Mexico City, a megalopolis with 22 million residents and Dundee, with 149,000 residents. Artists, designers, technologists and citizens joined the two day simultaneous lab events in both cities to explore and celebrate their cities.
Other partners included Digital Futures UKMX, V&A, British Council, Laboratorio para la Ciudad, Centro de Cultura Digital, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, and CENART who ran a series of exchange and collaborative prototyping/making events around the themes of civic awareness, engagement, collaboration and innovation.
Groups remixed aspects of both cultures to design collaborative, experimental and playful tools which considered issues relevant to city life – and shared this digitally over the weekend. See more of what happened in the diary of the weekend here.
The Small Society Lab is an open project which explores the development and understanding of the small city of the future. Based in Dundee, the Lab it was founded in 2011. Over the years SSL has worked with citizens and local and international partners to explore themes of democracy, making and digital value, through to serendipitous communities and community-run bakeries.
Find out more about previous Small Society Labs, here:
Small Society Lab 2014 – The focus this year was ideas around value. Digital value, democratic value, cash value, cultural value, and the value of making in Dundee and India.
Small Society Lab 2013 – From fungi, to origami, to games design, to exploring play and concepts of the classroom, SSL 13 featured a number of speakers and interactive sessions.
Small Society Lab 2012 – Exploring the link between building communities through music, serendipity and bread, SSL 12 was joined by King Creosote and many others.
Small Society Lab 2011 – The inaugural Small Society Lab was launched as a pop-up research space; a collaboration between DCA and the Product Design Research Studio at DJCAD – aiming to spark outlets for creativity.
Below: A Postcard from Dundee – crowdsourced film made during Small Society Lab by Bonnie Brae Productions.
Maker Speed Dater (2015)
Make Works, a factory finding platform for artists, designers and makers collaborated with Creative Dundee to bring their popular Maker Speed Dater to Dundee. This unique event provides an opportunity to have a conversation, learn about what can be made locally. View this page for more info.
Perthshire Creates (2015)
Worked with local creative practitioners, businesses and Perth and Kinross Council to help establish a new network to shine a spotlight on contemporary creative activities across the area. Following a series of Open Sessions and a digital platform being built, Perthshire Creates was launched at an event showcasing local creatives in June 2015. Visit www.perthshirecreates.co.uk for more details.
Living Room for the City (2013)
Creative Dundee supported V&A Dundee to run an open call to find a designer to create the promotional materials for their first community engagement project, Living Room for the City. The name of the project was inspired by V&A Dundee architect, Kengo Kuma, who has described his vision of the building as a “living room for the city” . Through the project, V&A Dundee invited everyone to share photographs of their living rooms and favourite things. Dundee born Martin Baillie was selected to design the below campaign materials. Read more about this project here.