V&A Dundee

Delight in Design: What's on show

We’re so excited to be open once again 🎉

Written by: Carrie Mitchell

We’ve reopened with a bang with our major new show, Night Fever: Designing Club Culture. Described by The Guardian as a sizzling tonic of sensory stimulation’ it’s the must see show of the year – and V&A Dundee is the only place in the UK to see it.

A graphic design image of a neon sign.
  • Night Fever: Designing Club culture

Night Fever: Designing Club Culture is the first large-scale examination of the relationship between club culture and design, charting the evolution of nightclubs from the 1960s to today.

Delving into iconic clubs in New York, Paris, Florence, Manchester, London, Beirut, Berlin – and towns and cities across Scotland – the exhibition uncovers the progressive and subversive history of nightclub design, and its far-reaching influence on popular culture.

Discover how architecture, art, fashion, graphics, lighting, performance and sound all come together to create an immersive sensory experience where design, music and technology meet on the dancefloor.

A silent disco which is covered by a large frame with mirrors and lights inside, headphones are hanging from the roof.
  • Silent disco 🎧

Alongside this, we’ve curated a special addition to the show in Gallery 2, The First Big Weekend, which celebrates the culture of nightclubs and nightlife as a major part of contemporary life in the UK.

Scotland’s club culture is unique and the personal experience of clubbers makes up a large part of our shared cultural memory. Flash back to your clubbing days with a newly commissioned film by Tim Knights, Hold Me: Footage from Scottish Clubs and Raves (1991–2020). This film stitches together memories using found footage that captures a uniquely Scottish experience (10 points if you recognise yourself 👀). Music, clothes, identity and friendships play out on the stage of a big night out.

Feast your eyes on a 20m long installation created by Vinca Petersen, A Life of Subversive Joy, documenting the adventure and joy of rave culture. You’ll also see Everybody in the Place, a film by Jeremy Deller positioning rave and acid house at the centre of the seismic social changes that reshaped Britain.

A wall with several images and posters, someone is walking in front of the wall.
  • 'A Life of Subversive Joy', an installation by Vinca Peterson.

The exhibition runs until 9 January 2022. Book your tickets now.

And there’s lots more to see. On entering the museum, you’ll be greeted by a 10m wide hand-painted billboard. Created by Cobolt Collective, an all-female street art collective, the billboard is inspired by the original Olympia swimming pool, which originally sat on the same site as the museum.

Cobolt Collective’s piece is part of our year-long ‘thinking out loud’ programme, opening up conversations about what design means, sparking debate and ideas about the role of design in enriching all our lives. We’d love to hear your thoughts #VADThinkingOutLoud

Over the spring and summer, Cobolt are working with communities to co-design a second mural for the plaza outside the museum.

A large mural which depicts a swimming pool, you can see people throwing balls in the pool and the words 'Thinking Out Loud' can be seen at the top.
  • 'Thinking Out Loud' installation by Cobolt collective.

As you move upstairs, split across our Michelin Design Gallery and upper foyer is Assemble: Making Room.

Making Room’ is an intricate new interior situated at the heart of the museum. The project was led by Assemble, our designers in residence, working with a group of local young people and Dundee Central Library. It explores the relationship between contemporary production techniques and traditional building crafts. The structure comprises fragments from architectural features found in and around Dundee and invites us all to look out for moments of beauty in our everyday surroundings. What’s your favourite building in Dundee?

Find out more here.

A table with several different materials on it, in the background the yellow wall has several photos of building attached to it.
  • Assemble: 'Making Room'

We’re proud to be hosting ‘What if…?/Scotland’, originally designed to be staged in Venice as part of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition responds to the Biennale’s theme, ‘How will we live together?’

Pairing together communities and creatives in five Scottish locations, the exhibition showcases the stories of each town, as told by its citizens and their hopes and dreams to improve the place they call home.

You can add your wishes for the future of Dundee, and what you’d like the city to be in the future. You can find out more here.

Several people are standing in a line outside an old building.
  • What if...?/Scotland.

At the heart of the museum are our much-loved Scottish Design Galleries, telling the story of Scottish design through more than 300 objects, from architecture to fashion, healthcare to furniture, and engineering to video game design. We’re excited to be showcasing some new objects in the galleries this summer – this part of the museum, (including the Oak Room) will be closed 21 - 30 June 2021, reopening 1 July with 20 new design icons for you to discover.

At the centre stands the magnificent Charles Rennie Mackintosh Oak Room. Meticulously restored, conserved and reconstructed through a partnership between V&A Dundee, Glasgow Museums and Dundee City Council, this is not to be missed.

What’s your favourite object? Let us know on social @VADundee

A wide shot of a museum gallery, you can see several objects including a dress, a fireplace and other textile pieces.
  • Scottish Design Galleries.

You will still need to book a free timed entry ticket to enter the museum. This is part of the steps we’ve taken to keep you safe and to ensure physical distancing. Book your free ticket on our website or a paid ticket to Night Fever including museum entry here.

As ever, we have measures in place across the museum to ensure a safe and welcoming experience for everyone. You can find out more here.

We can’t wait to welcome you back to the museum. ❤️