Design is as much about the process of creating something as it is the finished result. That process has a wide range of benefits; bringing people together, sharing ideas and becoming involved in their local communities. The V&A Dundee Community Garden project has highlighted how design can have a positive impact on one’s health and wellbeing.
Opened in September 2017, the garden sits in a 100 square metre plot in the south-western corner of Slessor Gardens, is the result of a creative co-design process, that involved local people in every aspect of the design process.
The team was supported by design studio kennedytwaddle, professional designer Linsey McIntosh and landscape architect, Glen Macfarlane. Dozens of local volunteers also got involved in the project after responding to a public appeal. The build was supported by Careys PLC while Paul Lawn of Gardenscape helped coordinate the volunteers and planting.
This project has directly involved local people in shaping their changing city. The garden has been designed to be a welcoming space for Dundonians and visitors to use and will act as an extension of V&A Dundee, providing a space for outdoor talks, workshops and events.
This project would not have been possible without the Rank Foundation and the players of People’s Postcode Lottery to whom we are very grateful for their confidence and ongoing support.
Living Room for the City
V&A Dundee's architect Kengo Kuma described the museum as a “living room for the city”, so in 2014, the idea for our very first community engagement project was born.
Everyone has design in their living room, so we asked you to share your favourite objects, styles and design ideas with us. It didn’t have to be a traditional living room in the home; it could have been where you spend your free time, somewhere at work or the place where you Feel most at home.
Scottish photographer Ross Fraser McLean produced a series of photographs of locals in their 'living rooms'. These included three ladies who regularly attend Kirkton Community Centre, the staff of YoYo Games in their playful offices and young people in the music room at the Hot Chocolate Trust - a living room they designed themselves.
Designers Linsey McIntosh and Sooz Gordon, alongside Peter Ananin and Jen Robinson from community-led project Skill Share Dundee, encouraged curious communities to realise their potential as designers by supporting community groups in making personalised lights and showcasing them in a ‘Living Room for the City’ exhibition.
Living Room for the City was the first V&A Dundee project to receive funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. We are immensely grateful for the ongoing support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery which has enabled this and many other community-led projects to happen.
These community projects formed an introduction to design for audiences across the local area. Take a look at some other past schools and national projects.