V&A Dundee

Community design projects showcased at V&A Dundee

Dundee-based community groups will see their design projects go on display at V&A Dundee after being inspired by Night Fever: Designing Club Culture, an exhibition which celebrates people coming together to have fun, create and safely express themselves.

From Saturday 4 December, creative projects exploring the full spectrum of design produced together with hidden route, Front Lounge, LGBT Youth Scotland and Families Outside will go on display inside the museum’s Juniper Auditorium.

A group of ten young people from LGBT Youth Scotland and Front Lounge worked with hidden route theatre company and V&A Dundee to create taboo, a co-designed performance set inside the exhibition following a week of intensive workshops in theatre design. The group were supported by designers to create their own costumes, music and choreography, and throughout the process the participants developed their reflections on real and imagined clubbing experiences.

Night Fever: Designing Club Culture at V&A Dundee and the Families programme at V&A Dundee are both supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery.

Gemma Nicol, co-Artistic Director, hidden route, said: “The taboo project supported by The Mathew Trust looked to provide opportunities for young people to explore design practices and foster a new creative community. The group were challenged to explore the full spectrum of design in performance including music and sound design, set design, posters, promotion and costumes, all inspired by nightclubs.”

Lisa Williamson, co-Artistic Director hidden route, said: “Through written text, movement and sound the young people explored ideas such as ‘What happens when the beat takes over?’ and considered a world where clubs were made illegal, told stories of clubbing memories, the origins of dance halls and clubbing as a form of self-expression.”

Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “The best museums work closely with their communities to make creative opportunities available to everyone. We’re delighted to see this great work at V&A Dundee continue, with the support of our players.”

Participants of all ages from Families Outside, a charity that supports families in Scotland affected by imprisonment will also see their work showcased within the museum this Christmas.

As part of a new partnership with V&A Dundee’s Learning team, the Families Outside group worked with designer Hannah Ayre in the Hilltown’s MAXwell Centre to design and create vibrant neon and UV decorations for V&A Dundee’s 2021 Christmas tree. The creative project followed on from Families Outside’s Conversation Cafés held in the museum’s Learning Studios as part of a wider national conversation to ensure families’ support requirements are understood. For some of the family members attending this was this first time they had had an opportunity to discuss their experience with other family members affected by imprisonment in a safe and supported space.

The community outreach project aimed to connect families across Dundee, engage participants in design, and bring joy to visitors over the festive period.

Tracey Smith, Learning Programme Producer at V&A Dundee, said: “Through new community outreach partnerships this year we’ve been able to support the community-impact work that the national charity Families Outside do. We invited the network to join a designer and take over our tree with an explosion of colour and light that we can’t wait for visitors to see.

“Recently we’ve been working together to engage communities in a design thinking process and through a longer-term collaboration we’re delighted to provide free museum family passes to each prison family hub in Scotland.”

These projects were supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery, as part of the Families programme at V&A Dundee.

V&A Dundee’s Christmas tree displaying decorations designed by participants from Families Outside will be available to see from 4 December. taboo will screen daily until 9 January 2022. Both projects are on display in the Juniper Auditorium.