V&A Dundee

Dundee Design Festival 2021 announced

The latest edition of the biennial Dundee Design Festival will be held this year from 23 September to 3 October at locations around the city and online.

The theme for Dundee Design Festival 2021 is Every Where Design, exploring how design is an essential but often invisible part of people’s lives. The festival which is free to attend will be held at four sites around Dundee and will also have a virtual presence, for audiences anywhere in the world to take part.

The festival will be centred around five ‘Design Houses’ which will be created in collaboration with local communities and organisations to profile the value of design within our everyday lives.

The locations of the design houses are Hilltown Park situated in the neighbourhood of Hilltown to the north of the city-centre, a retail unit in the main shopping area of Stobswell, a former pump station in Finlathen Park, the waterfront plaza surrounding V&A Dundee and a Digital Design House online.

Dundee Design Festival 2021 is delivered by UNESCO City of Design Dundee and produced by Agency of None, a design studio in Dundee run by Lyall Bruce and Ryan McLeod. Agency of None also produced the 2019 edition of the festival located in the Keiller Centre.

Ryan McLeod and Lyall Bruce, producers of Dundee Design Festival 2021, said: "This year's festival will celebrate Every Where Design, exploring the hidden and unusual design that exists all around us. We are continuing to develop our vision of a design festival as a series of playful experiments that opens up design to new audiences by encouraging people to participate in lots of hands-on design activities.

“Through DDF21 we are aiming to help develop a healthier approach to design, one that broadens its understanding, breaks down barriers to entry and shows how it can be used to transform our communities and urban environments.”

Annie Marrs, Lead Officer, UNESCO City of Design Dundee, said: "From the outset, we’ve always tried to ensure that Dundee Design Festival reflects the world we are living in, with content showing the ways in which design can impact on our day to day lives.

“From the vast industrial space of West Ward Works in 2017 to the underused retail units of the Keiller Centre in 2019, our choice of venue has been really important to highlight the local relevance of the festival and 2021 is another step on that journey. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the importance of our local areas, local services and communities. It wouldn’t make sense to hold DDF21 anywhere but within our neighbourhoods."

UNESCO City of Design Dundee is now hosted in V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum, as part of a partnership to further develop Dundee’s aim to position and champion design as a catalyst for community, physical and economic transformation.

The festival is generously supported by Abertay University, Creative Scotland, Dundee City Council, Hillcrest Housing Association, InGAME, Leisure & Culture Dundee, University of Dundee and V&A Dundee.

Dundee was awarded UNESCO City of Design status in 2014 and is the first and only UNESCO City of Design in the UK.

For further information and updates about the festival go to www.dundeedesignfestival.com or @dnd_designfest