V&A Dundee

Local Heroes commissions Scottish design souvenirs for V&A Dundee’s plaza

A new project by Local Heroes heralding 2021 as ‘the year of the daytripper’ will open on V&A Dundee’s plaza today.

Eight designers have participated in Daytrippers, a collaboration between V&A Dundee and Local Heroes aimed at supporting Scottish designers by commissioning contemporary, limited-edition souvenirs. These will be displayed and sold outside V&A Dundee until the end of September, bringing exciting design outdoors to the museum’s picturesque waterfront location.

Local Heroes curator Stacey Hunter has invited emerging designers who embody Scotland’s dynamic design scene to create limited edition items that celebrate summer and act as a memorable and collectible souvenir of a great day out in Dundee.

Daytrippers builds on previous Local Heroes projects, including the 2016 exhibition of specially commissioned design souvenirs presented at Edinburgh Airport during the Edinburgh International Festival that was seen by more than 500,000 travellers, and a digital presentation of Scottish jewellery collections at New York City Jewelry Week in 2020 during the pandemic when travel wasn’t permitted.

For the latest Local Heroes project, furniture designer Aymeric Renoud of Dundee-based Draff Studio has worked with graphic designer Martin Baillie to adapt two iconic Christiania cargo bikes from Copenhagen into roaming exhibits displaying the eye-catching collection available until September.

Stacey Hunter, founder of Local Heroes, said: “2021 is the year of the daytripper and we’ve worked with some of Scotland’s most interesting and creative designers to create products that are perfect for a trip to the beach, a picnic in the park or can help to make your windowsill or garden into a little paradise for local wildlife.

“Kate Scarlet Harvey, Lauren Morsley and Katie Smith have each designed a bold and beautiful beach towel. Made from 100% cotton terry they are jacquard woven meaning you can enjoy the reverse of your towel just as much as the front. Titled Whizzing About, Daydreamers, and The Swimmers, each design brings to mind hot summer days, conviviality and the heady scents of sun tan lotion, the seaside and summer blooms.

“Shweta Mistry, Fiona Moon and Klara Sormark and have each designed a bespoke wildflower seed box featuring native flowers that support local wildlife. These bespoke seed mixes have been specially created for Daytrippers by Scotia Seeds who grow native flowers at their farm in nearby Angus. Each is aimed at attracting either Scotland’s tiniest butterfly species, bees or nocturnal pollinators like moths, so as well as supporting designers you’re also supporting local wildlife with every purchase.”

Leonie Bell, Director of V&A Dundee, said: “The plaza surrounding V&A Dundee is one of the city’s most important outdoor spaces for people to enjoy the river, the views and the architecture. To celebrate the return of the daytrip this summer, we have collaborated with Local Heroes who have worked with designers to create a fun and upbeat set of souvenirs for Dundonians and visitors to enjoy and encounter in a playful way that also supports Scotland’s design community.”

Designer Katie Smith said: I was thrilled when I was asked to create a souvenir for the Daytrippers project. I love V&A Dundee and I was delighted to create a design that is so bright and colourful for the summer. It’s a really great project to get people excited about being allowed back outside with their friends and family and enjoying time together outdoors. As well as making a design in collaboration with Local Heroes that feels really fun and joyful for the summer, I’ve met a lot of other really talented designers. I couldn’t be any happier with how the project has turned out.”

Designer Shweta Mistry said: “Local Heroes is a national curatorial studio putting Scottish design on an international stage and I am more than thrilled to be invited to be part of the project with these other talented designers. I have hand painted, using rare heritage art techniques and pigments, Scotland’s tiniest butterflies; the rare Small Blue butterfly, for whom the coast north of Dundee is a vital home and Rock Rose for the Northern Brown Argus butterfly. It’s about bringing awareness of the natural world we live in and conserving it too, which is close to my design practice.”

Designer Lauren Morsley said: “I really enjoyed working on a product that’s different to what I’ve designed before. I also really enjoyed the restrictions that came with designing the beach towel too. There is a certain weaving process you have to design and work with, which meant I had to adapt my usual way of working, which is where my printmaking skills came in handy and really helped inform the design.”

Designer Kate Scarlet Harvey said: “I was absolutely overjoyed to be asked to take part in this project. It's such a huge step up from my current work and it makes me so excited for the future.”

Daytrippers at V&A Dundee is open Thursday to Sunday from 10.00 – 17.00 on the plaza. On wet weather days, Daytrippers will be located inside the museum.

The plaza at V&A Dundee is also home to Heather Street Food’s award-winning street food vans run by local entrepreneurs Chris Heather and Melodie Paterson and open daily.

You can find out more about the Daytrippers designers and purchase your own collectable souvenir online at https://shop.vandadundee.org/

Limited edition woven jacquard 100% cotton beach towel 80cm x 160 cm £30

Scottish Wildflower Seed Mixes £6.50 or 3 packets for £18