V&A Dundee


We have worked across Scotland, from Shetland to the Scottish Borders, on partnership projects and initiatives that aim to inspire the next generation of designers.

Design in Motion

In 2015, over 12,000 people visited Design in Motion, our first national touring exhibition, which took the work of seven of Scotland’s most exciting contemporary designers to 85 locations across Scotland and then on to the V&A in London.

The designers all used digital technologies to push the boundaries of their discipline, enabling them to experiment, play and innovate. The exhibition demonstrated how design can be put to work to reconstruct our heritage, visualise the unseen and create products not previously possible.

Design in Motion visited over 40 schools and colleges across Scotland, meeting pupils, teachers and students through our scheduled tours of the exhibition.

It was developed in partnership with the Travelling Gallery and generously supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, The Mathew Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, Creative Scotland, The Scottish Government, and City of Edinburgh Council. Travelling Gallery Curator Alison Chisholm said the Design in Motion tour was a rare move away from the group’s roots in contemporary art - see the full interview here.

We would like to recognise the talent and commitment of everyone who helped deliver this project, including exhibition design by Gabrielle Underwood, Sophia George film by Rapid Visual Media and Design Scotland app by eeGeo.

Baby boxes

In 2016, V&A Dundee ran a national competition on behalf of the Scottish Government for the design of Scotland’s Baby Box, with students across Scotland submitting bold and inspirational designs for consideration by an expert panel. From over 70 entries, 6 were shortlisted.

The six finalists for were revealed by the Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Mark McDonald. The shortlist was extremely varied, from woodland creatures and the Loch Ness monster to buses and famous Scottish symbols, each one intended to be interactive, helping to record milestones and make memories.

Ultimately, Graphic Design student Leanne Young from Edinburgh Napier University was chosen as the winning designer, receiving a prize of £1,000 and exclusive mentoring from leading Scottish designers Holly Fulton and Scott Jarvie. Leanne's winning design for the national roll-out of Scotland’s Baby Box is a forest fairy tale scene complete with Highland cows, squirrels and the Loch Ness Monster.

The baby boxes, complete with Leanne's design, were rolled out from Summer 2017 and will be produced until March 31 2019. Read more about Leanne.

Scottish Design Relay

The Scottish Design Relay was a national project inspired by a selection of objects in V&A Dundee. The relay started in Dundee before travelling to Orkney, Caithness, Shetland, Govan and finally Aberdeen, aiming to encourage and nurture a new generation of designers, culminating in our opening Michelin Design Gallery exhibition.

In each location, a group of young people worked alongside local designers and were introduced to an object with a link to their community. These included museum exhibits such as a 100-year-old ‘hooded’ Orkney chair, a model of the Dounreay Fast Reactor and a Fair Isle jumper once worn by the Commander-in-Chief of the British Home Forces.

Taking these objects as their inspiration, the young people developed new designs and created prototypes that were displayed in V&A Dundee.

Our Assistant Curator, Mhairi Maxwell explores how to turn such a diverse project into a focused exhibition and reflects on its legacy in this article.

The Scottish Design Relay was made possible by funding from the Mathew Trust and Peoples Postcode Lottery.

These national projects aimed to inspire designers around Scotland before we opened. Take a look at some other past school and community projects.