Scottish designers take on London Design Festival

16 September 2016

Designers based in Scotland are taking over part of the Victoria and Albert Museum at the London Design Festival 2016, which opens this Saturday (17 September).

V&A Dundee’s Northern Lights show will shine a light on nine exceptional designers who have chosen to stay in Scotland to build their careers.

The show, part of the London Design Festival at the V&A, focuses on the emerging new confidence of designers in basing their businesses north of the border.

Northern Lights will include steam-bent furniture from local woodlands, hand-carved ceramic jewellery, premium performance travel luggage, minimalist watches, contemporary wooden swings and bold, vibrant fashion for men and women.

The show is free and open to the public from Saturday 17 to Sunday 25 September in Gallery 55 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington, the leading London Design Festival hub.

Kevin Fox of LAT_56 said: “It represents a significant milestone in my design career to have products exhibited at the globally renowned V&A in London. Considering the standard of designers who have been selected by V&A Dundee, it is going to be quite something to see it all in one gallery space, not to mention in this world-class museum.

“It will be fascinating to witness the public browse the superb Scottish design talent on display in the V&A. The Northern Lights exhibition is a bold statement V&A Dundee is making in terms of the strength of contemporary Scottish design talent and the role it plays in our economy.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase contemporary Scottish design to a global audience and sets the bar high for what is to come when V&A Dundee opens in 2018.”

Kelly McGrath of KellyDawn Riot said: “Being part of V&A Dundee’s show at the London Design Festival is an incredible opportunity as it’s one of the world’s most important design events. It exhibits the very best of design from around the world, so taking part in this festival is a huge honour.

“Exhibiting in the V&A is both nerve-racking and exhilarating. Northern Lights shows how diverse and evolving Scottish design is, from jewellery to menswear to furniture. Scotland is a really great place to be a creative mind at the moment.”

Tara Wainwright from V&A Dundee said: “Many Scottish designers are hugely popular overseas but don’t receive the full credit they deserve in the UK. With Northern Lights we’re taking nine incredibly exciting product designers, at different stages of their careers, to the London Design Festival.

“Although our designers cover a huge range of disciplines, from steam-bent furniture to ceramic jewellery, they all represent a new confidence in Scotland’s creative communities.

“Design is booming north of the border and V&A Dundee is delighted to be able to raise awareness of these designers, helping to support the development of their careers and make new professional connections.”

Northern Lights is a partnership between V&A Dundee, Scottish Enterprise and Creative Dundee as part of the Scottish Government’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016, a celebration of the nation’s global contributions to architecture, design, engineering and science.

First staged in 2003, the London Design Festival is one of the world’s most important annual design events. The festival programme is made up of over 400 events and exhibitions staged by hundreds of partner organisations across the design spectrum and from around the world.

V&A Dundee will be a new world-class design museum for Scotland – a ground-breaking international centre for design innovation, a place of inspiration, fun and learning. It will open to the public in 2018.

The new museum will be based in the heart of Dundee, the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design which is currently undergoing a 30-year, £1 billion regeneration.

Northern Lights is free and open to the public from Saturday 17 to Sunday 25 September in Gallery 55 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington.

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