V&A Dundee represents UK at Milan Design Triennale

31 March 2016

Jaguar, Harris Tweed and pioneering game design will feature in the official UK exhibit at the XXI Milan Design Triennale, presented by V&A Museum of Design Dundee.

The international exhibition opens to the public on Saturday 2 April and runs until Monday 19 September, with 500,000 visitors expected.

The new design museum will present Adventures in Design, a specially commissioned comic strip created by Will Morris and David MacKenzie, charting the story of some of the UK’s most exciting design innovations.

Jaguar will showcase a rarely-seen scale model of a Jaguar F-TYPE S Coupé, which is part of the meticulous design process that has led Jaguar to international acclaim and commercial success.

The exhibit will feature the global fashion success of Harris Tweed, an indigenous Scottish fabric that has enjoyed an international resurgence and featured in couture collections from major fashion houses, including Margaret Howell, Vivienne Westwood and Ermenegildo Zegna who are all featured in the Milan exhibition.

Also on show will be Genes in Space, a mobile game designed in a partnership between Guerilla Tea and Cancer Research UK to help gamers process complex genetic data – and help beat cancer sooner by harnessing the power of game players all around the world.

V&A Dundee is representing the UK at the XXI Triennale di Milano with the support of the British Council and the Scottish Government. The international showcase is 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.

Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee, said: “Milan is one of the great design cities of the world, and the whole V&A Dundee team is thrilled to be representing the UK at the first international Milan Design Triennale in over 20 years.

“Our new design museum will inspire creativity by showcasing Scotland’s rich design history, attract more investment and jobs to Dundee, bring international V&A exhibitions to Scotland, and share design skills through our business, community and schools work.

“Taking such fine examples of design as Jaguar, Harris Tweed and Guerilla Tea to Milan, as well as our Adventures in Design comic strip, is major international recognition of these outstanding designers, companies and the development of V&A Dundee itself.”

Graham Sheffield, British Council Director of Arts, said: “The British Council is delighted to be supporting V&A Dundee at the XXI Milan Design Triennale.

“As one of the most highly anticipated new arrivals on the UK museum scene, V&A Dundee’s exciting and innovative programme will give audiences from around the world the opportunity to connect with the UK’s thriving creative industries sector through a showcase of cutting edge design and technology.

“This ethos is at the core of the British Council’s work to support UK innovation and creativity internationally, and this celebration of global design talent is a fitting platform on which to do so.”

Lorna Macaulay, Chief Executive of the Harris Tweed Authority, said: “Throughout the world Milan is known as one of the great fashion capitals alongside London, New York and Paris, so we’re particularly delighted that our iconic fabric is featuring in the official UK exhibit at the Milan Design Triennale.

“Harris Tweed is a unique fabric, still hand-woven despite production of 1.7 million metres last year and exports reaching over 60 countries. It has been embraced and reinterpreted by leading fashion designers around the world, and we’re proud to be working closely with V&A Dundee on telling this story internationally.”

Matt Zanetti, Chief Creative Officer of Guerilla Tea, said: “Showing our work with Cancer Research UK to half a million international visitors is a dream come true. We’re incredibly honoured to be part of the official UK exhibit at the Milan Design Triennale, representing Britain’s great history of game design innovation.

“As a small award-winning game studio, created by four friends who met at Abertay University, this is a major opportunity for us to meet international collaborators and develop new projects that use game design for social good.”

David MacKenzie, graphic designer and illustrator, said: "Working with V&A Dundee has been really exciting, allowing Will and I the chance to tell some of the stories of British design innovation through a huge comic strip and then take this project to Milan.

“Comics have a rich heritage in Dundee, from The Beano to the many artists who trained at DC Thomson and moved around the world. To be part of that ongoing legacy with Adventures in Design is absolutely incredible.”

Now under construction, V&A Museum of Design Dundee will be the first V&A museum anywhere in the world outside London, with a mission to enrich lives through inspiring people and promoting their understanding of design.

V&A Dundee is at the heart of Dundee’s waterfront regeneration, a £1 billion, 30-year masterplan to design an open, inclusive city of the future.

Dundee has a strong history of design innovations – including aspirin, biomedical research that has led to hundreds of new cancer drugs, comics including The Beano and The Dandy, orange marmalade, and video games including Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto – which resulted in it becoming the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design in 2014.

The new museum is the first in the UK by Kengo Kuma, the renowned architect responsible for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium, and will open in 2018.

Image Credit: V&A Dundee / Julie Howden

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