V&A Dundee

Work in Progress

Want free 1-to-1 advice from a leading practitioner in the creative industries? Apply for the next edition of Work in Progress!

We know that starting out in the creative industries can be daunting, and sometimes downright tough. Work in Progress is designed to be a chance for emerging creatives to connect with established practitioners for advice, feedback and support.

The idea is simple: you are paired with a leading designer or creative practitioner for a free 1-to-1 online tutorial to discuss your work and career aspirations.

In this special edition of Work in Progress x Design for Our Times, we are giving you the chance to meet and get advice from some of the designers, researchers and makers featured in the exhibition. Design for Our Times explores material innovation for our contemporary age and draws together ideas from across product design, interior design, environmental design, and construction. The exhibition showcases how practioners in Scotland are questioning established norms, challenging the use of time-honoured materials, and thinking anew about a product’s life cycle and impact on the planet.

From idea development, through to experimentation, prototyping and towards real world production - these practitioners can offer shedloads of advice and support.

Sound good? Find out more and apply below.

How it works

Tutorials will take place via Zoom on Wednesday 16th March 2022.

You will be matched with a tutor based on the information provided in your application. You can express a preference of guest tutor, but we can’t guarantee that you will be assigned that tutor (but we will try our best!). You can only apply to take part in one tutorial.

If successful you will be allocated a 30-minute time slot sometime between 13:00-19:00 on Wednesday 16th March 2022, we will email you details of your tutorial, along with a Zoom link and notes on how to join. You will need to join the Zoom about 10 minutes before your tutorial time to ensure you are set up. 30 minutes can fly by, so in the application we ask you to let us know what you’d like to talk about so the guest tutor can prepare.

How to apply

Applications are now open and eligible participants will be offered a spot on a first-come, first-serve basis - so get your application in quick!

Work in Progress is open to UK-based final year students and early-career creatives (within the first five years of practice). You must be over 18 to participate. You will also need access to a steady internet connection and a device with audio and video capacity. We encourage applications from all communities and backgrounds, as well as those without formal qualifications. Be sure to let us know of any access requirements we should be aware of in your application form.

To apply, fill out our brief application form via the link below.

Successful applicants’ information will be shared with the assigned tutor to provide context for the tutorial and so everyone can prepare.

A bold graphic design.

Guest Tutors

To date we have been lucky enough to host fantastic guest tutors from across the creative industries including Marcus Oakley, Jude Barber, O Street, Sekai Machache, Steph Liddle, Briana Pegado, Saffa Khan, Mele Broomes, Tolu Coker, Instrmnt, Tom Pigeon, Barrington Reeves (Too Gallus), SJ Hockett, Robert and Saskia Singer (Narture CIC), Louise Gray, Kerrie Alexander (KerrieAldo), Fraser Gray and Panel.

Guest tutors for Work in Progress x Design for Our Times include:

Simon Harlow, along with collaborator Lewis Harley, launched Glasgow-based design and production company Mirrl in 2018 with the aim of developing a new synthetic resin-based surface material. This unique and robust material has many applications, from furniture and countertops to external building cladding. Simon graduated from Environmental Art at GSA and soon after realised his talents and interests were more aligned with design. As such he took it upon himself to learn a multitude of practical skills and processes needed to design and make his own work across many different fields. He currently runs Mirrl, makes his own furniture, works as a sculptural fabricator, and consults on and produces the more technically challenging elements of interior builds for various architects and designers

Find out more: www.mirrl.com


Ffion and Steven Blench live and work in Fife. In 2016 they formed their company, Chalk Plaster. Ffion and Steven met whilst studying Fine Art at the University of Brighton. Having completed their degrees, the couple moved to Edinburgh where Ffion enrolled on a plastering course before securing an apprenticeship with an established family firm. Steven found employment with the Royal Collection, where he worked in the Decorative Arts cataloguing and inventory team.

They became fascinated by decorative plasterwork and began exploring the opportunities for using traditional materials and techniques in the creation of contemporary designs. Since establishing their own workshop in 2016 they have completed contemporary commissions for KPMG, Johnnie Walker Whisky and Konishi Gaffney Architects, whilst also undertaking restoration work for the Scottish Government and the National Trust for Scotland.

Find out more: www.plaster-design.com

Andrew Miller’s work challenges us to consider new uses for unwanted items and waste materials. Through a process of drawing, deconstruction and reconfiguration, Miller transforms found objects into sculptural yet practical pieces. During an artist residency in Trinidad, Miller was inspired by the repurposing of discarded materials for decorative and architectural purposes in homes and public buildings across the island. He has embedded this ethos in his practice; by salvaging and reassembling familiar objects, he attempts to question the disposable nature of consumerism. Miller’s Pend series consists of a collection of unique ceiling lights made from repurposed glassware bought in charity shops around Scotland.

After art school, Andrew’s ongoing interest in the function and non-function of the object and how we encounter them led to a series of commissions and collaborations with architects, designers and curators - each project varying in time, scale and ambition. Sometimes these collaborations have resulted in a tangible object like a bench, table, library, canopy, etc. Whilst in other situations the work is integral to the form or structure of a new build through material choice or detailing. Andrew believes his work’s success is intertwined with the shift from viewers as observers of the work to instead physically engaging with it by animating the space through their own action/or participation.

Susanna Beaumont is a curator, producer and mentor. She has wide-reaching experience of working with artists and designers to deliver site-specific projects, commissions and exhibitions in Scotland and beyond. In 2018 she launched Design Exhibition Scotland, a pioneering project that celebrates exceptional objects and ideas for the everyday. Celebrating experimentation, excellence and exploration through debate, exhibitions, conversation and public advocacy, DES aims to raise the profile of the energetic brilliance of the many contemporary designers, makers and artists working across Scotland today. Susanna was the founder director of doggerfisher in Edinburgh (2000-2010) the celebrated contemporary gallery where she championed the early careers of many now critically acclaimed artists. Other positions include director of Frith Street Gallery, London; guest curator at Jupiter Artland; acting director Outset Scotland and mentor to the Fleming-Wyfold Foundation. She has also worked as a journalist & arts writer. She was art editor of The List & more recently wrote at catalogue essay for Sara Barker’s exhibition at Cample Line in Dumfries. In 2021 she was guest curator for Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Digital Showcase.

Andy McGregor is a designer, artist, consultant & producer working across multiple creative areas: exhibition design, scenography, graphic art, technology and moving image media. He has over 30 years experience in realising diverse projects for creative and cultural spaces. Earlier in his career he taught at DJCAD and Napier University across design, film and fine art disciplines. Recent and forthcoming projects include the design direction of a substantial new Scottish art museum; creative direction of Castle of Light projection event at Edinburgh Castle (2019 & 2021); Seven short films and exhibition design for V&A Dundee and design direction of a 200 page book reviewing ten years of Skye-based contemporary arts organisation ATLAS arts.

Find out more: www.andymcgregor.com

About the collaboration

A core part of V&A Dundee’s programme, Work in Progress connects emerging creatives and final year students with leading creative practitioners for advice, feedback and support.

This collaboration is part of the associated public programme for our current exhibition, Design of Our Times, showcasing material innovation for our contemporary age.

Design for Our Times offers sustainable solutions to overconsumption and material waste through the innovative work of selected designers based in Scotland. The exhibition is presented by Design Exhibition Scotland (DES) and curated in collaboration with V&A Dundee. Through exhibitions, commissions and conversations, DES champion design excellence, experimentation and exploration, platforming the energetic brilliance of designers, artists and makers working across Scotland today. Design Exhibition Scotland (DES) was founded in 2018 by Susanna Beaumont.

Design for Our Times is on at V&A Dundee until 19 June 2022. Free entry.

Image credits: Steven and Ffion Blench (Chalk Plaster) in the workshop. Photo: Matt Dale Photography.