Dundee is a remarkable city with a population of 147,000 inhabitants – small and compact, but reaching far beyond its boundaries with a thriving and innovative design heart. Just a century ago, Dundee was an economic power house – a centre for the textile trade and shipbuilding. Although now mass production is almost all gone, design is still an integral part of Dundee’s contemporary creative scene and economy, with expertise in fashion and textile, art and jewellery as well as a wealth of digital companies making their mark on the world.
Dundee has two world class Universities: the University of Dundee boasts Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art and Design, one of the top art schools in the UK. Abertay University specialises in digital design and is a world leader in computer games teaching and research. Dundee is seen as a home of gaming by many, with Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings first created in the city. Today, Minecraft, the number one game in the world, is made for console there. Comic book graphic design has been part of what Dundee does for decades, and Dundee is the home of favourites such as Oor Wullie, Dennis the Menace and Desperate Dan.
With a £1 billion waterfront urban redevelopment project that will include the first Design Museum in Scotland, Dundee uses design and creativity to build and sustain economic growth, but also to change lives in the city. The City Values agreement shows Dundee’s commitment to using design to improve people’s lives and foster sustainable urban development. The city is now home to a cutting edge life sciences sector, a dynamic digital media industry, respected higher education institutions, major events including the Dundee Design Festival and a vibrant design and creative industries sector.
As a Creative City of Design, Dundee envisages:
- sharing experiences with other Creative Cities on how it is using design to address both social inequalities and opportunities;
- sharing knowledge across the Network about digital design, including links between game design and the arts and sciences as well as contemporary art and design;
- setting up collaborative projects on interdisciplinary design, combining multiple design approaches to solve social challenges;
- focusing on social design, redesigning public service and community engagement;
- fostering public discourse on the place and contribution of design in contemporary society;
- nurturing the mobility of artists within the UCCN by inviting other Cities to Dundee to engage with our designers and to contribute to a wider understanding of design; and
- creating an annual Design Festival which will feature work from, and will engage with, Creative Cities of Design.