The Team Behind the Dundee Design Festival 2019


The fourth version of the Dundee Design Festival (May 21-28) breathed new life right into a familiar but rundown and underused purchasing center within the city’s heart through a series of 14 stores, exhibitions, installations, and workshops. These blanketed a living library, a poster-making playground, and an area in which designers made their wares live, in addition to an audio set up about the Scottish city’s destiny and a speculative layout piece based totally around fragrance. Interior Design spoke with the competition’s Dundee-based totally manufacturers—Lyall Bruce and Ryan McLeod of design studio Agency of None, and Annie Marrs, lead officer for UNESCO Dundee City of Design and lead coordinator for the event—about the pageant’s making plans, local focus, and impact at the buying center and the city’s citizens.

Interior Design: How did you come up with the precise layout for the competition?

The Team Behind the Dundee Design Festival 2019 1

Lyall Bruce: To start with, we wondered what a design competition must be, particularly within the context of a town like Dundee. We checked out the preceding festivals and idea approximately what labored and what didn’t paintings. For instance, it isn’t easy to herald a massive target market of professional designers to pay attention to someone from around the arena to talk here. You get a small collecting of individuals who recognize who that person is and will come for that, but it’s difficult to get that critical mass, so we puzzled whether that was proper for the competition. Environmentally, too, is it exact to be flying human beings worldwide to do these items? We desired to build a team of human beings across the metropolis which can position a festival collectively and no longer have to feel like we must move outside the town all the time and convey human beings in.

ID: The topic this 12 months changed into “Liveable/Loveable Cities,” and you probably did both an open call to designers for thoughts in addition to an internet survey to discover what people notion would make their town greater loveable, and habitable?

Ryan McLeod: Yes, we created an internet site to reply to the one’s questions, after which we took that bank of statistics and used that as a foundation to expand the content and sports of the pageant. We translated that website into six languages—French, Spanish, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, and Arabic—which can be the maximum ordinary in Dundee after English.

ID: What had been the themes that came upon this survey?

RM: There had been a lot of commonplace topics. Many people brought up the want for green space, and plenty of human beings also raised the difficulty of unused areas inside the metropolis, particularly retail areas, and the need to repurpose our excessive streets. These aren’t particular problems to Dundee and are taking place in many towns around the sector.

ID: What does the venue for this 12 months’ pageant, the Keiller Centre, mean to folks that live in Dundee?

LB: It’s a shopping center that changed into constructed in the overdue Seventies on the site of a former goodies manufacturing facility, which had a variety of importance for the city. It supplied plenty of jobs, it smelled correct, and had a candy store; it turned into an excellent place for the city. When it is closed, it becomes demolished, and the shopping center becomes built. It became at the beginning presupposed to be a multi-tale center. However, internal town politics got inside the way of that, and it became a one-tale area. It’s no longer the most architecturally striking of homes, but it has its charms. I like the entranceways, the arches, which have a complete photo excellent in some approaches.

ID: The middle has fallen on tough times and is now half-empty?

Annie Marrs: Yes, it has changed fingers 3 times in the ultimate 10 years in which humans have offered it to make cash. So, they haven’t invested in it or cared for approximately the tenants. As retail has changed, groups have closed and left, and there hasn’t been that electricity to draw each person new.

ID: How did the existing tenants react, and the way did you accommodate their worries?

LB: We concept that there could be lots of issues. But while we went around each existing unit and spoke to anybody, no longer one man or woman had any objections to us coming in. I think we best got as a way as pronouncing ‘We are going to place a café in,’ and they stated, ‘That’s high-quality.’

RM: It’s those easy little things that they didn’t have inside the center for one of these long times that, in reality, could make a distinction to their daily.

AM: The hairdressers talked to us very passionately approximately how they’ve labored right here their whole working lives, and it makes them sad to see the gap decline the way it has. The competition and hobby have delivered them lower back a few pride of their administrative center.