Dundee - a creative and cultural city

  • Published: 12 Jul 2017

With the V&A Museum of Design now open we look at some of Dundee's creative and cultural highlights.

V&A Dundee

V&A Dundee

Designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the V&A Dundee has already started to bring the very best in international design and blockbuster exhibitions to Scotland. It's a fantastic addition to the city, which is already rich with cultural offerings, from traditional museums to contemporary galleries. The McManus Galleries, which has been at the heart of art and culture in the city since 1867, houses the city’s main collections, while Dundee Contemporary Arts hosts exhibitions throughout the year and is a major force in contemporary art, cultural cinema, community, and education practice. It is also a vibrant social hub with a fantastic bar, and restaurant.

UNESCO City of Design

These cultural offerings contributed to Dundee being awarded UNESCO City of Design status in December 2014. This prestigious title has seen Dundee join other UNESCO Cities of Design such as Montreal, Buenos Aires, and Beijing. We were the first, and remain the only, UK city to date to receive the award.

Dundee Design Festival hosts the world’s leading designers and thinkers to share knowledge and ideas through large scale exhibitions, workshops, and talks.

Over the last four decades, Dundee has become renowned for its innovative and exciting public art projects, ensuring that art can be enjoyed by everyone in the city. There are now thought to be well over 300 artworks in public spaces around Dundee, and some of these were part of a pioneering initiative that would bring the city international attention.

Art and design collectives

Many of the industrial spaces which dominated Dundee’s skyline at the turn of the century, now house creative organisations and collectives such as Tin Roof, Fleet Collective, Generator Projects, and Wasps Studios. These collectives bring together individual artists and designers, creative businesses and our students to drive the practice and understanding of art and design in the city.

Creative Dundee and Pecha Kucha nights create opportunities for like-minded people to speak about projects, interests or their practices. Dundee Design Jams also see people across the city, in collaboration with others across the world, addressing global challenges.

Dundee is also a city of festivals – Dundee Literary Festival hosts over 60 events annually and Neon Digital Arts is Scotland’s only digital arts festival and includes exhibitions, workshops, talks, conferences, live performances and public discussions to showcase national and digital art forms.