Call for Designers and Creatives – Light Nights, Festival of Architecture 2016 Finale in Dundee

Light Nights, Festival of Architecture 2016 Finale

Dundee, 18-19 November 2016

We’re looking for the region’s most exciting and innovative designers/creatives to propose concepts for innovative, impactful, memorable and engaging content that can be projected onto / played out across Dundee’s Old Steeple as part of the city’s ‘Light Nights’ programme of events, marking the finale of the nationwide Festival of Architecture 2016 and the start of Dundee’s annual Christmas festivities.

The ambition and proposed impact of the concept should be such that it inspires visitors from outside the city to make a specific journey to come and enjoy Light Nights first hand, as well as delighting resident families and revelers at the start of the festive season.


Light Nights

The overall idea of Light Nights is to encourage the multi-generational crowd to move around the city centre and explore the new waterfront space, engaging with a programme of fun and celebratory activities, performances and creativity along the way.

The theme for this finale is ‘Architecture, Past, Present and Future’, making a statement about the city’s extraordinary journey – where it came from, and how it is rapidly reinventing itself through a pervasive combination of culture and creativity, with architecture, design and innovation at its very heart.

One of the main elements of this broader programme is a large-scale projection at the Old Steeple/city churches, which provides the focus for this Call. A specialist event delivery company will provide all the technical expertise and project manage the projection on the night, this Call seeks creative content only.

The Old Steeple was restored and conserved in 1870 by the leading architect of the Gothic revival, Sir George Gilbert Scott, at the height of the city’s original jute-fuelled boom. Fast forward to 2016 and the city is undergoing one of the most significant design-led regenerations in Europe, with new architecture contributing to and borne out of a new confidence, led by Kengo Kuma’s extraordinary design for V&A Museum of Design Dundee, currently under construction on the redeveloped Waterfront.

Dundee was recently named ‘Britain’s coolest little city’ by GQ magazine, and listed in The Times ‘Hippest places to live in Britain 2016’. The city became the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design in 2014, joining global cities of design from Bilbao to Beijing.



  • Submissions must be of a scale, impact and ambition that they will be remembered and provoke excitement, wonder and spectacle.
  • Submissions must be of an ambition that they inspire visitors from across the country to come to Dundee specifically for the Light Nights weekend.
  • In terms of the scale of the projection, four sections (one on each side) of the building can be projected onto, via 4 individual projectors, each offering one projection opportunity, rather than mapping the whole building.  These projectors will be positioned to allow for optimal impact and effect.
  • As this is a winter festival, it goes without saying that it could be a cold/wet/windy weekend. Applicants should consider how best to keep people moving and interacting to help keep participants smiling and the cold at bay.



  • Submissions can include an interactive element (or be entirely interactive), designed to encourage audience participation and create a real wow factor. We are not looking for a passive projection, it is essential that audience is engaged by the content of the projection.
  • If your projection is interactive you should provide / allow for any additional hardware, software and processing this may require within the budget available . The equipment supplied by the technical team is projection only, but full technical support is provided for this.
  • Submissions can also take inspiration from the wider Scottish Government themed 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
  • Projections can take the form of animation, film, game, interaction design or other digital output; or combination of the above, as long as they provoke audience engagement.
  • Sound can be included as part of the submitted content if desired.
  • Content will be projected onto the Old Steeple on the evenings of Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November, from 6.45pm – 10pm.  Animation/film content can therefore be looped. Or in the case of game content, it must have an animated element that kicks in when not being played.


Technical information

  • The attached technical templates must be considered in the creation of content, and all created content must work within these parameters.  Download the templates here: Technical Notes Steeple Light Nights
  • Technical support for the projection at the finale is provided as detailed above. This event delivery team can provide advice and guidance to the successful applicant throughout.
  • Technical support includes the testing of the finished content to ensure compatibility with templates and servers.



  • Primary: Dundee city region residents – including intergenerational families with children, and young people (16-24 years).
  • Secondary: Rest of Scotland (25%) / UK (10%) / International visitors (10%).

These visitors are likely to be ‘food loving culturalists’ and ‘curious travellers’. Profiles of these visitors types can be found at: Segmentation Paper Full Document2.pdf

In addition, we are aiming to attract many of the Festival of Architect participants and visitors to this finale event.



  • Applicants must be resident, study or work in the Dundee city region (Dundee, Perth & Kinross, Angus and North Fife).
  • Applicants should represent the fields of contemporary design and creativity, including but not limited to game, animation, film, art, music, performance and digital.
  • No experience of large-scale projection is required however applicants must be able to demonstrate strong understanding of public engagement .
  • Applicants should exemplify the high level of creativity and innovation which personifies the city region, and particularly the designation of UNESCO City of Design.



  • Submissions should take the form of a concept proposal which should include some visuals which could be drawings, photographic images, animations for example and some supporting descriptive text which addresses the brief as described , the template elevations . Please also provide an indicative budget which evidences that the content can be created within the funding available and within the timescales required.
  • Please also provide links to (or photographs of) up to 3 works which demonstrate your aptitude to create publicly engaging interactive works (email limit of 10MB).
  • The closing date for submissions is Monday 22nd August at 5pm.  Successful applicants will be notified by 8th September 2016.
  • Send your completed submission to:

Please note the completed content needs to be completed by 10th October 2016

Please note email limit of 10MB, use a file sharing site if necessary.



  • The successful applicant will be selected by a panel comprising:

UNESCO City of Design Dundee, Dundee City Council, RIAS Festival of Architecture 2016, Dundee Institute of Architects and V&A Dundee.

  • While we are unable to contact unsuccessful applicants directly, feedback can be requested if required.



The creative content has to be developed within a budget of £5,000 (including VAT). Following your confirmed engagement by Dundee City Council to produce the creative content, the technical company will check  your design for the purposes of projection and compliance with the templates provided. The technical company are also available for feedback / technical input during the creation process of your content.


Further Information

For further information please contact by email only: