Dundee International Design Challenge – Deadline Extended

We’ve had some requests to extend the deadline for the Dundee International Design Challenge, so we’ve set a new closing date of 27th February, 2017.

We’re also now in a position to announce four of our judges:

Ellis Watson

Ellis Watson has had a long and varied career including as Managing Director of Mirror Group Newspapers, responsible for some five national and 240 regional newspapers. The Mirror Group employed him in 2003 expecting him to increase circulation.

Prior to this, Ellis spent three years as the CEO of Celador, where he was largely responsible for the spread of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? format, spanning some 100 countries.

In September 2011 Ellis Watson was appointed Managing Director of Newspapers for DC Thomson. In 2012 he became Chief Executive Officer of DC Thomson Publishing.

He brings an expertise in digital media to the judging panel, as well as a wealth of experience in marketing and developing brands.


Sebastian Conran

Sebastian Conran is an engineer at heart, focused on using Design Process and Creative Thinking to innovate Science & Technology into User experience & culture.

After gaining Maths Physics & Chemistry ‘A’ levels at Bryanston school, he studied Industrial Design Engineering at Central College of Art & Design: he was treasurer of the Student Union and student representative on the Governing Council, when he gave the Sex Pistols their first-ever booking. Subsequently he worked with the Clash, designing record sleeves, promotional material, posters and clothing.

By 1978 Sebastian was working at Wolff Olins, a leading corporate and brand identity consultancy, where he was given creative responsibility for key corporate accounts. I
In 1981 he was recruited as head of product design at Mothercare, a collaboration that transformed the appearance and performance of childcare equipment.

In 1986 he started “Sebastian Conran Associates”, a product and brand development consultancy that worked with a variety of international businesses to develop healthcare & consumer goods, industrial design, and luxury goods. 1992 Sebastian started a separate design & manufacturing partnership with designer Tom Dixon.

In 1999 SCA merged with the Conran Group to form Conran & Partners, which has almost 100 employees working in architecture, interiors, product & graphic design. Studio Conran is the Brand & Merchandise development division of the Conran Group.

Specialties: The exploration and understanding of intrinsic Value, and delivering continuos customer experience, with a focus on consumer, merchandise. Harnessing emergent technologies with specific focus on how things are and could be made, consumer trends, and ingenious opportunities for functional innovation.


Josh Littlejohn

Josh, 29, is one of the UK’s leading social entrepreneurs. Josh is the co-founder of Scottish sandwich shop chain Social Bite, which shot to global fame when Holywood A-lister George Clooney visited an outlet in 2015. Social Bite competes in the high street takeaway food market, but does so for a social purpose. 100% of Social Bite’s profits are donated to good causes and 1 in 4 of their staff are people from homeless backgrounds. Social Bite also feed the homeless with food that their customers pre-pay for.

Josh is also the founder of The Scottish Business Awards and as well as George Clooney, he has has also enlisted the help of world leaders such as President Bill Clinton and Sir Richard Branson to support his social endeavours.

In March 2016, along with business partner Alan Mahon, Josh will launch a global beer brand called BrewGooder, where 100% of the profits go towards providing clean water. The brewery plans to provide clean drinking water for 1 million people in five years.

In just four years of business, Josh has raised over £4 million for charity and made a significant impact to the issue of homelessness in Scotland. Josh is an originator of social businesses which not only tackle specific issues but radically challenge how we think about doing business.


Elaine Zwirlwin

 In her role as Executive Director of Neighbourhood Services in Dundee, she has overseen inovative projects such as the building of new and sustainable affordable homes, innovations in energy saving measures in older homes and a scheme which sees the council buy homes from tenants in financial difficulty.

Her local knowledge and expertise of the housing sit in Dundee make her a valuable asset to the panel.



To enter the Challenge, please send us:

  1. A brief outline of the project you would like to work on, and what stage of development it is currently. (Max 200 words).
  1. A short statement introducing yourself and your discipline. This should include information about your relationship with your Unesco City of Design. (Max 200 words).
  1. Images of or links to THREE current / past projects (please note 10MB email limit, please use a file transfer system if necessary).
  1. A brief statement about why you would like to spend some time working and living in Dundee, and what contribution you would make to the city whilst here. (Max 200 words).
  1. A brief statement regarding why the issue of homelessness is important to you. (Max 200 words).

Send the information to contact@dundeecityofdesign.com



5pm, February 27th 2017



The Dundee Design Challenge is supported by DC Thomson and UNESCO City of Design, Dundee.



Entrants must have a relationship – either residential or working – with any one of the UNESCO Cities of Design.

Entrants must be available to live and work in Dundee for a minimum of three consecutive months between January and June 2017.

A core element of the Challenge is regular engagement with the design, digital and broader Dundee community, and at least 20% of their time while resident must be spent on this, including collaborative work with local designers at the request of UNESCO City of Design Dundee. The winner must be comfortable and confident in public engagement and taking advantage of PR and social media opportunities, from workshops, live research and presentations to traditional PR and blogs.

The Challenge is open to original ideas only, copies of existing IP, products or services will not be considered.

IP would remain with the designer, with partners in the challenge having first refusal for investment / interest in the final product.

Closing date for submissions is 5pm, February 27th 2016

We are unable to respond individually to unsuccessful applicants however feedback will be available on request.



If you have questions, or would like further information please contact the UNESCO City of Design Dundee team at contact@dundeecityofdesign.com