Launch Press Release

For immediate release: Tuesday 27 January 2015.

Three-day launch for Dundee’s UNESCO City of Design status

Dundee’s title as the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design will be launched to the public this week with three days of celebrations and free events.


The title was announced on 1 December 2014, with Dundee joining an elite group of cities recognised for international achievements in design. Only 17 cities around the world hold the UNESCO City of Design title, including Beijing, Berlin, Helsinki and Montréal.


Workshops, a pop-up design café, a free public evening lecture and a family-friendly game design showcase will display some of Dundee’s many talented designers, and start generating ideas for how the city can use design to improve everyone’s lives.


Stewart Murdoch, UNESCO bid leader and Dundee’s‎ Director of Leisure and Communities, said: “It’s truly remarkable that Dundee has been recognised as one of the world’s leading design cities, and this week we’re inviting everyone in the city to get involved.


“Being a UNESCO City of Design is far more than an award for Dundee’s historical achievements. It’s a recognition of our ambitions to use design in every area of public life, transforming the city and making Dundee a better place to visit, live and work.”


Gillian Easson, Director of Creative Dundee, said: “Design means so many things to different people, and we’re looking forward to hearing what people want the UNESCO City of Design to mean for them.


“Is it about improving the way a public service works, or helping small businesses grow? We want to know how design can address the city’s challenges as we start this journey together.”


Dundee’s UNESCO bid focused on three approaches to design: place, covering architecture and redesigning Dundee itself; products, such as life-saving drugs, jewellery and computer games; and processes, which includes designing public services to support people’s everyday lives.


Platforms for Creativity, a free event focusing on creativity, design and sustainable futures, will be run on Thursday 29 January by Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and Creative Dundee. Everyone is welcome to discuss how society can support creativity from 10am-12 noon at the University of Dundee’s Dalhousie Building.


Creative Dundee is also holding a Pop-up Design Café at Avery & Co from 2.30-4.30pm on Friday 30 January where designers and members of the public will meet to discuss their ambitions for the future of Dundee and its citizens as a UNESCO City of Design.


A public lecture, How Design Can Change a City, hosted by Design in Action and Leisure & Culture Dundee, will be held at the University of Dundee’s Dalhousie Building from 6.00-7.15pm on Friday 30 January. Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum, and Laura Aalto from Helsinki’s Design Driven City will join local panellists including Philip Long, Director of the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, to discuss Dundee’s future.


The three days are closed with DCA Drop in and Play Jnr from 11am-2pm on Saturday 31 January, a family-friendly showcase of game design organised with Abertay University and suitable for children aged 15 and under. Games on show include the console version of Minecraft, which is developed in the city.


All events are free. The only ticketed event is the evening lecture, How Design Can Change a City.


For more information on these events, and to book tickets for How Design Can Change a City, please visit:


Platforms for Creativity

Pop-up Design Café

How Design Can Change a City

DCA Drop In and Play Jnr


Note to picture desks: Images of Dundee design are available here.




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