Scottish Design Awards

By The Drum, Administrator

June 9, 2004 | 9 min read

Chairman's award winning design

Once more the annual Scottish Design Awards brought about some surprising results when it was held at the end of last month at the Moat House Hotel in Glasgow. Nearly 500 luminaries from the world of creative design and architecture were in attendance on the night, all poised with baited breath to find out who would walk away with the all important Design and Architecture Grand Prix Awards. In the end the accolades were shared rather appropriately by both designers and architects with ISO and Nord Architechts picking up the coveted Design Grand Prix for the project entitled Common Place for the Lighthouse. Other design winners included Elmwood’s creative director Paul Sudron, who was awarded the Designer of the Year mantle at the end of the night, while Matt Buchanan of Teviot was named Young Dsigner of the Year. Picking up the Chairman’s Award for Design this year was Designbridge with the newly redesigned Tennents bottles, praised by chairman Michel DeBoer of Studio Dunbar. Here, The Drum profiles the creme de la creme in both design and architecture. Enjoy.

Design Grand Prix

Common-Place has won the Scottish Design Awards Grand Prix and also received awards for Best Exhibition, Best Print Publication and a commendation for Best Use of Photography.

ISO and NORD were commissioned by The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture Design and the City to design the exhibition and content for Common Place, an overview of 9 architectural projects that investigated ‘Buildings and Spaces that connect us’.

ISO are best known in Scotland for their broadcast and commercials graphics but produce interactive video installations for galleries and museums across the UK, while NORD produce architecture, interior and exhibition design. They have collaborated on a number of television projects but this was their first joint exhibition design.

As the exhibition focused on public spaces, the design team employed a range of components associated with everyday waiting spaces, classrooms and transport stations. Along with large display screens inspired by bus shelters advertising panels, nine display cabinets recognisably influenced by traditional school desk design housed multi media information about each project.

These elements could be arranged according to the spatial constraints of each gallery venue defining the space and establishing opportunities to sit, gather, rest and converse with fellow visitors. Video projection and soundscapes were then used to knit the space together.

Each project was documented in a different format breaking away from the traditional method of presenting architectural work. Each unit explored work or images from the point of view of the people who use the spaces. This ranged from a child’s-eye view of Cowgate Nursery in Edinburgh to viewing boxes showing Gross Max’s projections for Rottenrow Gardens.

Video installations ranged from ambient portraits to animated illustrations of architectural spaces mapped using GPS transmitters. The graphic identity for the exhibition was combined with photographer Brian Sweeney’s striking images and applied to graphic panels, films, print publicity and the exhibition catalogue.

Sweeney travelled the length and breadth of Scotland documenting the projects and the people who use them. His workshops in Tiree enabled the locals to document the themes explored in the construction of An Turas, while his images from Dancebase were interwoven with film footage to create a graphic mosaic of filmstrips illustrating the building and movement within.

Common Place is part of National Programme of activities informed by the Scottish Executive’s Policy on Architecture.

ISO are presently working on video installations for Wilkinson Eyre’s National Waterfront Museum Swansea and Will Alsop’s Centre of the Cell in London. NORD’s current projects include proposals for a Scottish Film and Television Studio and new build mews housing in Glasgow.

Chairman’s Award for Design

The inspiration for the bottle shape and the 6 different labels is the city of Glasgow itself, it’s people, history and culture. Our reference points were the nuts and bolts of ships built in the shipyards, the angles and abstraction of the cranes on the banks of the Clyde and the wit and humour of the people of Glasgow.

When you work on developing a brand like Tennent’s it’s a real privilege because it’s a classic in every respect. Nothing looks like it or has it’s confidence. It’s real in a way that it’s competitors can only dream of. It was the first lager brewed in Britain, it was the first lager to be canned and the first beer to be exported overseas from this country on a large scale.

Everything Tennent’s does should be a first. The very essence of the brand is innovation and passion.

We wanted a bottle that was built on heritage but was also truly innovative.

By using 6 different labels we reinforced just how powerful an icon the ‘red T’ is and how flexible it can be. It’s wonderful to be able to work on such an amazing brand and the team at Wellpark Brewery deserve much credit for this win, after all we’re only as good as our client.

Young Architect of the Year

34-year old Alan Thomson has worked for Edinburgh practice Lee Boyd for the past seven years. The practice operates a studio approach, and Alan is involved in a wide range of projects. He was project architect on Greenbank Church from conception to completion. Judges Karen Nugent, Alison Blamire, Peter McGurn and Penny Lewis were impressed by Alan’s portfolio. “In the manner of Lee Boyd, there is not stifling narrative or long winded verbal packaging to justify these projects. Each is conceived with a strong desire to make a valued difference to the client and a belied that quality can be teased out of any brief, regardless of scale,” said Thomson in his presentation. Other contenders were Oliver Chapman, William Tunnell, Niall Jacobsen and Stacey Phillips.

Architect of the Year and Grand Prix Winner

Neil Gillespie is chair and design director at Edinburgh practice, Reiach and Hall. He describes his role as ‘keeping the conversation going within the practice’. Gillespie strongly believes that good architecture comes from collaborations among architects and between architects and others. The practice runs an arts gallery called Sleeper in its basement and has a reputation for developing long-term relationships with artists.

While a strong studio ethos may be the key to the practice’s success Gillespie has, over the last few years, developed an approach to design and an architectural language that is recognised and admired by his peers. No doubt that is why he was voted Architect of the Year by Prospect readers.

The clearest expression of his approach to date is Evolution House West Port in Edinburgh. The building scooped a bundle of awards including the Grand Prix.

The design of Westport was informed by a wide range of things from Geddes’s outlook tower, the historical and typological context and other jobs in Reiach and Hall’s office, like the Pier Gallery.

John McAslan, chair of the judging panel described Westport as “contemporary in design and superb in its quality and execution” He also paid tribute to the developer AMA for its “enlightened patronage by its developer.”

Designer of the year

Paul sudron, Elmwood

ïBorn and bred in Middlesbrough

ï“Boro” supporter

ïSon of “Dale & Dianne” (stage names) northern club circuit Country&Western duet

ïGraduated with BA hons degree (Newcastle Poly 1989)

ïWorked in London (first design job...working on Lenny Henry's “well hard paperback”).

ïTravelled and worked in Australia for a year

ïRelocated to Edinburgh in 1992.

ïSome of the agencies worked for Pure Design(working alongside Mick Dean - a previous “Designer of the year”) - and Graphic Partners.

ïThe agencies I’ve worked for have all won the coveted Hatstand during my time with them.

ïWon over 40 National & International design awards including D&AD silver, Several Design Week nominations, Clio, New York Festivals, Roses and Scottish Design awards.

ïJoined Elmwood with Grahame Sturzaker from GP’s over two years ago to help launch the Edinburgh office.

ïClients worked on over the last two years include the Scottish Ambulance Service’s annual report and a complete rebranding of Curtis Fine Papers, which had to appeal to aninternational design audience. Currently working with Jenners on their new foodhall packaging.

ïInterests amongst the obvious football and all things sport include Garden Sheds.

Young Designer of the year

matt buchanan, Teviot

‘Like father like son’, I started doing architecture and soon discovered that it lacked the instant creative output that I needed. One massive decision later and I was on the degree course for Visual Communication at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen. Four good years on, with a degree and an offer of a job at Pure, I was off to Edinburgh. Being dropped in at the deep end gave me the opportunity to work with great designers and produce some enviable work. Jobs included annual reports, websites, corporate identities, moving image etc with a good variety of clients such as HEBS, Heriot-Watt University, National Galleries of Scotland and Glasgow School of Art to name a few. I was very fortunate to win a number of awards with Pure, largely down to the creative direction of Mick Dean. Other influences have included David Carson, Kyle Cooper, Mark Farrow, Designers Republic, Attik, SEA and Form to add to the daily growing list. In 2003 Teviot offered me the great opportunity to join their team as senior designer. My first day saw me up at 5a.m. to travel to Brussels for a day-long meeting involving the launch of a major new hotel brand. The past year has seen me on a fast creative learning curve, working with large brands in Europe, London and Scotland on a wide variety of jobs including brand brochures, guidelines, exhibitions, websites and loyalty campaigns. Winning the ‘Scottish Young Designer of the Year 2004’ is a direct result of the creative opportunities given to me at Teviot and the highlight of my career to date.


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +