The Scottish Design Show

By The Drum, Administrator

October 20, 2005 | 3 min read

The first Scottish Design Show took place at the Tramway on 6 and 7 October. The show provided a unique opportunity to bring together professionals from the public and private sector to engage in a frank and open discussion about planning, future developments and design quality.

The Design Show also acted as a stage to unveil the list of Scotland’s 100 Best Modern Buildings, topped by the ground-breaking St Peter’s seminary at Cardross.

Professor Stuart Gulliver opened the show with an enthusiastic but critical look at progress in Scotland over the past five years and some ideas about potential developments for the next 15 years.

He argued that Scottish cities are being failed by political leaders locked in the mindset of the welfare state and uncomfortable with encouraging private sector enterprise.

During his show-opener, Gulliver identified 1983 and the opening of the Burrell Collection as the high point of Glasgow’s regeneration, describing it as our “Guggenheim effect.”

Gulliver told industry leaders at the business breakfast that cities such as Glasgow and Dundee were lagging behind English rivals in successfully addressing de-industrialisation, and went on to argue that Scotland should focus attention on speeding up infrastructure connections within the Central Belt. This was a theme that was returned to throughout the show.

The key debates or forums: Is the Future Tartan? Who Needs a Design Guru? The Architecture of Belonging, and Imagining the Future, provided an interesting taster of the broad range of opinions and ideas about how we can improve government and urban policy.

The show’s exhibition had 34 stands provided by a mixture of public and private sector bodies. The Scottish Executive produced an installation that carried its new mapping project, a scheme currently in its infancy, which aims to collect together information on all of the proposed new developments in Scotland.

The look of the show was designed by Nord architects, with B&S graphics producing and installing all of the exhibitions and graphics for the show.

The 100 Best Modern Buildings exhibition attracted a good deal of attention as delegates debated the merits of the ranking, while cardboard cut-outs representing the ‘Carbuncles’ nominations generated a great deal of response to identify Scotland’s most dismal town and worst building.

The Scottish Design Show will be back next year in October 2006 to bring you another unique conference and exhibition. Following the success of this year’s exhibition, the show will be expanding, with the exhibition and conference developing to appeal not only to architects, but also the designers, who work so closely with this sector.


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