16 June 2017

Dundee Design Festival

I hadn't heard of the Dundee Design Festival when it first ran last year, but when I heard about it this year I had to go along and have a look. I was heading to Dundee anyway to have a look at the degree show, so I decided to combine the two.
The festival was held in an old printing factory, West Ward Works. I love old industrial buildings (especially when they are filled with artwork), so this was a perfect location. I headed upstairs first to look around. Some of the windows upstairs had been covered with coloured films in pink, blue, and yellow, and this, along with the roof tiles and bricks that can be seen through the windows, was the inspiration for an enamel pin designed by Whimsical Lush (buying which I must admit was one of the main reasons I wanted to go there!). My gran worked in the jute mills in Dundee, so I loved the idea that this pin was a link to Dundee's industrial heritage (and it's so colourful, too!).
I loved looking round the displays at the design festival, including a cityscape of cardboard, murals, screen printing, etc. There were also chances to make items - if I'd needed yet another tote bag I could have screen printed one with a fantastic design with Dundee's buildings on it, but instead I used that design as inspiration for a badge. I enjoyed making the badge (although the pen I was using to draw the design was not great so it didn't turn out looking that good) and it's something I'd like to try more of.
When I went downstairs there was an interactive artwork being created, based on the silent monitors used by Robert Owen in New Lanark to get an overview of the behaviour of his workers - an early form of data analysis. This had been used to inspire an artwork showing how people feel about the way their online data is used. I decided I was "indifferent" (because some companies are good at protecting my data but others may not be), so a blue triangle was added to the artwork on my behalf as I watched. It's fun thinking that you have played a part in a large artwork!

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