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Design Exhibition Scotland is a pioneering project that celebrates exceptional objects and ideas for the everyday. We celebrate experimentation, excellence and exploration, making visible through debate, exhibitions, conversation and public advocacy, the energetic brilliance of the many contemporary designers, makers and artists working across Scotland today. Design Exhibition Scotland is an effective and ambitious champion of both the resolutely contemporary and the time-honoured.

Launched in 2018 by Susanna Beaumont, Design Exhibition Scotland presented two showcases of design to a wide public audience – DES 2018 and DES 2019 along with DES Debates at Edinburgh’s Lyon & Turnbull. In April 2020, we launched DES, a new online journal & a series of Studio Visits via Zoom.

Get in touch | Find out more – please email Susanna Beaumont.

DES 2018 – Andrew Miller’s sculptural sitting Refraction & Terrace and Rachel Adams’ tie-dyed linen wall-hanging, Elevation. Lyon & Turnbull Edinburgh

DES works closely with designers to support ambition. We commission new work, illuminating exceptional craft and innovation. In 2019, DES commissioned artist Tania Kovats and collaborators Laura Aldridge and James Rigler to design thoroughly contemporary drinking fountains. In 2018 we commissioned Andrew Miller to design Terrace, a brilliant sculptural seating composition and Rachel Adams to create Elevation, a vast tie-dyed linen wall hanging.

DES 2018 also saw the debut of Alice Jacobs‘, lead designer at Flux in Glasgow, Utility Stacker chair. Perfectly plain and made from FSC-certified birch plywood, the Stacker caught the eye of Architecture & Design Scotland. This lead to Jacobs being commissioned by Our Lady of Missions primary school in East Renfrewshire to design and produce a range of site and needs-specific furniture. The result was a brilliant, bespoke and cost-effective local alternative to ‘standard issue’ school furniture. Flux is now working with numerous primary schools across Scotland.

DES also coaxes ambition and encourages collaboration. Designer and maker Namon Gaston and upholsterer, Peter Holmes had long discussed working together, spurred on by DES they produced the exquisitely-honed Oxbow Lounge Chair, which was awarded a prestigious Design Guild Mark by The Furniture Makers’ Company, London in 2019. Read our Q&A with Peter Holmes.

DES 2018 Namon Gaston and Peter Holmes Oxbow Lounge Chair 2018 European oak, handwoven fabric by Mourne Textiles (left) American black walnut, handwoven fabric by Eleanor Pritchard (right); awarded Design Guild Mark 2019. Lyon & Turnbull Edinburgh

Supporting DES

DES 2018 & DES 2019 were supported by Creative Scotland Open Project fund, DES Supporters & numerous organisations. Huge thanks to you all.

DES Supporters play an indispensable role in giving impetus and fuel to Design Exhibition Scotland. An informal gathering of individuals and organisations, DES Supporters spur innovation, excellence and exploration in design.

Campbell Armour & Angus McLeod; Claude Badion & James Robinson; Gameeda Barnard; Mollie Beaumont; John Bute; Rob Bruce & Fiona Burnett; Christina Chaplin; Sophie Crichton Stuart; Dolly Dean; Rosanna Forbes; Robin Hardie; Pete Irvine; Diana & Charlie McMicking; Jacqui & George Morris; Imogen Reed; Lucy Stanistreet; Stella Tennant; Timorous Beasties; Philippa & Neil Woodcock and those who wish to remain anonymous.

Photography Ruth Clark