Design Exhibition Scotland showcases exceptional objects & ideas for the everyday. Launched in 2018 by Susanna Beaumont, we celebrate & support 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 ambitious champion of both the resolutely contemporary and the time-honoured.
Get in touch | Find out more – please email Susanna Beaumont.
Design Exhibition Scotland has curated two showcases: DES 2018 and DES 2019, arguably the most thorough surveys of contemporary objects in design in Scotland to date: designers & artists included Harry Morgan, Derek Welsh, Chalk Plaster, Frances Priest, James Rigler, Rachel Adams, c.a. walac, Arrange Whatever Pieces Come Your Way & Andrew Miller. Integral to the exhibitions were a series of DES Debates & in April 2020, to further fuel debate & raise the visibility of contemporary design, we launched DES, a new online journal & Studio Visits via Zoom.
Key to DES’s vitality is that we work closely with designers to support ambition & a sense of adventure. We coax ambition and encourage collaboration & through commissions, we bring to fruition new ideas & explore fresh ways to think about everyday objects & materials. In 2019, we 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. And designer Namon Gaston and upholsterer, Peter Holmes who had long discussed working together were spurred on by DES to produce their Oxbow Lounge Chair, which was later awarded a prestigious Design Guild Mark by The Furniture Makers’ Company, London in 2019.
And importantly through our exhibitions, we introduce a wide audience to new design. DES 2018 saw the debut of Alice Jacobs‘, designer at Flux in Glasgow, Utility Stacker chair. Perfectly plain and made from FSC-certified birch plywood, the Stacker caught the eye of the public agency, Architecture & Design Scotland. This led 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 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.