Design for Our Times

Showcasing seven projects from designers, artists and researchers working across Scotland, Design for Our Times is an exhibition that celebrates ingenuity & invention. Curated by Design Exhibition Scotland in partnership with V&A Dundee, it ran until 19 June at V&A Dundee.

Design for Our Times – celebrating ingenuity & exploration in design & material innovation. Image Mhairi Maxwell.

Celebrating innovation & experimentation in materials & making for our contemporary age, Design for Our Times amplifies the vital need to support creative thinking & invention.

Andrew Miller Pend, 2021. Light sculptures constructed from glassware found in charity shops. Image Michael McGurk

Design for Our Times showcases seven projects at the forefront of sustainable design. The contemporary designers, artists and researchers featured demand a sustainable future by questioning established norms, re-visiting time-honoured materials and practices, and proposing practical solutions to issues of waste and overconsumption. From materials to processes, these innovative projects explore new possibilities and foster groundbreaking new ideas that could help tackle some of biggest challenges of our contemporary age. 

Ffion & Stephen Blench | Chalk Plaster 

Aymeric Renoud | Draff 

Maria Lander & Peter Large | Future Practical 

Dr Sam Chapman & Prof. Gabriela Medero | Kenoteq 

Andrew Miller | Andrew Miller Studio 

Lewis Harley & Simon Harlow | Mirrl 

Catriona Brown | Shroom 

Chalk Plaster Theo, 2021 & Mrs Marshall’s Intonaco stool, 2018 on plinths designed by Future Practical.
Chalk Plaster’s stool exhibited on Future Practical’s aluminium plinths. Image Ruth Clark

A table & screen made from ‘spent grain’ leftover from the distilling process by Draff Studio of Dundee.

Design for Our Times shares insights into the inspiration that lies behind the creation of a functional object. The exhibition seeks to illuminate the role of the designer as a catalyst of change, the design process, and to illustrate the careful determination and creativity that takes an initial idea through the trial and error of experimentation, prototype development, towards the exciting and sometimes challenging exploration of potential applications in the wider world.

Development & Potential – the wall of the Michelin Design Gallery illuminating the process of making & creating. Image Ruth Clark
Chalk Plaster – various pigments made from stones collected along the beaches of Fife together with sample

Driven by a desire to make a difference, these individuals question established norms, re-visit time-honoured materials and practices, and propose practical solutions to issues of waste and overconsumption.

The objects and processes highlighted in this exhibition encourage us to consider new approaches to sustainable behaviour: from repurposing waste and discarded objects to using natural resources in place of manufactured materials. 

The K-briq made of over 90% construction waste in East Lothian.
Dixon drinking fountain designed & made by Mirrl of Glasgow, commissioned by Design Exhibition Scotland.
Catriona Brown’s Shroom, a tree shelter made out of mycelium. Image Ruth Clark
A close up of Shroom, a prototype tree shelter made of mycelium by Catriona Brown. Image Michael McGurk.

Design for Our Times is at V&A Dundee until 19 June. Open Wednesday – Monday 10 – 5pm. Free & open to all.

Design for Our Times made its debut at London Design Festival | Brompton Design District in September. Design for Our Times is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.