V&A Dundee

Great anticipation has surrounded Scotland’s first design museum, the V&A Dundee for quite some time, so I was incredibly excited to have a look for myself last weekend.

Designed by Japanese architects, Kengo Kuma & Associates, the concept of the building was to create a living room for the city, and from the moment you step in through the door to the cavernous space, it feels warm and welcoming.  The architecture is striking. Crossing over the Tay, the faceted rough stone panels on the exterior effectively give the impression of a Scottish cliff face, and it is stunning.

I had managed to drag my entire family to the V&A with me, so we focused on the Scottish Design Galleries, which is the permanent collection that has free entry.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition! Studying design at the Glasgow School of Art I thought that I wouldn’t get so much out of the museum, but it was incredible, from jute to haute couture, and from the 16th Century to the 21st, the exhibition gave a fantastic insight into design in Scotland throughout history.

The Scottish Design Galleries had whet our appetite for Scottish design, and it was hard not to suggest other examples to each other that we felt could have been represented in the galleries, such was our excitement at seeing Scottish designers recognised in a dedicated space. But of course the curation of the exhibition was fantastic, and there was just enough in the gallery to engage without boring visitors of all ages.

I was however slightly disappointed in the giftshop. They had a fantastic selection of books on design (of which I purchased a few!) however I had hoped for a shop that would be supporting young up and coming designers by selling their products, and while there were one or two featured, they were also promoting products designed in Denmark. I hope that as the museum develops, and engages with the local community, the shop too will reflect this.

I’m looking forward to many more visits to exhibitions and events at the V&A Dundee in the future, and in the meantime, I’m telling everyone I know to go and see for themselves!

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