A report published last week recommends how Scotland’s Six Cities Design Festival might be better run in future. Moving forward, what should the organisers introduce to build on the visitors’ experience of the event?
Through putting on the Felt Tip exhibition with Long Lunch as part of the festival, as well as being part of the design community, I was able to see the event from both sides. My impression was that the festival did not reach out to educate the public about design. Most people in Scotland were largely unaware of it. The festival should spend more time developing experiences within the public domain showing design and creativity in everyday life. Development of the creative industries, education and funding hinge on wider awareness.
Rufus Spiller, Head of digital, Good Digital and Co-founder/ director, Long Lunch
A world first. Hurrah for The Lighthouse and Scotland. There will be improvements. The Design Council is working with the Scottish Executive and Nick Barley to ensure long-term priorities around business awareness and skills are driven forward through ongoing programmes, alongside cyclical inspirational public engagement activity. Biennial, triennial? Let’s go for as many as we can afford to do well.
David Kester, Chief executive, Design Council
Six Cities was an ambitious pilot; something that had never happened before. Apart from demonstrating that Scotland could do it, two things point the way forward. Locally, grass- roots activity such as Aberdeen’s Adaptation project created a real buzz. Internationally, the big set piece exhibitions using unusual spaces like Airworld in Glasgow’s Tramway effectively raised awareness about design and increased its visitor numbers. The challenge is to complement the local with the global to attract a wider audience from the UK and beyond.
Stuart McDonald, Head of Gray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
I would improve involvement and ideas. Six Cities was a success, but we need to encourage more design consultancies and designers to be passionate about it through better communication and promotion. Do fewer, better events. Involve larger Scottish businesses and clients at a senior level. More business spin-offs. More unity between the cities. Be more creative in really getting to the public and lastly, try better PR.
Erick Davidson, Chairman, Tayburn