The Scottish Show was the flagship national exhibition of the Six Cities Design Festival, an ambitious £3 million festival spread across Scotland with global intentions and impact. The Scottish Show was curated by The Lighthouse Programme Team to bring together Scotland’s most creative designers, celebrating and promoting the vibrancy and vitality of the Scottish Design Industry.

The selection panel requested submissions from across all the design disciplines, and after an intensive review and selection process a number of designers were commissioned to create an installation. One of only 6 product designers/companies chosen, I was commissioned to curate and design My Souvenir, simultaneously an interactive installation, research device and merchandise factory.

Souvenirs are a prime example of culture-related products and, collectively, the installation and event aimed to act as a critique of the highly charged issue of national cultural identity. The installation comprised of an animated demonstration film and a ‘production line’ constructed from bespoke phenolic ply tables and benches, where visitors could interpret, model, construct and package their own statuette/souvenir.

The installation was identified as a show highlight in the major media reviews. The exhibition attracted over 57,500 visitors during its 3 month run at The Lighthouse. I was one of 9 of the exhibitors invited to participate in the accompanying Design Inquiry, a philosophical dialogue which formed the central core of the exhibition catalogue publication which featured work, biographies and data on each of the exhibitors and was published under The Lighthouse’s imprint.

I was then lucky enough to be one of a select number of The Scottish Show exhibitors invited to re-work their projects for display at MUDAC, the Musee de Design at D’Arts Appliques Contemporains in Lausanne, Switzerland.

We were encouraged to create a series of installations that challenged conventional systems of display and to think of new ways to promote ourselves and our work. The result was a sequence of encounters for the visitor where the context of the object or idea was vital and the show was experienced rather than observed.


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