Tayside and Central Scotland

Old and new worlds collide at 2017 Dundee Design Festival

Sion Parkinson Image copyright Alan Richardson
Image caption Producer Siôn Parkinson said the festival will explore old and new design techniques

Traditional and cutting-edge production technologies will be highlighted in this year's Dundee Design Festival.

The five-day event is under way at publisher DC Thomson's West Ward, a former printing works that produced millions of annuals in its heyday.

Highlights include the Singer Machine Choir, which will perform the sounds of factory machinery, while large inkjet printers respond to their voices.

The festival was attended by more than 7,000 people last year.

Image caption The festival is held at a former Dundee printing works

The theme of this year's festival is 'Factory Floor', exploring the connection between traditional working factories and contemporary design processes.

Festival producer Siôn Parkinson said: "What we're seeing in the design scene in Dundee and across Scotland is designers trying to mix old and new technology.

"Scotland is a really good place for that because we have lots of manufacturing still here.

"The problem is, a lot of it is hidden away.

"What we're trying to show with the design festival is to try and make those connections back with traditional manufacturing and learn from traditional manufacturing techniques."

Image caption Print City aims to create an abstract and interlocking model of Dundee

The centrepiece of this year's festival is Print City, an installation built from hundreds of hand-painted cardboard "building blocks".

The festival organisers said: "Print City will encourage hundreds of people to get involved in creating an abstract and interlocking model of the city that will fill the gallery from floor to ceiling in a dazzling mix of pattern, colour and text."

Visitors can also try their hand making "anything they imagine" at the festival's pop-up digital fabrication studio Wee Works, which includes 3D printing and laser cutting.

Image copyright Alan Richardson
Image caption Simon Anton and Rachel Mulder from Thing Thing hope to make connections between Dundee and Detroit

Rachel Mulder and Simon Anton from Detroit-based design studio Thing Thing are among the international visitors exhibiting at the festival.

Mr Anton said: "Dundee and Detroit share a similar history, in that they were rich industrial cities that have gone through different stages of people moving and of industry leaving.

"Now, there's the situation of how do creative people work in this environment?

"We're hoping to make lots of connections with other designers and hoping to find ways to bring people from Dundee to Detroit."

The Dundee Design Festival is free and runs from Thursday until Monday 29 May.

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