The Dundee Design Festival Factory Residency offered three designers work placements with Scotland-based manufacturers to develop ideas, improvise with materials and experiment with different industrial techniques. The project was launched as part of Dundee Design Festival 2017 in partnership with Make Works.
Founded in 2014 by Fi Duffy-Scott after travelling over 3,000 miles from Shetland to the Borders to visit and map Scottish manufacturers, Make Works has helped make fabrication in Scotland more accessible for artists, designers and makers. Following an open call in March 2017, a three-way panel including Fi Duffy-Scott, Neville Rae of design, fabrication and installation experts Old School Fabrications, and Pete Thomas of design studio Tom Pigeon selected and paired three designers with three Scotland-based manufacturers. The selected residents were Florence Dwyer,Dawn Youll, and Tommy Perman & Simon Kirby.
“The residency was about encouraging process rather than focussing on an end-product ready for market,” said Fi. “Instead the programme was about supporting play and experimentation. To be given the time and space to develop their ideas, plus the expert support from technicians and machinists, is an opportunity many designers don’t often get. We’re delighted by the results and we hope the project will pave the way for other experimental collaborations between designers and manufacturers.”
The project culminates in May 2018 with the exhibition FACTORY SHOP which brings together products and prototypes made by three designers during their residency.
Florence Dwyer is an artist working with ceramics, carving patterns into small slabs of clay which she then glazes and res to form a series of miniature rug designs. Florence was paired with Turnberry Rug Works in Gervan, Ayrshire, so that she might develop her ideas into large-scale tufted rugs and objects for interiors.
Dawn Youll is a contemporary ceramicist working with traditional techniques such as modelling, mould making and slip casting. Dawn is working with The Glassblowing Workshop, scientific glassware specialists based at University of Glasgow.
Tommy Perman is a designer, artist and musician based in Dundee. Tommy often works with scientist Professor Simon Kirby, who, alongside his research into the origin and evolution of language, collaborates with artists and musicians to explore issues of communication and culture in an increasingly connected world. Tommy and Simon are working with interactive designers and fabricators FifeX based in Tayport, Fife.