Creative cities welcome Dundee to the Unesco design club

Dundee University held a public event to mark the citys status as a Unesco City of Design. The panel was (back from left) Brian Beattie, Gillian Easson, David Martin, Stewart Murdoch and Laura Aalto. Front: Deyan Sudjic and Philip Long.

Creative cities around the world have congratulated Dundee on its new title as the UK’s first Unesco City of Design.

Messages of support from renowned cities such as Sapporo, Bilbao, Helsinki and Montreal were sent to the city through Unesco’s Andrea Blick of the UK National Commission for Unesco Secretariat, who helped launch Dundee’s new title at an event at Dundee University on Friday.

The prestigious title was launched by Culture, Europe and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop, who described Dundee as “a vibrant, unique city” and said she had great belief in what Dundee was doing to regenerate itself.

She added: “There is a constant pipeline of new talented people with new skills creating vibrant partnerships.

“It is one of Scotland’s key cities in terms of energy and talent and it’s a city that knows where it wants to go.”

The minister met designers including architect Kirsty Maguire, fashion designer Hayley Scanlan, game designers Guerilla Tea and jeweller Jane Gowans as part of a three-day celebration of the city’s design strengths.

She added: “Today is the opening line of a new chapter in Dundee’s story.

“Dundee’s status as the UK and Scotland’s first Unesco City of Design carries with it the city’s great history as well as its bold ambitions as a centre of creativity for the future.

“This award is down to the people of Dundee who have embraced the city’s design-led vision to change their communities, change their lives and regenerate the city.

“They join a network of other great Unesco design cities alongside the likes of Berlin, Montreal and Shanghai using the power of design to promote cultural and creative talent and showcase our inspiring building design and places to the world.

“Dundee has a reputation as a hub of imagination and innovation that will continue to build as ambitious projects for the city come to fruition, not least the spectacular V&A and waterfront redevelopment.

“I look forward to watching Dundee continue to go from strength to strength under the banner of a Unesco City of Design.”

Tim Williams, chairman of the UK National Commission for Unesco, said: “We warmly welcome Dundee to the UK’s Unesco Network as the first UK Creative City of Design.”

He added: “We look forward to working with the Dundee partnership within both the UK’s vibrant Creative Cities Network and the wider Unesco family in the UK.”