Explore. Play. Create.

DCA Windows Inspiration and Process

I was delighted to be commissioned by the DCA to create an exciting, vibrant window design that celebrates all the activity, energy and sense of community found across all the programme areas of DCA.  Bringing the inside activity and energy to the outside of the building in the window areas.

The process involved research, development, prototyping and good communication with the DCA team and fabricator to creating the final designs on display.

Research

I got a feel for the building by visiting all the different departments, taking lots of photos that I could refer to in the studio.

I found lots of geometric shapes within the building from the angular windows, step shaped walls, winged gallery roof plus so many circles, from the vintage projectors, printing press wheels, pegboard, retail display units, circular fairy lights fittings in Jute Café Bar to products in the shop.

I am naturally drawn to seeing pattern and texture and loved the overlaid wire racks in the print studio that created modern checks and the negative space of the screen-printing racks full of irregular stripes.

I found colour references from the bright cinema seats, pots of ink in the print studio, participant artwork on display in the creative learning store, bright colours of the Riso print samples to the more subtle cladding of the building. 

Development

To process ideas, I created sketches in pencil and ink then found visual connections.  I created rough thumbnail sketches of designs in situ and mocked them up digitally to test various colour combinations and played with different juxtaposition of textures within shapes.  I played with rotation and scale of the spots to capture the energy from the activity from inside of the building.  I referred to the brief, discussed technical details with the local fabricator RobertSign and worked within design constraints so that the design would work practically.  I selected and rejected elements to create coherent concepts for presenting to the DCA team.

The final designs are inspired from the bold geometric shapes with a playful feel using my signature style that retain the hand drawn feel of my linework and confidently uses a vibrant colour palette with clashing and contrasting of patterns bringing together all the activity of the building. I wanted the circles in the top windows to have a lot of movement the capture the energy of the building and connect to the shop windows below. 

With my design work I like to capture a sense of place by creating bespoke designs that are meaningful and unique to the space and I hope these designs help people to connect to the DCA and remind past visitors to come inside and entice new visitors to see the variety of things it has to offer, from a trip to the cinema to taking part in a workshop to grabbing a bite to eat with friends or seeing the latest contemporary art exhibition.

You can find out more about my work here

Rediscover Dundee Delights

It’s great to see places starting to open up here in Dundee, we are so lucky to have so many cultural buildings and events on our doorstep.  Here is my round up of some of my favourite places if you fancy getting out and about and rediscovering the city again. *I’ve popped links to all the places so you can check for any bookings or restrictions.

15th August – It’s great that Dundee’s Farmers Market is set to start back up monthly, you can pick up local produce from breads, jams to veggies.

20th AugustThe McManus Galleries is favourite building of mine, stashed full of interesting objects. I love the Stephen Bird ceramic piece it’s worth stopping and having a closer look at it.  The David Batchelor sculpture brings a smile to my face with the brightly coloured bottles too. It’s great to see my Dundee Delights illustrated products available to buy again from their shop.

27th AugustV&A Dundee I’m so looking forward to seeing the Mary Quant exhibition – as you know I love colour and pattern and my background is in printed textiles!  Can’t believe I’ve not been in the building since March, normally I would be in regularly delivering workshops for schools and families.

4th SeptemberDundee Contemporary Arts It’ll be nice to see Arty the penguin again at Jute Café Bar, I’m sure Arty has been a good guard while the building has been closed. I’ve always loved the DCA for their cinema, beer garden on a sunny day and picking up cool cards and gifts from the shop. You will be able to pick up my Dundee Delights greetings cards, magnets and tea towels here .  The galleries will be opening the following week.

Places already open include: Dundee Transport Museum  good for a bit of nostalgia. Camperdown Zoo somewhere I like to take my son (and I like it too), check the website to book a slot. Verdant Works is a great space, remember to look up at the cool rafters. And if you like boats and history visit RRS Discovery or HMS Unicorn . You can also check out www.Dundee.com  for more things happening.

If you would like to see the full Dundee Delights collections inspired by Dundee landmarks and foods you can see them here with free postage on all orders. You’ll also spot some new prints inspired by the wildflower growing during lockdown.

Thanks for reading!