Turner Prize winning architects are to spend six months at Dundee’s new V&A museum - to lead a project aimed at encouraging a new generation to emulate the city’s rich architectural and design heritage.
London-based collective Assemble, who won the Turner Prize when it was staged in Glasgow in 2015 for an urban regeneration project in Liverpool, will be staging a series of workshops and events for young people at the museum.
As part of the six-month residency, the collective will also be creating their own “interior room,” which will be inspired by the skills and crafts involved in shaping Dundee’s architectural landscape.
Partly inspired by the reconstruction of part of a Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed tearoom in V&A Dundee, Assemble’s “classroom and open studio” will be designed and fabricated to allow it to be moved from the museum into a permanent home in the city’s Central Library later this year.
Assemble is looking to recruit a team of people aged 16-25 who will get the chance to work with digital scanning and modelling, as well as traditional and contemporary production techniques and serial fabrication, to uncover the architecture and craft used to create historic buildings around the city.
Sophie McKinlay, programme director at V&A Dundee, said: “Dundee has a history of incredible architecture and design, and working with Assemble, the Central Library and local young people will help us to create a new space which celebrates this history.
“We’re excited to share traditional and digital skills through this project, helping us to give young people important knowledge and experience, as well as creating a remarkable new room which allows visitors to V&A Dundee – and later the Central Library – to engage with this history as well and recognise its potential.”
James Binning, one of the founders of Assemble, said: “It is becoming increasingly challenging to understand how things are made, from the everyday products we use to the buildings we inhabit.
“The role of craft has changed from a means of cultural communication towards an exclusive kind of luxury that is disconnected from civic society and the world around us.
“Our residency with V&A Dundee and the construction of a new room for Dundee’s Central Library will reconnect with this belief in the capacity of design and contemporary craft to invest meaning, knowledge and skills in a public space in the centre of the city.
"Our vision is to enable a new generation to become skilled producers inspired by the past, not simply consumers of design."
Maureen Hood, information services section leader at the Dundee Libraries service, said: “We are committed to working with our communities to develop valuable skills, so this joint partnership project is a great fit for us.
“Bringing together the quality and talent of V&A Dundee and Assemble with the energy and enthusiasm of young people in the city means that we have a great chance to produce something quite special here
“We really can’t wait to get started and enhance Dundee’s design credentials even further.”