Philip Long: The V&A is a place to inspire people

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Philip Long, director of the V&A Dundee speaks to The Scotsman about the city’s exciting new museum and how the team behind the project hope that it will be inspiring for every person that visits.

There is less than a week to go until V&A Dundee officially opens and we welcome the first visitors.

Philip Long at the V&A Dundee. Picture: Robert Perry

Philip Long at the V&A Dundee. Picture: Robert Perry

The team behind this remarkable project have worked passionately on it for many years, but it doesn’t truly become a museum until people are in it, taking part, being inspired and getting involved.

As a design museum, our focus is the impact design has on everyone. We want to help people understand how important design and creativity is to us all and for V&A Dundee to make opportunities for that might change their lives.

Scotland has a remarkable history of design creativity that I believe we don’t know enough about.

Our Scottish Design Galleries are full of wonderful objects and ideas from across Scotland’s international design history.

The museum, designed by the acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (above), will also hold exhibitions developed by our team here in Dundee, in partnership with colleagues in South Kensington and with other institutions from around the world. Our first exhibition, Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, is a celebration of design and a show my team in Dundee have been involved with since its inception.

We want V&A Dundee to be for everybody. As a museum our team takes our role in Dundee and the wider community very seriously. Our purpose is to encourage interest and active engagement in design across Scotland, the UK and far further afield. It is, after all, the first V&A museum outside of London, and as part of the V&A family, we are looking forward to adding to the institution’s ability to make a global contribution.

A project such as this is a long time in the making. Its fundamental purpose is a place to inspire people through connecting with design, and we can’t wait to do that when the museum opens on Saturday.