Dundee to create its own fragrance as part of futuristic design festival

The Keiller Centre is being used for the first time by the week-long Dundee Design Festival.
The Keiller Centre is being used for the first time by the week-long Dundee Design Festival.
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Dundee is to create its own new fragrance as part of a festival imagining what form the city could take in future.

A unique “bespoke scent” will be developed for the city over the next few days in a 1970s shopping arcade which has been taken over for the Dundee Design Festival.

The Keiller Centre in Dundee will be transformed over the next week for the city's design festival.

The Keiller Centre in Dundee will be transformed over the next week for the city's design festival.

Organisers say 100 samples of a limited edition scent representing a “collective vision” of the future of Dundee in 2039 will be distributed at the new-look Keiller Centre, which is hosting the event until 28 May.

The city’s new scent will be created by a Glasgow-based fragrance designer Clara Weale and Dundee-based designer Pete Thomas, distilled from “hopeful futures and positive stories” submitted by visitors to the festival’s base about what the city could be like in 20 years’ time.

As part of the Approaching Air project, audiences will also be able to experience the fragrance for themselves as it will be “diffused” at regular intervals from a specially-created laboratory.

Other strands of the festival, which is being staged for the third time, include a “city brand simulator,” an interactive installation allowing visitors to shape their own future image to represent the city.

A Poster Playground at the festival will allow visitors to create their own designs using materials inspired by the packaging of sweets sold by the Dundee confectionery firm James Keiller and Son, whose factory once occupied the site of the current shopping arcade.

A selection will be printed up and posted on various designated sites around the city centre during the festival.

Also created for the festival HQ are a “design superstore” showcasing local creatives, a coffee bar and a “living library.”

Ryan McLeod, one of the designers behind the festival, said: “It’s about what people who live in the city think. Citizens are much more attuned to cultural shifts than councils are.

“This festival has the systems and tools to facilitate people of all ages to communicate their ideas in a way that’s fun, efficient and free.”

Keiller Centre manager Angus Morton added: “It’s bringing something completely different to the centre.

“The freshly painted exterior and re-vamped units are looking great and we’re hoping the design festival will bring lots more people to the centre who are keen to see what’s going on.”