Iconic raincoat gets ready to rain supreme in 2016 as VisitScotland launches Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

It is an invention which has been at the heart of tourism in Scotland for decades, keeping visitors dry through many a “Scottish summer.”

And today, VisitScotland paid homage to the iconic Mackintosh coat (invented by Scottish chemist, Charles Macintosh in 1823) while launching the events, activities and inspiration that will make up the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.

From festivals of light, to festivals of architecture, luminous origami birds to Harris Tweed celebrations, digital gaming to Renaissance fashion, a stunning variety of events will take place the length and breadth of the country during 2016.  Highlights include:

Clo Mor Festival of Harris Tweed (Outer Hebrides)

In Vogue – a fashion show of the centuries (Stirling Castle)

Luminous Birds – art installations encouraging communities to celebrate their surroundings (Aberdeen, Dumfries & Galloway, Glasgow)

Craft Scotland – Meet Your Maker (Scotland-wide)

Edinburgh International Science Festival – including a Tiny Home Trail (Edinburgh)

World Canals Public Programme (Highlands)

Building Blocks at Glasgow School of Art (Glasgow)

SPECTRA – Festival of Light (Aberdeen)

Keyframes – involving the RSNO (Edinburgh)

Ignite – celebration of creativity in our City of Design (Dundee)

 The programme of 28 events announced today with a funding value of £265,350 join the Festival of Architecture in an exciting line up that will shine a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets, icons and hidden gems throughout the year.  

 Running throughout 2016, with over 400 events and exhibitions taking place throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, the Festival of Architecture is coordinated by The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).   Announced in July, the Festival will receive £300,000 from the Scottish Government and £100,000 from VisitScotland.

 Leading public arts organisation NVA will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture in March 2016 by inviting audiences to experience Scotland’s greatest modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened.

 The event, which has secured £85,000 from VisitScotland and £50,000 from the Scottish Government will be a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations. It will give audiences a unique opportunity to discover one of Europe’s most important buildings ahead of its reclamation as an international platform for arts and heritage set to open in 2018. 

 In addition to the funded events programme announced today, there will also be a wide range of partnership events celebrating the three themes including Architecture and Design Scotland’s ‘Say Hello to Architecture’ programme, Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, and Doors Open Day

 VisitScotland is also putting innovation at the heart of its wider activity for 2016. In June, young creatives in Scotland were invited to design the official logo used to promote the year across domestic and international marketing campaigns.  The organisation is also working with Interface to challenge teams from Higher and Further Education to create an innovative digital resource that will be at the heart of Scotland’s marketing during 2016.

 Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

 “The exciting programme for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design announced today will showcase Scotland’s greatest contemporary assets, innovative icons and hidden architectural gems, inspiring visitors and people from all over Scotland to get involved.

 “From Styling the Nation through to the Festival of Architecture, these events - which take place in every corner of this country - will demonstrate our track record of excellence in innovation and design.”

 Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

 “With this new themed year we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, catching the attention of visitors old and new, positioning Scotland as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.

 “Scotland is a nation of pioneers, home to ground-breaking scientists, philosophers, engineers and architects for hundreds of years.  From the Forth Rail Bridge to Dolly the Sheep, the telephone to the television, Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Andy Scott, and Harris Tweed to the iconic Mackintosh raincoat, Scotland’s innovative past, present and future continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe, shaping the modern world we live in today.

 “The events planned for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 diverse, interesting and inspiring and we look forward to what we hope will be a ground-breaking year for tourism.”

 Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will begin on 1 January 2016.  For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/IAD2016

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