Success by design

Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design saw 1.4 million attendances across a number of supported events including Luminous Birds, Ignite Dundee, Findhorn Bay Festival, The Rock of Ages, University of Aberdeen May Festival and Craft Scotland’s ‘Meet Your Maker’ programme.

VisitScotland made the announcement ahead of thousands gathering for one of the final festivals of 2016 which will see Edinburgh’s spectacular annual Torchlight Procession (30 December) launch Edinburgh’s Hogmanay encompassing three days of celebrations showcasing Scotland’s cultural heritage.   As torch carriers create a river of fire through the city centre, led by Shetland’s Up Helly Aa Vikings and accompanied by the pipes and drums, attendees will also be able to witness St Andrew’s House, one of Edinburgh’s architectural landmarks illuminated as part of the procession and as a fitting moment to close Scotland’s current Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

From pop-up design exhibitions to Renaissance fashion shows, Tiny Homes to the official launch of Scotland’s oldest new building, the year has brought Scotland’s awe inspiring innovation, breath-taking architecture and brave, bold design to life through a range of new and exciting experiences and events.

The Festival of Architecture 2016, led by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and a key part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design also welcomed an audience of over 1.25million across a range of events throughout Scotland including: Scotstyle, Adventures in Space, Cake Fest, Pop-Up Cities Expo, Out of Their Heads, the Ideal Hut Show and NVA’s award-winning Hinterland.

Additional highlights from the year also include:

- Over 100 partner programme events including PaisleyMake, Cupar Arts Festival, TEDx Glasgow, Look Again Visual Art and Design Festival and Solas Festival
- The Forth Bridge named Scotland’s greatest man-made wonder
- Princes Square, Glasgow voted as Scotland’s Best Building as part of the Festival of Architecture’s Scotstyle
- Artist Vanessa Gibson transformed the Scottish icon and comic favourite, Oor Wullie, into a ScotSpirit Wullie, to promote the year.

Alongside the exciting events programme, the year also created new opportunities for creative individuals and businesses to collaborate and innovate across sectors. This included an opportunity for young creatives to design the official logo used to promote the year, a tartan design competition launched by SYHA and a competition to celebrate the expertise, skills and knowledge of Scotland’s academic institutions through development of a an interactive digital product for VisitScotland.

Cupar based Fishers Laundry Services also unveiled new livery for its 80-strong fleet of green and white trucks featuring iconic tourism landmarks to tie in with year and a new arts trail (BLiSS trail) set amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park was also launched.

The year also revealed a range of new commissions including James Rigler’s new sculptural works unveiled as part of a special open weekend at Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, a pop-up exhibition at Edinburgh Airport entitled Local Heroes which featured exciting new commissions exploring the notion of the souvenir and the theme of travel, and the Clò Mòr Festival of Harris Tweed saw a commissioned piece of kinetic art created by the former Russian company Sharmanka which reinvented and reconfigured a genuine Harris Tweed Hattersley loom into a new machine.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said:

“The 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design shone a spotlight on Scotland’s stunning architecture, creative industries and long standing spirit of invention. It has engaged more than a million people in over a hundred events and activities.

“From the launch of the Festival of Architecture, Hinterland, at St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, also part of the celebration of the centenary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, to the tremendous finale at Light Nights in Dundee, and with so much more besides, the Year has celebrated Scotland’s reputation as an inventive, innovative country. It has been a successful and vivid reminder of our ability to inspire and influence global audiences.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:

“The 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design helped raised the profile of Scotland’s flair for creativity and its pioneering spirit which still continues to shape the modern world we live in today.

“Scotland has a history of rich heritage and culture, however the figure shows that Scotland’s modern edge of contemporary design, bold buildings and world changing innovation has captured the interest of both visitors and locals, who have enjoyed a far-reaching range of events and activity throughout the country.”

Jim MacDonald, Chief Executive of Architecture and Design Scotland said:

"This year has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to reach far and wide to demonstrate the positive impact architecture and design has on people’s lives. Under the banner of Say Hello to Architecture, we have helped make this a year to remember.

“From major exhibitions such as Prospect North to events in communities, our activities reached from Oban to Venice and many, many places in between. In 2016 we engaged with more people than ever before in a celebration of all that is good about Scotland’s buildings and places.”

Cathie Boyd, Artistic Director, Cryptic​ said:

“Thanks to the wonderful Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we were delighted to be able to show Cryptic Associate Artist, Kathy Hinde’s magical 'Luminous Birds' on such a large scale, celebrating iconic Scottish landmarks whilst developing dynamic new partnerships across Dumfries, Dundee, Glasgow and further afield.

“This mesmerising event captured the imaginations of over 30,000 people, combining nature and technology to shine a light on Scotland’s world-renowned built heritage through the beautiful sound and visual aspects of bird flight.” 

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