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Recap: inspiration trip to Dundee

Dundee (UK), with a rich textile past similar to Kortrijk, was once known worldwide as the largest jute producer. The city was also known for the 'three Js': Jute, Jam and Journalism. After the demise of the textile industry, Dundee reinvented itself as a creative and cultural hotspot with highlights such as the V&A museum and the thriving gaming industry.

During our inspiration trip to this UNESCO Creative City of Design, we discovered a city in full transformation, which Dundonians are working on with great resilience. The brown-grey facades of this Scottish city could exude a sad impression, but nothing could be further from the truth. Behind these façades, people are enthusiastically working on the impactful transformation of the most sunny city of Scotland. Their pride rightly consists of beautiful achievements, but equally of learning points in, for example, urban planning that will require a lot of work in the future.


From the colourful street art, visiting the Waterfront Redevelopment project, 4J Studios (creators of Minecraft), the creative studios DRAFF, Steph Liddle and Double Doors Studios, brewery 71 Brewing to Aberty University and the newly launched Michelin Scotland Innovation Park, ... we found ourselves constantly in an atmosphere of change.


Dundee is an evolving city using design thinking for its development. That work-in-progress context provided the ideal setting for our participants. The many visits acted as conversation starters to get to know each other in order to identify new collaboration opportunities. Entrepreneurs, policy-makers, academics, designers, architects, photographers and cultural players... by working together, we are creating the city and region of the future, and the Dundee trip will certainly be viewed afterwards as a "wee" or big leverage.


Pictures by Jonas Verbeke