Shropshire Star

Dreams for future of towns and cities explored in new exhibition

What If…?/Scotland opens at the V&A Dundee on Saturday.


Scots’ wishes for how their neighbourhoods could look in the future are taking centre stage at a new design exhibition.

Since the beginning of last year, 30 people from across the country have worked with designers and architects to visualise the best changes for their communities in a post-pandemic world.

The show, opening at the V&A Dundee from Saturday, is called What If…?/Scotland.

V&A Dundee “What if�?/Scotland” exhibition
Programme co-ordinator Sonia Napolitano takes a closer look at some of the wishes written by people from across Scotland (Jane Barlow/PA)

Ideas from people in Edinburgh, Paisley, Annan, Elgin and Lerwick include more green spaces, a new bridge, arts facilities, accessible design for wheelchair users, and regenerating old industrial buildings.

Jim MacDonald, chief executive of Architecture and Design Scotland, said: “Everyone is affected by decisions that affect the design of their places and we know that collaboration empowers communities and supports wellbeing.

“The themes explored in What if…?/Scotland demonstrates how the creativity that comes from communities working with architects and designers can support positive change.”

Leonie Bell, V&A Dundee director, said: “Good design enriches our lives, it creates homes, neighbourhoods, towns and cities where people, and places, thrive.

“As we all look forward with hope and optimism to our cultural, economic and social recovery from the Covid pandemic, design has a fundamental role to play.

V&A Dundee “What if�?/Scotland” exhibition
The exhibition opens at the V&A Dundee on Saturday (Jane Barlow/PA)

“We have an opportunity to design a more inclusive, fairer and greener society. To do so we need to bring together the expertise and creativity of architects and designers with the knowledge and ideas of citizens and residents.”

The exhibition was commissioned by the Scotland + Venice partnership and was originally meant to be staged in Venice as part of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

All visitors now need to book free tickets to enter V&A Dundee to ensure social distancing, at

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