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About Journeys in Design

 

Journeys in Design

mindful design and materials: soil, sea and streets

Journeys in Design is a series of initiatives exploring where design meets well-being and sustainable futures, engaging local communities, reaching out internationally and setting Scotland’s design talent in context. Our journeys follow two intersecting pathways:

Material World, our Programme pathway, platforms contemporary Scottish Design in context, drawing on Scotland's rich design heritage, record of material innovation and our contemporary efforts to design a circular, zero waste and well-being economy. Inaugurated in 2017, we focus on different materials with each programme, including flax and natural fibres in Our Linen Stories, seaweeds and plastics in Salvage Scotland and materials for construction in Concrete Designs to Thrive

Making Well, our Events pathway, explores where mindful design meets well-being for individuals and communities, drawing on the power of creative thinking and doing and a wealth of related talent in Scotland. Inaugurated in 2014, this pathway includes our Walks by Design, Wellbeing Workshops, Creative Encounters and our Twilight Talks about Design, the longest running independent series of dedicated design talks in Scotland.

 

“I hope our Journeys in Design contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities alike, as we share the creative energy of those we meet en route.” Dr John Ennis Curator

Our Team

Dr John Ennis, Curator & Producer

Journeys in Design engages complementary creative talent

with each new events season.

We are grateful to our past programme photo and videographers,

commissioned artists and designers,

and to our administrative and communications colleagues:

without your skill and support our journeys would surely have stalled.

Jenna McCormick, Host, Flax Festival 2021

Tina Scopa, Artist Commission 2021

Abid Nazir, Project Administration 2021

Maxine Ragni, Programme Photography 2021

Tom Duda, Programme Filming 2021

Benjamin Hanyecz, Archive & Collateral 2021

 

The Journey so far...

 

Reflecting on recent collaborative discussions, curator producer John Ennis sets down some thoughts ahead of the latest of our Journeys in Design: his background experience and motivation and the aims and objectives of Journeys in Design.

Once a doctor

 

In brief, I was a family doctor, medical teacher, and primary care researcher, graduating from University of Edinburgh Medical School in 1990 and working in clinical general practice until 2012; I had additional research and development commitments in the fields of Health Services for Young People in Care, Palliative Care at Home and International Collaboration for Undergraduate Medical Education.

 

It doesn’t take long working as a GP in Scotland to understand who is more vulnerable in our communities and in need of greater advocacy and support. Inequalities act against a fair shot at life for some.

I stepped aside from medicine in 2012 to pursue a passion for design with a firm belief that mindful design can enable greater health and well-being for individuals and communities.

 

While still a practicing doctor, I had collaborated on design projects in Scotland and Ghana including curating at the annual Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh Exhibition and in establishing a sustainable design and build initiative in Accra with architect Alero Olympio.

 

In 2000 I acquired and converted an old tire depot in central Edinburgh, supporting several emerging and established curators, artists, and makers (including Doggerfisher gallery and PickOne textiles) Our in-house exhibitions explored contemporary design in the local and national context. Gayfield Creative Spaces closed in 2016 and the current journey builds on experience gained there. 

Journeys in Design

 

This belief in the power of mindful design finds focus through an initiative called Journeys in Design and by allied contributions to charitable trusteeship (Alero Olympio Trust), board directorship (Fife Employment Access Trust at Silverburn Park) and time-limited steering groups (Art in Health Care Room for Art Scotland and Prescribe Culture University of Edinburgh).

 

Journeys in Design seeks to enable well-being through Design, engaging people at a local level with our walks and workshops and further at the national and international level with our exhibitions and talks.

Locality

The key to all our work is a focus on locality. Although we tour across Scotland and engage beyond borders, all our interventions draw on the energy of individuals and communities we meet on the ground. It is an honour to meet like minds in different localities and to draw together in the creative fellowship that enables well-being and change for good. This means time spent before exhibitions emerge and with good people afterwards keen to continue the journey.

 

Internationalism

 

All of us stand taller in the world when we reach out to countries and cultures other than our own. Scotland’s contribution to the world of design continues to be significant on the global stage. Our Exhibitions and Talks give context to home-grown talent, celebrate creatives from outside Scotland who find work here and draw on talents working elsewhere to contribute to our events in Scotland. 

 

Well-being

 

Well-being in its broadest sense includes health, opportunity, agency, locality, sustainability, and regeneration. The World Health Organisation recognises this in a definition of health that includes the physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Scotland has led in gathering evidence of reduced health inequalities when people have agency to link into their localities with purpose. This is one important method by which mindful design can enable healthy ways of being in the world.

 

Sustainable systems

 

Fundamentally, we are each a small part of a big planet, each an important element in a greater, greener eco-system. The link between well-being and sustainability is intimate and strong. To draw a simple medical analogy: if we sprain an ankle and limp, our pelvis tilts and we develop a sore back. In the same way, problems for one part of the planet will lead to problems for another: it's all connected.

There is pressing need to advocate for Planet Earth as much as we do for ourselves. This is especially true when any one part of the planet is particularly threatened, as true for our vulnerable neighbours as for our oceans, air, and soil. The United Nations recognises this with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Rolling programmes

 

These beliefs and motivations secure the values underpinning Journeys in Design and help give a steer to our programmes, events, and special projects.

 

Our rolling programmes each focus on different materials, drawn from soil, sea and streets, to venture across art, design, and industry, engaging local communities and reaching out internationally, through an exploration of heritage, sustainability, and contemporary practice.

We began with flax and natural fibres in 2018 (Our Linen Stories) and added seaweeds and plastics in 2020 (Salvage Scotland). We will be on the ground in 2022 with Concrete Designs to Thrive exploring the world of construction and urban design.

 

Into action with Events 

 

Our primary offering comes with touring Exhibitions, drawing on talent from Scotland and beyond, aiming to include related local stories, platform local design talent and link with local museums and cultural expertise.

We co-design local walks, (Walks by Design), and offer Workshops for Well-Being pertinent to theme. We meet many talented individuals en route, recording these Creative Encounters as we go.

 

We broaden our design focus to reflect on pressing contemporary issues, posing more searching questions to an expert panel at our Twilight Talks about Design.

Emerging special projects

 

We ensure a flexibility in approach to projects which allows us to respond to the energies met on the journey. This has driven proposals for innovative design projects called Material Futures, emerging from each of our programmes. 

 

Onward 

 

Each of these journeys allows me to visit enchanting places in Scotland and to meet many engaging people. I feel humbled by our many encounters so far and incredibly lucky to collaborate with great people, finding purpose and pleasure in the work I do.

In all, I hope my belief in the benefits of mindful design generates a passion that can be transferred to others throughout our Journeys in Design together. 

 

John Ennis, June 2021

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“It is a privilege to co-design our programmes in a country of such impressive creative talent, producing our events in diverse locations across Scotland and beyond.” Dr John Ennis Curator

Design Library

Online search engines are really useful, but nothing beats a good book!

 

Our research, development and practice has been enhanced by a dip into many papers, journals and books. We include our favourites here, grateful for the expertise of others and delighted to pass this on to those with a shared passion.

Book of the Month

The Regenerative Playbook by Martin Brown and Anna Williamson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have organised the Journeys in Design Library into shelves:

DESIGN shelf - including Regenerative Design and Material Innovation.

LINEN shelf link - including Flax, Natural Fibres, Textile design and Regenerative Textiles

CONCRETE shelf - including Construction materials and Architecture 

CURATORS shelf - including books on the job of Curating, and Professional Development courses

MARITIME shelf - including Plastics and Seaweed and Maritime Ecology

and continue to add to the library as time allows.

The library is open! Some of the papers and books noted here are hard to find. We're based in Edinburgh, and happy to offer reading space in our office to locals. If you'd like to browse, please drop us an email info@journeysindesign.com.

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Concrete

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'Watch where you are...' - The Enduring Town Art of Glenrothes

Author

Jeremy Howard; Andrew Demetrius

Publisher

University of St Andrews Library - St Andrews

Date

2018

ISBN

978-0901728333

Concrete

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The Secret Lives of Buildings

Author

Edward Hollis

Publisher

Portobello Books Ltd

Date

2010 (2019)

ISBN

978-1846271281

Concrete

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Scotstyle - 100 Years of Scottish Architecture (1916-2015)

Author

Ed. Neil Baxter; Ed. Fiona Sinclair

Publisher

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland - Edinburgh

Date

2016

ISBN

978-1873190715

Concrete

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Scotland's Sporting Buildings

Author

Nick Haynes

Publisher

Historic Scotland - Edinburgh

Date

2014

ISBN

978-1849171502

Concrete

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Renzo Piano - The Art of Making Buildings

Author

texts by Kate Goodwin; John Tusa; Richard Rogers; Fulvio Irace; Lorenzo Ciccarelli; Susumu Shingu; Paul Winkler; Alistair Guthrie; Eric Kandel; Luis Fernández-Galiano; Roberto Benigni

Publisher

Royal Academy for Arts - London

Date

2018

ISBN

978-1910350713

Concrete

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Raw Concrete - The Beauty of Brutalism

Author

Barnabas Calder

Publisher

William Heinemann - London

Date

2016

ISBN

978-0434022441

Concrete

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Living with Buildings: And Walking with Ghosts - On Health and Architecture

Author

Iain Sinclair

Publisher

Profile Books Ltd - London; Wellcome Collection - London

Date

2018

ISBN

978-1788160469

Concrete

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How to love Brutalism

Author

John Grindrod

Publisher

Batsford - London

Date

2018

ISBN

978-1849944427

Concrete

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Estates - An Intimate History

Author

Lynsey Hanley

Publisher

Granta Publications - London

Date

2017 (2007)

ISBN

978-1783783823

Concrete

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Concretopia - A Journey around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain

Author

John Grindrod

Publisher

Old Street Publishing Ltd - London

Date

2013

ISBN

978-1906964900

Concrete

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Concrete Chicago Map

Author

Iker Gil

Publisher

Blue Crow Media

Date

2018

ISBN

978-1912018635

Concrete

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Architecrture in Global Socialism - Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War

Author

Łukasz Stanek

Publisher

Princeton University Press - Princeton and Oxford

Date

2020

ISBN

978-0691168708

Concrete

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A Living Room for the City

Author

Ed. Sophie McKinlay

Publisher

V&A Publishing

Date

2018

ISBN

978-1851779239

Concrete

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CONCRETE

Author

Ed. William Hall

Publisher

Phaidon Press Limited

Date

2019 (2012)

ISBN

978-0714875156

Chasing Rainbows

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A Way of Being Free

Author

Ben Okri

Publisher

Head of Zeus Ltd - London

Date

2015

ISBN

978-1784082567

Linen

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Award Winning British Design 1957-1988

Author

Lily Crowther

Publisher

V&A Publishing - London

Date

2012

ISBN

978-1851776733

Linen

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50 Years Textielmuseum 1958 - 2008

Author

Annemiek van der Veen; Gert Staal

Publisher

Audax Textielmuseum - Tilburg

Date

2008

ISBN

978-9070962418

Linen

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100 Sustainable Scottish Buildings

Author

Richard Atkins; Emily Stephen

Publisher

Scottish Ecological Design Association - Glasgow

Date

2017

ISBN

978-0993054457