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Twilight Talks about Design

Our Twilight Talks bring together contemporary makers, designers, curators and researchers

to explore the role of design in our contemporary cultural landscape. 

Our Twilight Talks about Design were inaugurated in 2014 and new talks emerge from our rolling series of programmes. These design discussions consider material and place and move to ask more searching questions about our individual, community and planetary well-being and future.

Book for our latest events via our dedicated Eventbrite pages. 


Photo by Maxime Ragni

Sharing Culture by Design

16 January 2020

Journeys in Design brought together an expert panel to discuss the power of nurturing cultural links between Scotland and Europe. We welcomed Ben Macpherson, then Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development in the Scottish Government to formally open our Twilight Talk.

Mary V. Mullin has a distinguished career in design promotion and management

Dr Stacey Hunter Design Curator, Founders of local Heroes

Mark Watson Historic Environment Scotland


Photo by Maxime Ragni

Design in a Sustainable Scotland

14 November 2019

Design in a sustainable Scotland: how do we walk more lightly on the earth by design and use of materials? With an Expert Panel bringing international perspective to the debate in Scotland, join us to discuss the potential of material, community and the circular economy in designing a sustainable Scotland. Robin Harper, first Member of the Scottish Parliament to represent the Green Party, opens our Talk.

Lynn Wilson, Circular Economy Consultant

Trish Belford, Senior Research Fellow, Art and Design Institute, University of Ulster in Belfast

Marnie Collins, Assistant Professor, Textile Design, Heriot-Watt University

John Ferguson, Social Entrepreneur


African Routes

14 January 2016

Accra, the capital of Ghana is a city transformed by outside investment but one only need scratch the surface to find an ecosystem in crisis.
Renee Neblett, Director of the Kokrobitey Institute in Ghana explores the role of art and design in this context and how local communities understand their environment in relation to the broader world, providing examples from the pioneering work of the Kokrobitey Institute and Design Centre.

This Talk honours the memory of architect and designer Alero Olympio.

Renee Neblett Director of the Kokrobitey Institute in Ghana


The Art and Design of Collaboration

27 August 2015

Edinburgh Festival luminaries Richard Demarco and Jim Haynes are joined by emerging talents Marion Preez, Katrina Corbett, Alan Brown, Pauline Sandberg, David Seel and Oana Stanchi, gathering to recollect and plan art and design collaborations. This Gayfield Twilight Talk is presented by Pecha Kucha Edinburgh: curated by Gordon Duffy, sponsored by Studio DuB, supported by New Media Scotland and Gayfield.

Gordon Duffy Principal of Studio DuB

Richard Demarco Artist and Curator

Jim Haynes Collaborative Impresario


Hubbing for Creatives

20 August 2015

When creatives combine into hubs, their localities can celebrate their emergence and local economies can develop. We can map these collaborative facilities across Scotland and when we ‘join up the dots’ the term ‘creative economy’ starts to make sense as a national resource.
Chaired by Caroline Parkinson, independent Creative Project manager, we hear from Creative Edinburgh’s Janine Matheson and British Council’s Lynsey Smith.

Caroline Parkinson CP Creative Project Management

Janine Matheson Creative Edinburgh

Lynsey Smith Former Director of Creative Edinburgh


Maker Journeys

13 August 2015

Architect Gunnar Groves-Raines of GRAS presents a series of completed architectural projects as well as more experimental collaborations borne out of the British Council Maker Library Network. University of Strathclyde graduates Gunnar Groves-Raines and Stuart Falconer co-founded GRAS in 2006, an architecture and design studio exploring ideas, materials, techniques and technologies all with making at its heart.

Gunnar Groves-Raines Co-founder of GRAS


Marking and Mapping

6 August 2015

Chris Fleet and Anna Feintuck discuss Edinburgh’s cartographic industry, home to world-renowned mapmakers such as John Bartholomew & Son. Old maps of Gayfield itself suggest a bustling hub of light industry and creative manufacture. Learn more about maps of Edinburgh and the tales they tell, as well as those they choose to hide. Chris Fleet is Senior Maps Curator at the National Library of Scotland and Anna Feintuck is PhD researcher for the Mapping Edinburgh’s Social History initiative at University of Edinburgh.

Chris Fleet Senior Maps Curator at the National Library of Scotland

Anna Feintuck Co-curator on PACE: Walking by Design


Shot by Edinburgh Film Company

The Power of Place

11 September 2014

Glasgow-based curator Katy West (India Street, Gayfield Summer 2014) and Edinburgh-based Architect Stuart Falconer (GRAS: architects for Gayfield Creative Spaces 2014) explore their experience of working with designers and makers from different cultures and the ways in which design can both create international links and highlight local concerns. The conversation is chaired by Dr John Ennis, Founder, Gayfield Creative Spaces.

Katy West Curator of India Street Gayfield Summer 2014

Stuart Falconer GRAS: architects


Shot by Edinburgh Film Company

Cloth and Memory

4 September 2014

Leading textile curator Lesley Millar inspires on the subject of textile design in different cultures connecting us to both place and memory and Sarah Saunders, Head of Learning and Programmes at V&A Dundee, updates on this exciting new development in the Scottish Design landscape.
The conversation is accompanied by a special display of printed textiles by Professor Norma Starszakowna, innovator and educator in the field of printed textiles, based in Dundee.

Lesley Millar Professor of Textile Culture, UCA Farnham

Sarah Saunders Head of Learning and Programmes at V&A Dundee

Amanda Game Independent curator


Shot by Edinburgh Film Company

Digital Counts

28 August 2014

Alan Shaw of the Centre for Advanced Textiles Glasgow School of Art, and Geoffrey Mann Head of Glass at Edinburgh College of Art, discuss the role of digital tools in the development of their design process. Introduced by Josie Steed, Course Leader of Fashion & Textile Design, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

Josie Steed Design Lecturer and Researcher for Sustainability and Knowledge Exchange, RGU

Alan Shaw The Centre for Advanced Textiles Glasgow

Geoffrey Mann Designer and Head of Glass at Edinburgh College of Art


Shot by Edinburgh Film Company

Gardens in Mind

21 August 2014

Leading UK architect Richard Murphy OBE and Professor Annie Pollock, Director of Landscape Design and Architecture at the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre discuss the role of landscape design in creating healthy environments. Introduced by Celine Sinclair, Chief Executive of The Yard.

Richard Murphy OBE UK architect

Annie Pollock Director of Landscape Design and Architecture at the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre


Shot by Edinburgh Film Company

Too Much Stuff

14 August 2014

Leading Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, from Eindhoven, talks about the way design thinking can create a more sustainable model of living. Introduced by Amanda Game, independent curator and Creative Adviser, Gayfield. Key works by Piet Hein Eek appear for the first time in Scotland in Garden Party exhibition by Gayfield.

Piet Hein Eek Dutch Designer

Amanda Game Independent curator


Shot by Edinburgh Film Company

Material Goods

7 August 2014

Paul Simmons of pioneering Glasgow firm Timorous Beasties and emerging independent textile designer Laura Spring discuss their experience of creating thriving studios through design innovation and quality production. Timorous Beasties (deck chair panels) and Laura Spring (picnic hampers) feature in Garden Party exhibition by Gayfield.

Paul Simmons Timorous Beasties

Laura Spring Textile Designer

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