Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

By Colin | 25 Feb 2016

What’s on your to-do list for 2016? Want to explore somewhere new, take part in world-class events and make memories that will last a lifetime? Take the train to Scotland!

2016 is Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design – and it’s crammed full of great events to enjoy and top attractions to visit.

Want to experience Scotland’s innovative side? Whizz through beautiful rolling countryside on the Borders Railway or marvel at the towering Forth Bridges (the newest, the Queensferry Crossing, is due to be completed in December).

For architecture, look no further than Scotland’s castles, where you can see how building methods have evolved throughout the centuries, or admire the pioneering and creative designs of more modern creations, such as the Scottish Parliament, The Kelpies and more.

And for design? You’re spoilt for choice. Discover the traditional methods that are still used to weave top quality textiles, such as Harris Tweed and cashmere, or explore the charming city of Dundee, the UK's first UNESCO City of Design.

Simply hop on the train to Edinburgh or Glasgow  to start your adventure. Here’s a small taster of what’s happening in these great cities:


  • Craft Scotland - Meet Your Maker, 1 April to 23 December, city wide – Peek behind the scenes at one of these fascinating events and learn more about the creative design process. Discover the techniques makers use, from traditional skills to cutting-edge technologies.
  • Out of their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects, 11 June to 25 September, Scottish National Portrait Gallery – see portraits of Scotland’s greatest architects and encounter recreations of their most iconic designs.
  • Styling the Nation, 12 to 13 November, National Museum of Scotland – 10 brand new galleries are due to open at the museum in 2016. Keep a look out for their official launch in the summer and pop along to the Styling the Nation event in November, where more of the story of Scottish fashion, design and decorative art will be revealed.


  • Hinterland, 18 to 27 March, Kilmahew – Hinterland is the launch event of the Festival of Architecture 2016. This once in a lifetime event will give you unique access to the abandoned buildings of St Peter's Seminary as they are illuminated and brought to life by a choral soundtrack. Book your Hinterland tickets now to avoid missing out.
  • Glasgow Science Festival, 9 to 19 June – explore the past, present and future of innovation in Glasgow and across Scotland. Events include a ceilidh, cabaret night, Glasgow Top 10 Innovation showcase, family weekend, a talk and film series.
  • Mackintosh Festival 2016, October - celebrate the achievements of Glasgow’s most famous architect, designer and artist, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Explore his city and take part in the packed programme of events, from walks, workshops and exhibitions to performances and talks.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Edinburgh and Glasgow are the perfect starting points for an out of this world tour around Scotland. Dive into the Year of Innovation Architecture and Design and find more events throughout the country. What are you waiting for?!

Join in the conversation at #IAD2016

Image credit Forth Bridge Kenny Lam


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