Postponed: Curious Creatives: Art from a Child’s Perspective – Tuesday 14 April 2020, 6pm

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are postponing this Dundee Arts Café event. Many apologies for the inconvenience this may cause. We shall be in touch in due course.

There is growing concern that creative subjects such as art, music and drama are being side-lined in schools in favour of other subjects. However, creative education is also seen as a crucial step in developing skills in young children. This is especially relevant in the city of Dundee, where skilled creative people are needed to support our growing creative industries.

So how do we make sure arts education is delivered in a way that benefits children’s development?

Join us at Dundee Arts Café as Dr Anna Robb from the University of Dundee, explores including the voices of primary school children, when developing school lessons and careers advice for the future. This presentation will draw on research focused on young children’s experiences of visual art in the home and at school, as well as in the local community and across the city. Anna will give examples of how our relationships with school subjects, such as art, inform our identities from an early age.

Art and Design Stories – Made in Dundee – Tuesday 8 May 2018, 6pm

Each year, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design is transformed into Scotland’s largest exhibition space. The 10 day event showcases the work of over 350 of the University of Dundee’s graduating art, design and architecture students. At the Degree Show, thousands of visitors see the products of years of creativity and hard work in an exciting show spanning the areas of design and craft, contemporary art practice, social digital, graphic communication and architecture.

Join us on Tuesday 8 May 2018, 6pm at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum, for a sneak peek at what this year’s University of Dundee Art, Design & Architecture Degree show has to offer. Students from a variety of disciplines will take to the floor to discuss their work, in advance of the show opening on Friday 18 May 2018.

Everyone is welcome. This event is free and non-bookable. Places are limited so please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Doors open at 5pm.

Memories of Food in Dundee – Tuesday 4th October 2016

Food plays an essential part in our everyday life, but is much more than a necessity, as we create culture and places where food takes centre stage. From trusted food shops that visit time after time, to our favourite eating places where we spend time with friends and family, our experiences and memories of food help us build a sense of belonging to the places we live in and call home.

This talk explored the social, space and time aspects of food and show how food acts as a trigger for memories, focusing on the city of Dundee and its people.

Jackie Malcolm, University of Dundee, discussed her research with elderly people who lived in sheltered housing across the city. Their shared memories provide insights into Dundee life, past and present, and the relationships formed through food.

Hosted at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum this fascinating talk reached out to new visitors to Dundee Arts Cafe from our local communities.


Making Jewellery Work – Tuesday 21st April 2015, 6pm

Founded in Dundee in 2009, Vanilla Ink
celebrates and Vanilla Inksupports emerging jewellers in an open and honest environment; breeding creativity, skill sharing and strengthening the sector across Scotland and beyond.

Vanilla Ink builds a community that engages with its surroundings in a transparent way, empowering and enriching the maker and their experiences.

Founder and director, Kate Pickering will discuss the ethos of Vanilla Ink and the importance of networks, creative communities and facilitation. Kate will be joined by some of her Vanilla Ink Alumni to discuss their own experiences of the programme.

Vanilla Ink will be taking a year out to reflect on its successes and the not so successful, develop strong partnerships and review the landscape for opening both a new Vanilla Ink in Glasgow and plan Vanilla Ink Dundee 2.0.

Join us in the relaxed atmosphere of the McManus Café for a short talk followed by your chance to ask questions and discuss the topic.

Everyone is welcome. Free. Non-bookable. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment. This event is likely to last one hour.

Designing Cities for Post Riot Britain – Mike Press, 6th March 2012

Riot police confronting by rioters in 2011 riots in EnglandHow should design respond to the challenges facing our cities today, particularly in the wake of the recent riots?

Should we be ‘designing against rioting’ or designing more inclusive communities?

This talk draws directly on research, undertaken for government departments, that examines design’s contribution to crime reduction and counter terrorism, and presents a new vision for design and the city.

Join us at the McManus Cafe for this free talk from Prof Mike Press, DJCAD, University of Dundee that will last approximately one hour. Not ticketed.

Everyone welcome.

Please arrive early to avoid disappointment. The McManus remains open all day up to the start of this event.

Tasty hot snacks, hot and cold drinks, wine and beer are all available from the Cafe before the talk starts.

Twisted by Design: Who do we Think We’re Designing For? – 7th September 2010

Two children from an estate in Preston flank a Digital Busker of the rapper Shaks. By inserting money, tokens or texting in the busker he will play songs produced by local artists.

Join us for the first of our 2010/2011 Dundee Arts Cafe events! This talk will be presented by Dr Jon Rogers from the University of Dundee, and will be held on Tuesday the 7th of September at 6pm at The McManus Cafe (see where to find us on the right for a map).

Jon Rogers writes of his talk
“The story of poverty in the UK is well known. We have a rich set of language tools describe people as living in ‘sink estates’, ‘regeneration areas’ that have ‘wicked problems’ inhabited by the ‘underclass’, the ‘unemployed’… as people portrayed as living outside the Big Society.

A red plastic 5 metre high CCTV camera that communities can use to record local events and send directly to the local newspaper. The camera is pictured on the Callon and Fishwick estate in Preston.

So how can design work in areas where poverty, crime and poor health dominate people’s lives? It isn’t simple. It isn’t easy. And to be honest, I don’t know. But in this talk, I’ll discuss with you some of the things a team of designers, technologists and journalists are doing to re-think how we can strengthen communities in the age of the digital economy.

I’ll show you how we talk to each other and what designs we are testing in their community – from Digital Buskers that you can TXT to play tracks made by Grime Rappers in the community – to a 5M CCTV camera that can upload community activity to youtube at the press of a rather large big red button. In the course of 45 minutes or so, I would like to show you how you can be Twisted By Design.”