V&A Dundee:
Community Garden

V&A Dundee’s Community Garden is an innovative co-design project to create a world-class public space on Dundee’s waterfront. The project involves working in partnership with a team of around twenty individuals from across the city, actively seeking to improve their overall health and well-being.

In collaboration, design studio kennedytwaddle and Linsey, with support from landscape architects Macfarlane + Associates, won the pitch to design and deliver the co-design process, enabling the community team to shape their city by sharing knowledge, skills and ideas.

Together the co-design team visited the site at Dundee’s Slessor Gardens to explore potential constraints and influencing factors, while gaining a sense of scale. They visited other gardens, such as allotments, for inspiration, and with their ‘designer’s toolkit’, used notes, sketches and photographs to collate research. From this, key themes were formed and carried through into the concept design stage. An insightful session at University of Dundee Botanic Garden provided an exploration of suitable plants, while the co-design team shared their extensive gardening knowledge. Ideas were then prototyped in two and three dimensions using sketching, collage and model-making. A key part of the process was working in small groups to distil ideas and work towards a single solution.

After a visit to the DJCAD maker space to see laser cutting and 3D printing processes, ideas were collated and realised in a finished design. This was presented as computer generated visuals and a scale model, with everyone being able to identify elements they had contributed, and understand how the design had been jointly developed.

By working with others, the team gained confidence and insights into the design process. The finished design will be built on site, with the support of additional volunteers, and will provide an inspiring outdoor space for the whole community to enjoy.