Local Heroes is a curatorial agency connecting audiences with exceptional design.

A new movement in Scottish design
Scotland is becoming increasingly renowned for its contribution to international design and while tradition and heritage remain a focal point in the popular imagination – diversity, pluralism and connectedness to global networks are influencing a whole generation of designers. For Scotland’s Year of Innovation Architecture and Design in 2016, we asked some of the country’s leading designers to reimagine the souvenir and produce a unique travel-themed design object. The resulting collection celebrated a new movement in Scottish design that embraces colour, pattern, and the use of innovative techniques and materials. The exhibition presented design that communicates confidence and intellectual rigour, and was polished, professional and accessible.

Our aims and objectives are to:

  • Facilitate the realisation of new and exciting work
  • Find opportunities for designers to expand their own practice and collaborate
  • Begin to identify and develop a design language for Scotland
  • Increase and diversify audiences for design and develop design culture
  • Present to international audiences and promote design in unconventional ways
  • Reimagine models of presentation, production and partnerships

Dr Stacey Hunter is a design curator and creative producer whose work connects design thinking and practice to the everyday life of cities. She trained as a designer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (Dundee), and received a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh in 2015.

With the inaugural exhibition of Local Heroes in 2016, Hunter initiated a major public exhibition of newly commissioned Scottish design. Located at Edinburgh Airport and a key part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, Local Heroes presented contemporary design to a global audience spanning 120 different locations and three continents.

“For many visitors Local Heroes was a first impression of Scotland, or part of a fond farewell. Design is one of the most accessible expressions of 21st century creativity and the unique location of Edinburgh Airport offered the opportunity to present a snapshot of Scotland’s colourful and confident design scene to a diverse public audience.”

Local Heroes acknowledges the important role design exhibitions have played in supporting design businesses in the past, in particular the Enterprise Scotland Exhibition, Edinburgh, 1947 and Scotland Can Make It! Glasgow, 2014. The aim of Local Heroes is to continue to put Scotland on an international stage, presenting and promoting Scottish products and industries to the public, with a focus on high quality design.

Local Heroes is a not-for-profit, independent organisation founded by design curator Dr Stacey Hunter.