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Season's Greetings from Scotland + Venice 
Amanie Ahmed, Dundee contributed her wishes to the What if…?/Scotland exhibition at V&A Dundee.
Photo: Neil Hanna
What if ...?/Scotland draws to a close

As we say goodbye 2021 we are sad to bid a fond farewell to What if...?/Scotland. The project began over two years ago, when the world was a very different place. We commissioned 7N Architects with Architecture & Design Scotland, to respond to the theme of the 17th International Architecture Biennale, How will we live together?, then planned for 2020, never imagining the turn of events that lay ahead. 

The project began in five communities across Scotland where citizens generously shared their hopes and dreams for the future of the places they call home with architects, artists and designers. It culminated in a presentation of these wishes, captured in a series of films by Bash Art Creative and exhibited at V&A Dundee this year. We also invited visitors to make their own contribution to the Cloud of Dreams.

Susan Mansfield's reflections on What if...?/Scotland reminds us what can emerge if we re-engage the civic role of architects.

We are grateful to all who enabled the project to happen despite the many challenges we have all faced, to our many collaborators, citizens and visitors, and to the V&A Dundee for hosting the exhibition in their galleries when, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were unable to participate in the 17th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice.

We are excited to see What next...?/ for What if...?/. The project continues to have a legacy with many of the discussions that began in the workshops between citizens and designers pre-pandemic, still ongoing and some developing into positive outcomes for the communities. We will continue to follow these journeys and provide updates on our website at Scotland + Venice.

Image: Alberta Whittle by Matthew Williamson 
Looking ahead

As we turn our attention to the year ahead, whilst being mindful of the ever changing environment, we are planning for a safe return to Venice in 2022 for the 59th International Art Exhibition. Our new commission of work by artist Alberta Whittle opens on 23 April with more information to be released in the New Year.

Alberta is currently exhibiting as part of a group show Life Between Islands at Tate Britain from 1 December until 3 April 2022. 

Scotland + Venice provides architects and artists based in Scotland with a valuable platform to showcase their work on the international stage at the Venice Biennale and is a partnership between Creative Scotland, British Council Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland, Architecture and Design Scotland and the Scottish Government.
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