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Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

Scotland has been changing the world as we know it for centuries, one innovation at a time. From the wheels on your car and the tarmac they drive on, to the telephone, television and much more - all this was possible thanks to Scottish ingenuity.

In the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016, we celebrate awe-inspiring innovation, breathtaking architecture and brave, bold designs through new and exciting experiences and events.  Are you ready for it?

So what exactly has Scotland done?

The list of Scots inventions, designs and buildings that have influenced the way we think and carry out our daily lives are just too many to mention. What's more, Scotland and its people continue to make a huge impact on our modern world.

Scotland has given the world many wonderful things, including the steam engine, anaesthesia, penicillin, the pedal bicycle and the decimal point!

Kelpies red

Why not visit Scotland and see for yourself? Be inspired by the ground-breaking designs of our buildings; from the chic art nouveau buildings and interior design of Charles Rennie Mackintosh to the truly stunning Kelpies by Andy Scott (pictured above). Or, find out more about Sir William Arrol who constructed the Forth Rail Bridge when you visit the new UNESCO World Heritage site near Edinburgh.

With an array of events to experience and attractions to visit, your curiosity will struggle to be contained when you discover more about Scotland's keenest and most brilliant minds.

Join in the conversation on the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design - #iad2016

Design and fashion

In Scotland, we like to do things with a bit of flair and pizzazz, and you'll see this reflected when it comes to design and creativity. From the iconic contrasting orange and blue of the Irn Bru packaging, to the intricate designs and natural shades of luxurious Harris Tweed, making things inspiring, bold and beautiful is very much our thing.

  • Dundee is a creative hub and was named the UK's first UNESCO City of Design.
  • Discover the story of Scottish fashion, design and decorative art in new galleries due to open this summer at the National Museum of Scotland.
  • See traditional wool spinning in action at working and heritage looms in the Outer Hebrides and Scottish Borders.
  • Get outdoors and explore creative spaces such as Jupiter Artland or Crawick Multiverse (pictured below).
  • Find talent in our towns - Kirkcudbright in Dumfries & Galloway is Scotland's Artists' Town, while West Kilbride in Ayrshire is known as the official Craft Town.
  • Look out for special events throughout the year which celebrate Scotland's textiles and designers.

Innovation and engineering

From the Scottish Enlightenment to the age of digital, Scotland continues to be at the forefront of innovation and engineering. There are plenty of ways for you to discover the amazing things we've worked on and produced, such as scientific discoveries, new technologies and pioneering industrial developments.