Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

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Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design
Established 1888
Type Art school
Rector Brian Cox
Principal Professor Pete Downes
Dean Professor Paul Harris
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 850
Postgraduates 100
Location Dundee, Scotland, UK
56°27′24″N 2°58′58″W / 56.4566°N 2.9828°W / 56.4566; -2.9828Coordinates: 56°27′24″N 2°58′58″W / 56.4566°N 2.9828°W / 56.4566; -2.9828
Affiliations University of Dundee,
Website www.dundee.ac.uk/djcad

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) is an integral part of the University of Dundee in Dundee, Scotland. It is ranked as one of the top schools of art and design in the United Kingdom and has an outstanding reputation in teaching, practice and research.[1][2]


Attempts were made to establish an art school in Dundee from the 1850s, and evening classes in art were taught at the High School and the YMCA with great success. A full-time art school only became a possibility following the creation of the Dundee Technical Institute in 1888. The Institute was based in Small's Wynd, now part of the University of Dundee's main campus, and shared facilities with what was then University College, Dundee.

From the start, art classes were taught at the Institute in the evenings by George Malcolm, but in 1892 Thomas Delgaty Dunn was appointed as the first full-time art master, and this is now regarded as the date of the present college's foundation.

The Technical Institute's main building, designed by J Murray Robertson, soon became inadequate, particularly when the High School and YMCA art classes were amalgamated with those of the Institute. A fund-raising campaign was launched in 1907 and in 1911 the Institute moved to new and much grander premises on Bell Street, designed by Robert Gibson and James Langlands, where it re-opened as Dundee Technical College & School of Art. A further incentive to the development of the school had come in 1909 with the bequest of £60,000 by James Duncan of Jordanstone [3] to establishment of an independent art school in the city. A lengthy legal battle ensued as to whether the existing college could spend the money, and it was not until the 1930s that an agreement was reached whereby the College was reorganised as Dundee Institute of Art & Technology, the College of Art to be autonomously run on a separate site away from the Technical College. A site was chosen and plans drawn up by architect James Wallace in 1937, but due to delays largely caused by the war construction did not begin until 1953. Classes began in what is now called the Crawford Building in 1955, though it would not be completed until 1964.

The College did not become entirely independent of the Institute of Technology (now the University of Abertay) until 1975, when it was officially renamed Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art (though it had been known as such unofficially for many years). By that time it has expanded into a new building next door (now called the Matthew Building, designed by Baxter Clark & Paul). The College remained independent until 1994, when it became part of the University of Dundee.[4] Over time Duncan of Jordanstone has built up strong academic links with other disciplines in the University, manifested in joint programmes such as Digital Interaction Design and Product Design. In 2006 it became more fully integrated in the University as part of the College of Art, Science and Engineering.


DJCAD is a 'school' within the College of Art Science & Engineering (CASE) at the University of Dundee (Acting Head, Professor Timothy Newman). Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design is led by the Dean, Professor Paul Harris. The management team are supported by Secretary to DJCAD, Fee Wright. DJCAD is structured around Undergraduate, Post-graduate and Research portfolios rather than the more traditional disciplinary departmental approach.

Programmes of Study[edit]

It offers undergraduate programmes in Animation, Art & Philosophy, Digital Interaction Design, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Environmental Design, Jewellery & Metal Design, Product Design, Textile Design and Time Based Art & Digital Film.

DJCAD also offers postgraduate masters programmes in Animation, Art & Humanities, Fine Art, Forensic Art and Medical Art.


Artists: David Mach (1988 Turner Prize Nominee), Louise Wilson (of Jane and Louise Wilson 1999 Turner Prize Nominees), Calum Colvin OBE, Susan Philipsz (2010 Turner Prize), Malcolm Buick, Derek Robertson, Nael Hannah, Eddie Summerton, Duncan Mosley, Louise Ritchie, JKB Fletcher, Luke Fowler (2012 Turner Prize Nominee), Matthew Dalziel (of Dalziel + Scullion), Lucy McKenzie, Tony Stallard, Jackie Hatfield, Richard Johnson, Anna King, Christopher Orr, Derek Robertson, Marine Joatton, Scott Myles, Malcolm Dickson, Cornelia Solfrank, Holger Mohaupt, Thomson & Craighead, Valerie Norris, Kim Scouller, Derek Guild, Katy Dove.

Designers: David Salariya (Salariya Book Company), Russ Nicholson, Andy McGregor, Hayley Scanlan, Calum Convery.

Photographers: Albert Watson

Film Directors: David Mackenzie (Perfect Sense (2011), starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green), Doug Aubrey, Geoff Holder, Clio Barnard (BFI Best British Newcomer Award for "The Arbor", The Grierson Award for Best Documentary: Armadillo; The Selfish Giant, Directors Week Cannes 2013)

Film Sound: Duncan Craig, sound design Les Misérables (2012 film) - recipient of technical Oscar, and has worked on films such as Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and X-Men: First Class

Visual Effects Designers/Artists: Jon Neill (VFX supervisor on Skyfall), Jamie Russell.

Musicians: Tom Simpson, (Snow Patrol), Malcolm Duncan and Roger Ball (Average White Band), Gary Clark (Singer, Songwriter, record producer, member of Danny Wilson)

Authors: Geoff Holder


The College research was rated highly in the last UK Higher Education research assessment of 2014 (The REF2014). The Times Higher rated DJCAD as first in Scotland for art and design, and equal 3rd in the UK by Grade Point Average (Intensity) with 58% of its outputs at 3 or 4-star. The Impact element of DJCAD Research was graded 60% at 4-star and 40% at 3-star. The REF judged DJCAD’s research environment, including underlying support and infrastructure, external income, and PhD performance, 100% at either 3 or 4-star levels.[5] The college was commended for its established research culture and interdisciplinary and collaborative research, with a strong and vibrant PhD community which in 2014 numbers around 45 with 25 Post Doctoral Research Assistants. Research projects and students are either clustered around the facilities within the college buildings including the Research Studio or within the purpose built Visual Research Centre,[6] which is located within Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland's leading contemporary art space.

Current research themes include:

Digital Economy & Futures

Visualisation & Application of Visual Thinking

Archival & Curatorial: Practice, History & Theory

Sites & Galleries[edit]

The college is based in the Crawford Building facing onto Perth Road at the south-western corner of the University of Dundee's main campus, and the Matthew Building behind it. Temporary exhibitions are held in various galleries within the College, including the Cooper Gallery and the Matthew Gallery organised by the Exhibitions team led by Curator Sophia Hao. Exhibitions DJCAD is a distinctive platform in Scotland for challenging and innovative practices and critical discourse in contemporary art, design and visual culture. By positively advocating the pooling of knowledge from different disciplines our programme implements a sustained and rigorous critical engagement. Through devoting our four gallery spaces, including the Cooper Gallery, to original and creative methodologies we support, produce and disseminate the best practices of national and international artists, designers, writers and creative thinkers. Exhibitions DJCAD was established in 1990 and is the largest University exhibition unit in Scotland. Since January 2008, 72 exhibitions, 68 events, 11 performances, 27 talks, 11 seminars/workshops and 3 symposia have been staged. There are four galleries: Cooper Gallery (215 sq. metres); Cooper Gallery Project Space (100 sq. metres); Bradshaw Art Space (90 sq. metres); Matthew Gallery (300 sq. metres). Recent Exhibitions have featured artists: Bruce McLean, Cullinan Richards, Viola Yeşiltaç, Paul Noble, More information on gallery areas can be found on the Exhibitions at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design page.

Aside from the galleries it runs, the College also maintains an art collection of work by its students, usually acquired from the annual Degree Shows. The collection is now managed as a public museum collection by the University of Dundee Museum Services. Works from the collection are regularly exhibited within the University, as well being loaned to other museums and galleries throughout the country. Work by College staff is regularly exhibited in sites owned by the City of Dundee, the University generally or the DCA as well as in events throughout the world.

The college also has a research facility located within the Dundee Contemporary Arts building: the Visual Research Centre, which includes Centrespace - an experimental flexible studio/gallery where research outcomes can be given their first public airing. Established in 1999, the Visual Research Centre offers a lively environment within a world-class contemporary art centre (Dundee Contemporary Arts - DCA), conducive to the development of research, networking and daily activity. It brings together all research staff on a regular basis, whether to attend a seminar, conference, performance, exposition, or discuss new ideas with colleagues or PhD students. The VRC consists of a large project studio/exhibition centre Centrespace (105 sq. metres, 4.7m high), 3 research project studios housing research project staff, and PhD students, offices for embedded research professors and support staff, meeting room, kitchen, REWIND Micro Cinema, DJCAD Archives Room, Publishing Unit (Pre-press studio for art publishing, Publishing plant and darkrooms and screen preparation studios), and finally the Artists’ Apartment for short stay accommodation for residencies and visiting researchers, (two bedrooms, kitchen/diner and living area).


The VRC also houses a large collection of Artists’ books (artists’ books collection Dundee -abcD)- originally established in 1999 as the Centre for Artists Books by Alec Finlay, now a leading resource, with 1,450 books from 600 artists represented in the collection. (Notable names include Susan Hiller, Yoko Ono, Helen Douglas, Tacita Dean, Bruce Maclean, David Shrigley, Julian Opie, John Latham, Simon Starling, Ian Hamilton Finlay, David Bellingham and Toby Paterson).


Dundee Degree Show and Dundee Masters Show[edit]

The Dundee Degree Show is organised annually in May to showcase the work of final year undergraduate students. It usually runs for around a week, with the opening night being a significant social event for staff, students, family and friends. The 2013 show will run from Friday 17 May - Sunday 26 May 2013 inclusive.

2009 - Scottish Event Awards -Best Education Event
2011 - UK Event Awards - Best Educational Event
2011 - Scottish Event Awards - Commended for Best Marketing Strategy
2012 - Scottish Event Awards - Best Marketing Strategy
2013 - UK Event Awards - Educational Event of the Year [7]
2014 - New Designers - Best Stand Award [8]


External links[edit]