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2016: A Year-long Celebration of Scotland’s Innovation, Architecture and Design

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Scotland has always been the home of many scientific and technological discoveries– from the development of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell to the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming. However, the country is not only celebrated for great scientific breakthroughs.

 Scotland is also not a stranger to innovative landscapes, which are reflective of the country’s unique heritage and culture. From their rustic crofts, Victorian residences, archaic castles and Gregorian country houses to their modern cityscapes, Scotland has boosted its architecture and design industry over the years. In fact, six of Scotland’s most dramatic landscapes and topography have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites. This includes Skara Brae Prehistoric Village, Antonine Wall, St Kilda, Edinburgh, Forth Rail Bridge and New Lanark.

 Today, Scotland continues to thrust the boundaries of excellence as they celebrate another Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.Though innovation is encouraged in all fields, Scotland’s architecture and design will take the main limelight for all innovations. As announced by the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament, 2016 would mark another momentous milestone for the architecture and design industry, highlighting the industry’s various innovative concepts and craftsmanship. These innovative achievements will be featured in a 12-month program consisting of events that will mainly promote Scotland’s tourism. According to Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, it is the goal of the Scottish Government to showcase the nation’s exemplary skills pertaining to their architectural innovations and landscapes. Furthermore, Scotland will also present innovations in the field of engineering, science, technology, music, and film, among others.


 With various activities and events planned out, 2016 will be a good year to visit Scotland. Tourists around the globe are invited to be a part of this year-long celebration. Whether by air, bus and coach, car, ferry or train, traveling to Scotland has never been more exciting. Furthermore, various types of accommodations are available, ranging from 5-star luxury hotels to affordable campsites and other short term contractor accommodation.

 But before jumping into the next flight, here are some events to expect during the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design:

 The RIAS Festival of Architecture

2016 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), marked by the celebration of the 2016 RIAS Festival of Architecture.The RIAS Festival of Architecture is a year-long annual celebration of Scottish architecture and design. As part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, RIAS is hosting events that will showcase Scotland’s creative spirit. These events are not only for public spectacle, but most importantly for the promotion of Scotland’s tourism. Among the highlighted events are Scotsyle: Building the Century, The Ideal Hut Show, Adventures in Space and Cake Fest Scotland.

 Edinburgh International and Summer Festivals

Edinburgh is a sea of colors and people during summertime. With multiple events lined up, Edinburgh’s festivals not only exhibit the city’s rich culture, but also its poignant landmarks, tall monuments and cutting-edge cityscape. Highlighted events include Edinburgh International Film Festival, International Book Festival, Art Festival, and Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Festival.

 National Trust for Scotland

As part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the National Trust for Scotland will feature some of Scotland’s quintessential landmarks through long-minute videos, heritage talks and exhibitions. These landmarks include the Culzean Castle, Kellie Castle, Hill House and Holmwood, among other landscapes.

 Dundee Science Festival

The city of Dundee is not only the first UNESCO City of Design in UK. This panoramic city in Scotland is also home for scientific innovations. As part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, Dundee Science Center will spearhead the Dundee Science Festival in November, which will feature the city’s innovations in engineering, science and technology. Trade fairs for kids and adults will take place at the Dundee Science Center and certain community hubs within the city.

 Canal Magic

Also part of this year-long program is the Canal Magic, where Scotland would feature the intricate architecture of their canals and inland waterways in relation to the 2016 World Canals Conference which will be held in Inverness, Scotland. The Canal Magic will include various high-octane activities for both young and old individuals, such as waterside exhibitions and festivals and adventure races.

 Borders Heritage Festivals

Scotland will also celebrate its eighth annual Borders Heritage Festival. On September, various activities will be held to reminisce the Scottish Border’s colorful heritage and its love affair with Scotland’s history. Activities will include walks, conferences, exhibitions, archaeology, tours, living history and theatre. Furthermore, events will also showcase the innovative designs of the country’s woolen industry, as well as the dynamic architecture of the magnificent Scottish Borders and Big Houses.

 From architecture and design to science, technology, music, and film, Scotland continues to build the nation’s culture for innovation and creativity. Their “can-do” attitude proves to be a driving force that propels the country to unprecedented developments in the field of innovation, architecture and design. For more information on the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, please visit the website

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