PROCESS: Professional Development Programme 2023

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PROCESS: Expand / Reflect / Reveal

PROCESS is a new practical and research-based programme focused on strengthening and contributing to the career development and increased capacity of independent designers based in Scotland. Highly bespoke activity, such as mentoring; studio-style crits; and input from international experts is aimed at enhancing skills, increasing knowledge and offering specific advice where needed to maximise opportunities for design businesses. This programme will run as a pilot to allow us to test the model and impact for the sector within a one-year timeframe.

"I have created this programme especially for designers who miss the camaraderie of the studio-crit environment, and would like to work with a design curator to develop and refine their ideas or find their unique signature. It's a rare opportunity to participate in a nurturing yet critically reflective environment and to meet and work with other designers in a facilitated and structured way."
Stacey Hunter, Local Heroes Curator

The key benefits and value for participating designers is a supportive environment for the research and development of a new product or range with a focus on: Accessing New Markets; Increasing Confidence and Skills; Critical thinking; PR & Presentation; and Sustainable Production.

A research and development bursary of up to £1500 will be paid to each participant.

This one-year pilot programme is aimed at professional practising designers who are Scotland-based and in the early to mid stages of their career, and who have up to ten years of relevant experience.

Key dates

The pilot programme will run between August 2023 and August 2024. Applications are now open for the PROCESS Programme 2023.

The deadline for applications is 5pm, Monday 24 July 2023.

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Images R to L: Cohort of designers who participated in The Future of Home; Exterior of Exhibition; PROCESS Identity by Martin Baillie, Hilary Grant throw with Mirrl Chair (Photo by Reuben Paris).

Programme Overview + How to apply

Design research is critical to how we relate to and understand the world around us as designers. Local Heroes has developed this pilot project which will support between three and five designers to explore an expanded approach to their design practice within a supportive and structured  environment. Our international network helps connect our programme to the wider world, and to bring in new contexts, different forms of knowledge and a wide variety of voices.

We have between three and five places available for a cohort of designers to work supportively and collaboratively together through the programme. Participants will benefit from working alongside Local Heroes curator Dr Stacey Hunter who will provide mentoring and facilitate both knowledge-sharing and industry expertise from invited international guests.

PROCESS offers a combination of mentoring and profile raising for designers, all within a supportive environment for research and product development. Four key areas will be explored during the programme in the context of accessing international markets:

  • New Product Development
  • Confident Critical Thinking
  • Media & PR Training
  • Embedding Sustainability Into Everyday Practice 

Who should apply?

PROCESS is a practical and research-based programme aimed at designers based in Scotland who are developing and/or producing products for lifestyle, furniture, lighting and interior design. 

The opportunity is suitable for professional practicing designers at the early to mid-career stage who are based in Scotland and work independently of an organisation.

The programme is designed to support a cohort of three to five designers to improve their practical and critical practice and embed an increased knowledge and capacity around sustainability into their work.

Participants will be supported to focus their position, reflect on their work in peer-to-peer sessions and alongside invited design experts; develop their personal aesthetic; and to work with the cohort to create a final group project or presentation in 2024.

What is involved?

The programme involves mentoring; online and in-person networking and professional development sessions; studio visits; and online sessions with international experts. There will also be opportunities to network with the design sector. Collectively the cohort will critique design, further developing their critical writing and thinking skills.

Throughout the programme, participants will be supported by Local Heroes through a clearly articulated process and set of outcomes; partly co-produced by the cohort with guidance from Stacey Hunter. This will also include a Scotland-based exhibition or profile raising PR project in 2024.

To find out more and to apply please visit our Application Information Page

PROCESS is made possible with the support of the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

We extend our sincere thanks to curator Janine Matheson of Sierra Metro Gallery; Irene Kernan and Jo Scott of Craft Scotland; and Rob Morrison of Civic House who have all contributed informally to the development of our pilot programme.