Welcome to Architecture and Design Scotland

A photograph of two people on a park bench surrounded by wooden planters, art installations and two colourful glass screens
Event attendees at the Climate Action Towns Gathering event watching the premiere of the Climate Action Towns film in a room.
Climate Action Towns Gathering event at the Engine Shed in Stirling.

Explore our Annual Review for 2023

The document and online resource provides information about our work with communities, local authorities and other stakeholders to achieve a Scotland whose places are healthy, sustainable and thriving where everyone works together to shape their future.

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Making better places for everyone

At Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) we believe that design has the power to bring people together and make better places for everyone. This belief comes from seeing first-hand how design can help resolve complex, and sometimes, conflicting issues. Design has a unique and vital role to play in transforming places and changing lives. We are here to make sure it plays that role to the full.

About us
A woman wearing a coat sits on a bench. She is in a garden filled with public artworks.

Why is place so important?

The relationship we have with the places we use and experience has a profound impact on our behaviour, our environment, and even our life chances. Knowing that, we work to ensure our places are designed from the very outset to enhance lives and strengthen communities. We call this the Place Principle.

Image credit: Miss Lydia Photography

The Place Principle

Making the Place Principle an everyday reality

Experience tells us that a place is far better when the people who live, work and play there come together to help shape it. From sustainability and transport, to amenities and accessibility, the Place Principle encourages us all to think about all the things our communities need from the very beginning. Our corporate strategy sets out the way in which we can create, adapt and sustain our places, and establish the Place Principle as the ‘new normal’ throughout Scotland.

Main image credit: Miss Lydia Photography (2022)

How we help