Bard, Edinburgh’s new shop and gallery, celebrates Scottish design

Hugo Macdonald and James Stevens explore Scottish cultural identity with Bard, their new space in Leith, Edinburgh

interior of Bard
The interior of Bard
(Image credit: Edvinas Bruzas )

Bard, a new shop and gallery in Leith, Edinburgh, showcases the work of 35 contemporary Scottish makers and designers in an eclectic curation of Scottish design set over two floors.

Founded by Hugo Macdonald and James Stevens, Bard brings together pieces crafted in a mix of materials, from silver, stone, seaweed and sea plastic to ceramic, glass, textile, leather, wood, willow, and 3D-printed plastic waste. For the design of the space, Stevens draws on a design background honed at Retrouvius, as well as on his experience in creating stores for Perfumer H and Bella Freud and homes for Eddie Redmayne and Helena Bonham-Carter, in a joyful juxtaposition of texture and warm hues.

interior of Bard

Founders of Bard, Hugo Macdonald and James Stevens

(Image credit: Norman Wilcox Geissen)

‘Our mission is to help people feel excited about living with and using contemporary craft and design in everyday life,’ he says on the warm aesthetic. ‘So it made sense to us to present what we are showing in a domestic environment, mixing high with low, clashing materials, colours and textures, just as you’d find in the home of someone with the confidence to express themselves boldly through the things that they live with.’

For Macdonald, formerly of Wallpaper* and Monocle, and former brand director of Studioilse, the project is an opportunity to explore collaborations and commissions with the new talent discovered on the married duo’s tour around mainline Scotland, in visits to over 60 homes, studios, workshops and factories.

interior of Bard

(Image credit: Edvinas Bruzas )

‘Bard is a professional and personal endeavour,’ he says. ‘We are interested to ask questions about Scottish cultural identity, past and future, through made objects, makers and manufacturers. We hope Bard will be a propositional home for asking relevant questions about who we are through what we make.’

As well as the new space, the duo are set to launch an exhibition programme in spring 2023, kicking off with the show '100 x 100', in which 100 Scottish people will choose an object they think represents contemporary Scotland.

‘Bard is a cultural project, not just a commercial one,’ Stevens adds. ‘We wanted to find out what was being made in Scotland, where, by who and how. We also wanted to find out why – asking what inspires and motivates people to make today?’

Bard
1 Custom Wharf
Leith, Edinburgh
EH6 6AL

bard-scotland.com (opens in new tab)

interior of Bard

(Image credit: Edvinas Bruzas )

interior of Bard

(Image credit: Edvinas Bruzas )

interior of Bard

(Image credit: Edvinas Bruzas )

interior of Bard

(Image credit: Edvinas Bruzas )

interior of Bard

(Image credit: Edvinas Bruzas )

Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.