Dundee Design Jams

What is a Jam?

What is a Jam?


For one weekend, creative, passionate people will meet, form teams & get to work in an energetic, global, constructive event. They’ll have fun creating brand new real world projects, design concepts and initiatives which might make a difference.

Think of a design jam the same way you would a music jam session. At a jam you bring all of your instruments, skills, and knowledge, a theme is set and you begin to jam. It’s not about having pre-set ideas, over analysing or spending hour and hour talking about what you plan to do. At a jam everyone comes together, you play around with ideas, push yourself to try something new and share insights with with your team. In the end you are left with something that is greater than any one member could have produced on their own, but you will all walk away with new skills, fresh ideas, a better understanding of your strengths and having had a blast of a time.
a great time.

Sustainability Jam Team prototyping project on the streets of Dundee.


Everyone is welcome to join a jam, no matter what your background everybody has skills that they can contribute at the jam. In previous Dundee jams we have seen jammers from all walks of life:

Service designers, object designers, sustainability experts, professors, community activists, business people, public sector workers, mums, teachers, hackers, makers, artists, students, kids.

It takes a whole range of skills and viewpoints to create brand-new real-world ideas in just 48 hours! Every year jammers from all across the globe do just that.

Jamming is a truly global experience

Jammers in Dundee (right) sharing their project with the Beirut Service Jam (left).
Jammers in Dundee (right) sharing their project with the Beirut Service Jam (left).

In 2013 there were over 140 service jams spread across the planet, that’s a lot of talent and cultural viewpoints to tap into. Jamming is all about sharing experiences and throughout the weekend you’ll be linked to other jammers all over the globe, who will be working simultaneously in different ways on different answers to the same challenge – sharing problems, advice, and insights.

As a major player in the global jam community Dundee is well connected and you could find yourself conducting research with New York, getting feedback from Mumbai or speaking to an industry expert 10 time zones away in Sydney.


We asked our sustainability jammers last year to share their thoughts and feelings on the jam experiences: