Students take part in Swansea High Street regeneration project


Students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David were delighted to launch a new exhibition in Swansea this week.

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Street Wrap is an exhibition in produced by Surface Pattern Design students from UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art. The university collaborated with Swansea’s City Centre Management team and From the Station to the Sea to produce a series of patterns that decorate the public realm, starting with the utility boxes on High Street.

Senior Lecturer Georgia McKie said: “We couldn’t resist the opportunity to embrace this project.  It’s a perfect way of thanking Swansea for all it gives our students, year in, year out, by giving something back to the city.  To be involved in a regeneration project such as this, right on our door step, and enhance our direct locality with these vibrant “Swansea inspired” patterns, is a real privilege.”

The students, who are in their 3rd and 4th year of UWTSD's Surface Pattern Design course, have transformed faded and peeling utility boxes on Swansea High Street into striking, decorative objects, which will draw people to High Street and contribute to the area’s distinctive identity and growing reputation for innovative artistic interventions.

The students were briefed in October 2017 to design bold and colourful patterns, inspired by the street itself, Swansea or their own practice. The exhibition is the culmination of over 3 months’ work. You are invited to look at all the ideas, admire the skill and talent of these young designers working right here in the heart of the city and think about which patterns you’d most like to see out on your local High Street. Then cast your vote! The designs with the most votes will be made up into vinyl 'skins' for the utility boxes, to be installed in spring 2018.

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The project is inspired by UWTSD’s collaboration with Mark Eley of design duo Eley Kishimoto, renowned for their bold, graphic, textile patterns and fashion label. More recently they have a gained reputation for their innovative pattern interventions made in the community, in the spirit of urban regeneration, most notably in Brixton. Whilst you’re here, why not head up the road and check out Eley Kishimoto Project and the exhibition currently on in the Alex Building, Swansea College of Art.

This is the first time Swansea College of Art, Swansea’s City Centre Management team and From the Station to the Sea have worked together in this way, and we’re already exploring how else we can collaborate to pattern the public realm, transforming the High Street’s terrain into a colourful canvas that inspires civic pride and makes a case for the value of innovative high-quality design in positively influencing how people experience their local area.

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