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Our Journal

Design Workshops Take Shape

On Thursday 7th February we held a 'Steel Frame' ceremony to celebrate the completion of the first phase in our exciting new build project.

On Thursday 7th February we held a 'Steel Frame' ceremony to celebrate the completion of the first phase in our exciting new build project.

In the face of aggressive cuts in the education and arts, we are proud to be swimming against the tide, investing over £7.7M into building brand new, state-of-the-art workshops for the development of contemporary crafts and design education in Plymouth.

Phil Bailey, Business Development Manager for Mansell said “This is a really big project for us in the heart of the city.” Our Graphic Design and Illustration students are currently undertaking a brief to create designs which will cover the hoardings surrounding the construction site. “We are always keen to find ways of involving students in our projects.”

The new workshop block will provide an additional 2,034 square metres of specialist workshop space providing students, staff and visiting artists, access to cutting edge workshops, studio spaces and a range of industry level equipment. The first stage of the project is due to open in time for the September term with completion soon after in February 2014. First year contemporary crafts student, Alana Harrison, is excited to be one of the first students to use the facilities when they open in September “There will be more digital equipment and facilities available to add to the traditional equipment we’ve been using. It will allow me to vary the type of work I can do which will be great for my future career opportunities.”

At a time when many schools are looking to reduce their art education facilities, Plymouth College of Art are taking action to combat this decline in creative education and are investing £5.2M of their own funds along with a £2.5M grant from the Skills Funding Agency.

During the ceremony, representatives for Mansell, Project Manager Steve McShane and Business Development Manager Phil Bailey, presented a silver spanner, marking the tightening of the last bolt on the steel frame, to contemporary crafts students from the College and Charitable Trust member Paul Cardew of Rame Bart Studio in Cornwall who is also an alumni. Paul said “I feel life has come full circle, being a student in the late 60s, early 70s it’s interesting to compare my experience here, at the time it was an adventure. Becoming a trustee of the college and seeing the new developments – I want to be a student again!”

The new facilities have provided the opportunity for new courses to be introduced to the college’s offerings. September will see the introduction of BTEC Extended Diploma in Interior, Architectural and Product (3D), an adventurous new course that will give student the necessary skills to shape, test and realise their ideas preparing them for careers in architecture, interior design, product design, furniture or automotive design, exhibition design and model making.