Working with British Glass as their client, they must design and create an installation that will encourage members of the public to gain a better understanding and appreciation for glass.
Peter Dixon, Senior Lecturer in the University's School of Art, Architecture & Design, explained: “This is the first time that British Glass have partnered with a university in this way, and we couldn’t be happier to be working with them. This is a fantastic opportunity for the students to work alongside and learn from real, industry professionals.
“Glass is a unique material for sculpture because no other medium has the ability to change colour, texture, and seemingly, mass. British Glass have asked the students to investigate innovative ways of creating abstract art works in the form of installations. The work produced should promote the qualities and properties of glass to the public.
“What we have tried to do is to develop a brief that helps the students tell a story of what glass could be. It doesn’t mean they have to use glass. They might use the ingredients of glass such as sand or silica. It’s more about getting them to really engage with glass and its potential. Students have created some very emotive installations that stimulate both emotions and the senses - some very personal - and many being site specific picking up on the narrative associated with their given sites.”
Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Leeds Beckett University on this project. The Interior Design & Architecture course has an established reputation for creativity and ingenuity which aligns with our vision for the future of glass, a material that we firmly believe has its architectural and technological horizon ahead of it. We are excited to see the students’ ideas and look forward to working with the university to enhance their learning experience, inspiring the next generation of architects and designers to understand and utilise glass in new ways.”
The project, which will conclude this month, has included site visits to the North East of England, to the International Glass Centre and St Peters church, both in Sunderland and the site of the first piece of stain glass in 684AD, St Paul’s in Jarrow.