New seating is set to be installed in Alvaston thanks to the design skills of a group of students.
The seats were designed by students of Kingsmead School and Engineered Learning (EL), in partnership with the local community. They were inspired by the former Derby canal – an area now used as a cycle and footpath.
EL, Sustrans and Derby City Council partnered to form the Creative Pathways initiative. This is a scheme that enables young people from across the city to enhance their design and fabrication training through a creative learning programme.
Students from EL are engaged in public realm solutions and structures in the form of “engineered artworks”. All the artworks are funded by local developers, sponsors – in this case, Aldi and Merril College – to improve local identity of their places.
Last year Sustrans coordinated a consultation with local residents to find out what they wanted to see in their local area, specifically for the footpath and cycle route. It was decided that seating would be an excellent addition. The consultation flagged that residents wanted to see floral elements in any artwork, and as a result, planting has been incorporated into the initial design.
Councillor Sarah Russell, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:
“Schemes like the Creative Pathways initiative are a brilliant way of engaging young people with education. Pupils from Kingsmead have been involved in the project from the very beginning, and they will be seeing it through from design to installation. They get to see their own designs come to life, and that’s a really great way to show the value of their hard work.
“Not only do we have students learning, but we are also welcoming a brilliant new piece of art into the local community. I’m sure this will be well received by residents, and I hope that we can continue to work with students to create more pieces of work like this.”
The seats are made from Weathering Steel, the same material used for tanks during WW2, freight containers and the Angel of the North.
Councillor Paul Bayliss, Chair of the Alvaston Neighbourhood Board added that he was extremely pleased to see Derby’s engineering heritage being nurtured in such an innovative way.
Creative Pathways is a partnership between Engineered Learning and Derby City Council. It enables young people from across the city to enhance their design and fabrication training through a creative learning programme.