School competition to celebrate art and design heritage draws inspiration from famous author

Young people at schools and colleges in the East Midlands are invited to join the celebrations of Nottingham Trent University's 170-year art and design heritage with a competition that draws inspiration from one of Nottingham's most famous authors.

Alan Crisp
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Alan Crisp, principal lecturer in product design, is asking young people to delve into the creative mind of DH Lawrence

Young people at schools and colleges in the East Midlands are invited to join the celebrations of Nottingham Trent University's 170-year art and design heritage with a competition that draws inspiration from one of Nottingham's most famous authors.

Children at secondary schools and colleges across Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire are being challenged to design a lamp, create a painting or write a poem or a piece of prose which reflects the works of DH Lawrence.

The winners of the lamp design competition will be invited into the University to make the light they have designed with the help of the University's product design experts.

The winning lamps - as well as the winning pieces of writing - will then go on show at the University's exhibition for Nottingham Light Night in February, alongside that of the University's undergraduates and alumni.

The competition is one of a number of activities organised to celebrate the 170-years since the establishment of the Nottingham Government School of Design, the origin of Art and Design education in Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.

The works of DH Lawrence were chosen because in his writing he made references to the historic Arkwright building, which is now home to Nottingham Trent University's School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.

Alan Crisp, principal lecturer in product design at the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, said: "As part of our upcoming celebrations of the city's magnificent art and design heritage, we're planning to showcase some of the brightest young talent in the region today.

"We're asking young people to delve into the creative mind of Lawrence and use this as inspiration to produce an original piece of work to celebrate the author's contribution to Nottingham's culture.

"Light design has been an important element of our product design curriculum since the early 1960s and we want to draw people into the 'magic world' of the University, as it was once described by Lawrence.

"Guided by lights, people will be invited into the famous entrance of the Arkwright building, which Lawrence wrote about in his novel The Rainbow, through Benefactors Court and into the exhibition.

"We think this competition is a fantastic way for schools and colleges to get the next generation excited about design while also teaching them about the artistic heritage of our incredibly creative city."

There will be a short lecture on DH Lawrence and two workshops – one focusing on lamp design and the other on writing prose and poetry.

Lucy Haddon, 18, a student at Aldercar Community Language College in Langley Mill, is already looking forward to the challenge. She said: "Lawrence influences me as a poet as he openly voices his opinions. His witty, honest and strong-minded personality is inspiring to see throughout his work as it shows he isn't afraid to speak his mind, rather than just blatantly saying what everyone else wants to hear."

The deadline for entries to the competition is Friday 11 January. All winners will receive a £50 Amazon voucher.

For more details about Nottingham Trent University's 170 year celebrations, visit Since 1843.

School competition to celebrate art and design heritage draws inspiration from famous author

Published on 8 January 2014
  • Category: Press office; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment

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