Hartlepool art students spread green message

Students from Hartlepool’s Northern School of Art have been showing film industry experts how their degree course has succeeded in becoming more sustainable.

By Tom Patterson
Monday, 12 August, 2019, 10:40
The full-size "Green" replica of a period train carriage created by second year students on The Northern School of Art.

Lecturer Norman Austick was invited to speak at a BAFTA event about how the college’s production design for stage and screen course the move had been driven by environmentally-conscious students looking for ways to reduce their chosen industry’s impact on the planet.

Mr Austick said: “These cover everything from how we run the course to how the students design and build their sets. Something as simple as giving feedback for projects online rather than as a printout saved reams of paper in one module alone.

“And when the students had to print their designs, they crowd-funded to buy some trees to counter the environmental impact.”

Second year students, from left, Lydia Maclure, Hope Harvey, Joe Littler and Chloe Smith.

The pinnacle of the green achievements for second year students was the creation of a full-size replica of a period train carriage which had a zero-carbon footprint.

The train set’s design and construction used sustainable production methods and techniques with the entire set being made from items that can be recycled or are biodegradable.

Hartlepool student, Joe Littler, 19, said: “It was amazing to see the train go from a pile of recycled wood to a completed set and I enjoyed working to see the project through from start to finish.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Sustainability was also at the core of the futuristic set created by final year production 20-year-old design student Ben Whitelock, who graduated this summer with first class honours in production design for stage and screen.

Student Ben Whitelock

His final major project was a set design for a film adaptation of futuristic dystopian novel and Ben’s design was largely sustainable and built from recycled materials.

He said: “Sustainability is a big thing in the industry now and my set was constructed with a view to it being easily dismantled so it can be reused.

“I love designing and building things so this course has been perfect for me.”

The Northern School of Art is the only specialist provider of creative courses in the North East with a top rating in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework.

Production design for stage and screen course lecturer Norman Austick