Students provide the spotlight at charity launch

Design students illuminate farmhouse for charity opening

Date posted

9 April 2018


Last updated

19 March 2020

Masters students from Edinburgh Napier University shone a spotlight on their skills recently by illuminating a renovated farmhouse for a charity event.

Chloe Salvi, Egle Prokopaviciute and Merve Karabay, all Lighting Design students, and Beatriz Messias, who studies Motion Graphics, were brought on board to help Bridgend Inspiring Growth (BIG), a community-owned organisation aimed at renovating Bridgend Farmhouse to create a centre for learning, eating and exercise. The project was part of their Light Art and Projection module and they teamed up with fellow students from the music department who created a special soundscape for the projection.

The official launch of the new-look premises took place last Saturday (24 March) and the Edinburgh Napier students made sure to shine a light on the project by providing various creative designs which illuminated the farmhouse over the course of the evening.

“Being at the launch and seeing our work projected on the wonderful canvas of the renovated farmhouse was an amazing experience,” said Chloe. “Bridgend is such a great platform for engaging the community and the work the volunteers have been doing to bring it all to life is incredible. There was a wonderful atmosphere on the night – people really enjoyed the evening, music and projections and we felt grateful that we were able to contribute to the celebrations with our designs.”

The charity’s goal is to help people live more healthily and happily, address social inequalities and isolation, strengthen community involvement and contribute to local health, learning and green space strategies. The students wanted to take the history of the farmhouse into consideration and spoke to the volunteers who renovated it to understand what message and concepts were important to incorporate in the projection.

“We chose to work on an abstract / metaphoric animation of the history of the farmhouse,” explained Chloe. “Its past as an active farm, the time it became run down and destroyed by a fire and the new beginning and growth as a centre for community workshops and community engagement.

“Beatriz, who is majoring in Motion Graphic, created the original animation content based on the concepts we had selected and my tutor Malcolm Innes and I designed some decorative colourful shapes as backdrop for the rest of the evening projection show. All of us worked as a team on design feedback and storyboarding for Bea's animation, did some site visits and gathered archive material from the volunteers at the farmhouse.

“On the evening we worked with our tutor Malcolm using a set-up with large projectors and projection mapping software to display the animation, archival images of the farm and the patterns designs on the surface of the farmhouse.”

Light it up...

A lot of work went into the project and Chloe said she and her fellow students learned a great deal from the experience.

“It's always interesting to work on a live project such as this one,” she said. “Not only do you get to see a project from brief to realisation on-site but you also have the opportunity to learn all the little challenges and troubleshooting that a live project requires.

“A lot of these kind of projects require not only creativity and design but a lot of planning and communication with everyone involved. A few days before the opening we went on site with our tutor Malcolm to test the projector’s location and the visual content on the actual farmhouse facade as well as test some lighting design of colours for the front of the building. It was great to be able to help him set up and we learnt a lot in terms of understanding the level of preparation required to complete a live project successfully.

“I particularly enjoyed the combination of lighting design, motion graphic and projection skills that were used to create a layered project. Everyone in the team at Edinburgh Napier and from Bridgend was fantastic to work with, committed and enthusiastic. Overall it was a great experience.”

Donna McArdle, development manager at Bridgend Inspiring Growth, said: “The light show was a truly magical experience with the projections onto the Farmhouse and the live music to accompany it, being so beautifully blending together.

“Everybody was spell bound and couldn't stop talking about it. I recently changed the Facebook page to show the Farmhouse with the logo projected from the show. It has inspired all of us, to see even more opportunities to be creative in the future.”

Design at Edinburgh Napier