For many years, Bruntwood has been working with the Manchester School of Art to develop artwork for its offices, adding vibrancy and culture to the workplace.
Currently on display at Bruntwood’s Oxford Place are 12 installations created by seven Textiles in Practice students at the Manchester School of Art (MSA) as part of their final year degree work.
Oxford Place was chosen as home to the series of works due to its historical background in the textile industry. The project helps with the students’ professional development, giving them the experience to work on live briefs, collaborate with others and learn how to work in a real-life environment.
One MSA student in particular, Hannah Elisabeth Jones, has managed to go above and beyond the initial requirement, producing a brand new material to create her installation.
Hannah began studying Textiles in Practice at MSA in 2014 with the intention of designing wallpapers for the rest of her life, “how wrong I was,” she explains.
Hannah’s initial response to the Bruntwood brief and visiting the site was to explore the history of Oxford Place as a cotton manufacturing warehouse. “I also visited the Museum of Science and Industry, where I made a series of observational drawings of original equipment from the Cottonopolis of Manchester’s Industrial Revolution – the colour palette of ‘Static Movement’ was inspired by a particular Lancashire Loom,” explains Hannah.
Concern for the environment has driven every project Hannah has completed throughout her degree, and “the decision to explore recyclable materials was inspired by how Bruntwood as a company has recycled Oxford Place into functioning offices.”
“I never thought I would invent a new material, but through a long and tough process of trial and error, I have developed a set of unique skills in material fabrication. My creation is a new, biodegradable and flexible fabric that I have named ‘Bio-Marble’.”
Bruntwood was so impressed by the creation of the new product, they felt they wanted to acknowledge this particular achievement by Hannah. In order to protect the copyright for the new material, Bruntwood agreed to fund her membership of ACID (anti-copying in design). Bruntwood has since agreed to award this as a prize to one student each year
“Creating ‘Static Movement’ was such a brilliant and valuable experience but to then also be awarded with the ACID Copyright Prize is very exciting and a fantastic facility for protecting my invention,” says Hannah.
The Textiles in Practice course at MSA has been a valuable experience for Hannah, testing a broad range of skills, taking advantage of great facilities and also learning a lot about collaboration. “I’ve really enjoyed sharing good practice with my fellow students, we support each-other as well as identify areas we can improve in our work,” says Hannah. When installing her design in Oxford Place five other students worked with Hannah to provide their opinions and get it carefully positioned onto the wall. “It was a tricky task, but team-work made the dream work!”
Looking to the future now, Hannah plans on submitting her work for more commissions and exhibitions. “Working for Oxford Place has been an excellent and educational experience and I plan to transfer the valuable skills learnt from this project to the next,” says Hannah. Keep an eye out to see what happens next with Bio-Marble.
To find out more about Hannah's work or to see more examples of her designs, visit @hannahelisabethdesigns on Instagram.