Northumbria supports the search for the next generation of creative talent


The National Trust and leading architectural firm GT3 Architects have partnered with the University of Northumbria to seek out the next generation of talented architects on a project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Rising Stars Creative Partnership is a component of the National Trust’s The curtain rises project, focused on the conservation and improvement work of the historic Seaton Delaval Hall, which was acquired by the trust in 2009.

A live project inspired by the building has been set up to give students the opportunity to be creative and provide invaluable experience in the industry. With over 20 students from Northumbria’s BA Interior Design program participating in the project, Hattie Keel was crowned the winner with her striking structure centered on visual deception.

Hattie’s installation was unveiled with a celebration at Seaton Delaval Hall, where it has now been built for visitors to enjoy.

After recently graduating from Northumbria, Hattie got a job at GT3 and now works as a designer for the company, which has studios in Newcastle and Nottingham.

She explained, “My time in Northumbria has given me great insight into the industry through many live projects, including this partnership with the National Trust. Throughout the process, I also worked alongside GT3 Architects which gave me valuable professional experience in the industry.

“The Rising Stars competition allowed me to live after graduation; the knowledge he gave me boosted my confidence in my creativity and design skills. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity offered by Northumbria as it has enhanced my portfolio and helped me secure my role as a Graduate Interior Designer at GT3.

Thanks to a donation from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, since 2018 Seaton Delaval Hall has been at the center of The curtain rises project, where, in addition to improvements to visitor facilities and extensive conservation work, the stories of Seaton Delaval Hall’s colorful past are now coming to life through initiatives such as the Rising Stars Creative Partnership.

Speaking of his winning entry into the project, Hattie added, “My design was inspired by the playfulness and cunning of the Delaval family, who lived at Seaton Delaval Hall in the 18th century. I wanted to provide a space for visitors to sit and live in the structure. The seats therefore follow the natural folds of origami, allowing visitors to interact and engage with the structure.

“I really enjoyed the whole process and saw my initial concept come to life. “

Paul Ring, Associate Professor and Head of Architecture at Northumbria, said: “In creative partnership with the National Trust, Rising Stars offers a folio of live project experiences to our students across many creative disciplines, and we are delighted that Hattie’s design was chosen and then built for National Trust visitors to Seaton Delaval Hall.

“GT3 worked with the students to guide them through meetings with customers, design details, budget and manufacturing decisions. Hattie is undoubtedly a more informed and accomplished designer as a result of this experience and we are exceptionally grateful to GT3 and the National Trust for the opportunity, their expertise and their support to our students.

Taylor Grindley, project architect at GT3, was in charge of the day-to-day work. He said: “We have really enjoyed participating in the Rising Stars Project and working closely with the National Trust and the University of Northumbria. All of the designs were fantastic and incredibly creative, but Hattie really blew us away.

“We worked closely with Hattie to ensure that all aspects of the design were viable and that we could bring it to life, with construction being managed by Raskl. We love to educate and inspire the next generation of architects and designers, so the Rising Stars project has been a brilliant experience. “

Emma Thomas, Executive Director of the National Trust at Seaton Delaval Hall, said: “Hattie’s excellent design has helped us achieve our ambition to tell the stories of the Hall and our National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported project in a more meaningful way. creatively to members and visitors. The Rising Stars Project supported the employment and soft skills development of Northumbria University students and at the same time helped the National Trust to realize several creative and conservation-based ambitions.

The facilities can be visited in the Saloon at Seaton Delaval Hall.

There are a range of study options available within the Northumbria Department of Architecture and Built Environment. Discover here the courses and the equipment offered.


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