A group of Material Practice students from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) have built a stunning canopy as part of Craft Scotland’s exhibition at London Design Fair.

Located on the roof terrace of the Truman Brewery, the temporary structure was designed and manufactured in Edinburgh by Agustin Dieste. It was then assembled on-site in London in just over 24 hours with the help of technicians and fellow students, including Katerina Alkiviadou, Lewis Alastair James Lilburn and Charlie Patterson. 

Over the course of the four-day industry event, which annually brings together 450 exhibitors from 29 countries and attracts over 25,000 visitors, the canopy enclosed an exhibition of work by current and former Material Practice students, including reclaimed Cross Laminated Timber sculptures and furniture by Lewis Alastair James Lilburn, and foldable furniture (using marine plywood) by Katerina Alkiviadou. 

Alumnus, Charlie Patterson, who helped with the build, gave live demonstrations of 3D printing onto textile using designs responding to the flow of people through the exhibition.

Elegant, intelligent and inspiring

The canopy formed part of Scotland: Craft & Design presented by Craft Scotland and Emergents as Scotland’s first ever national pavilion at London Design Fair.

Jo Scott, Project Manager for Craft Scotland, said:

“What the students presented was elegant, intelligent and inspiring; a credit to them and the Material Practice programme. It was great to see so many visitors and exhibitors at the fair engaging with the students, the work and the structure”.

Scotland: Craft & Design also included pieces by a number of ECA alumni and tutors, including Glass graduates Juli Bolanos Durman and Choi Keeryong, Illustration graduate Jode Pankhurst, Sculpture graduates David Robson and Clare Waddle (working together as Yellow Broom), and Jewellery and Silversmithing tutor, Jennifer Gray.

On the second day of the Fair, Dr Juliette MacDonald (Head of the School of Design at ECA) chaired a debate exploring a new vernacular for Scotland’s thriving creative scene, with panellists Grant McCaig, Gunnar Groves-Raines, Natalie Melton and Remo Pedreschi.

Material Practice at Edinburgh College of Art

Our MSc in Material Practice is an exciting one-year programme that takes an innovative, cross-disciplinary approach to understanding the qualities and potential of different physical materials.

The brief for the London Design Fair canopy was to create a temporary roof, prompting Agustin to use digital fabrication to update Fritz Zollinger’s 1921 design for a lamella structure using short lengths of birch plywood (each weighing just 0.9 kilogrammes) in the ECA workshops and FABLAB in the School of Engineering.

The project was overseen by Remo Pedreschi and Cristina Nan, with special thanks to Catriona Gilbert for her help with the fabrication and installation.

Over the course of their year at ECA, Agustin, Katerina and Lewis Alastair James have also taken part in a bid to create the world’s largest, single-span ice structure in Finland.

Are you interested in studying Material Practice at Edinburgh College of Art?

Whether you have a background in art, design or architecture, or your skills and experience are in technological-based disciplines, this programme will build on your existing expertise and expand your understanding of both material techniques and collaborative practice.

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