BCU students go wild with design project in collaboration with Dudley Zoo


Architecture, and art and design students from Birmingham City University have teamed up with Dudley Zoological Gardens to create a collection of designs for preserving the zoo’s 1930s listed structures.

‘Tamed with a Smile’ is a collaborative art project showcasing the work of over 40 art & design and architecture students from the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design – part of Birmingham City University.

Working in teams as part of the ‘Co.LAB’ project, students were challenged with designing new structures within the current site of the zoo to support an exhibition of work generated over the year. They were also tasked with coming up with proposals to preserve and illuminate the existing 1930s structures, originally designed by Tecton – the architectural practice of Berthold Lubetkin – which form the world’s largest single collection of Tecton buildings.

Students worked individually, presenting their understanding of the zoo’s sites through the production of jewellery, film and video work, clothing lines and short stories which are now also on display as part of the exhibition.

I couldn’t be more delighted with the level of engagement students have shown whilst working at Dudley Zoo. The breadth and sophistication of their work, as demonstrated in this exhibition and publication, is a testament to their rigorous approach. It is our hope that their contribution will cast new light on this often marginalized site of international importance.”
Stuart Whipps
Lecturer in Art & Design at Birmingham City University

Mike Dring, Programme Director for MArch in Architecture at Birmingham City University added: “Tamed With A Smile has been a fantastic opportunity for disciplines to collaborate both within the University and with a significant external partner, and reflects the outward looking position of the Co.Lab projects and wider academic community here at Birmingham City University.”

Finished works are now on display at the exhibition, open daily at Dudley Zoological Gardens until Sunday 30th June.

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