Brighton Marina Benches: Student’s Winning Design

Brighton Marina has a fresh new look, thanks to the creative talents of University of Brighton student Tiana Szalajda-Smith. Tiana, a third-year Design for Digital Media student, has won the annual competition to design the public benches at Brighton Marina. Her vibrant design, which celebrates the flora and fauna of Sussex, now adorns 27 benches across the marina, including the iconic waterfront.

The competition, which invites students from the School of Art and Media to submit their designs, saw Tiana’s work emerge as the public favourite. More than 1,300 votes were cast, with Tiana’s design receiving a whopping 625 votes. The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Sussex Nature and Wildlife,’ and Tiana’s design perfectly encapsulated this, featuring seagulls, foxes, bumblebees, pigeons, crabs, and even a little sausage dog on the boardwalk.

Tiana expressed her excitement and gratitude, saying, “It felt like my work was being recognised by a wider audience for the first time, and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. The fact that my design work is leaving my bedroom for once and going out into the real world where regular people walk by every day is very exciting.”

The initiative, launched last year, ensures that the winning designs remain on the benches until the start of the next year’s competition. The judging panel, comprised of artists and lecturers, selected three designs for the public vote in April.

Sophie Chandler, marketing manager at Brighton Marina, praised the competition’s success and Tiana’s design, stating, “Her design captured the Sussex wildlife beautifully while also reflecting elements of the city.”

Vanessa Marr, Tiana’s lecturer and course leader, added, “Tianna’s winning design captured the diversity of our coastal wildlife, through a colourful composition that is dynamic and surely appealing to all who visit the area.”

The production and installation of the benches were funded by Landsec, the landlord of Brighton Marina. This initiative not only beautifies the marina but also provides a significant platform for budding artists to showcase their talent. Congratulations to Tiana for her outstanding achievement!


Image credit: Umpf Limited


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