College students impress in Royal Opera House Design Challenge

Eastbourne Design Students SUS-180220-115144001
Eastbourne Design Students SUS-180220-115144001

Local students from Sussex Downs College have gained prestigious awards in the Royal Opera House Design Challenge 2018.

They scooped four top prizes, as well as two highly commended awards, representing the largest single award to any college in the competition.

Eden Hedges, 18, from, Heathfield, was announced the winner in ‘Marketing Strategy and Design’. Laurel Pearce, 18, from Eastbourne, won the Highly Commended Award in the same category, while Felix Scott, 17, from Eastbourne, won the Highly Commended award for ‘Set Design’. All three students are currently in their second year of the OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma in Art and Design.

Eden designed an eye-catching poster and produced a fantastic short animation. Not only did this help to secure the Marketing Strategy prize but he is also now been able to achieve direct entry to university with offers from three well known establishments.

He will also be invited to see a matinee performance of Carmen at the Royal Opera House, including a backstage tour and some time with the industry professionals in the relevant ROH department.

This year’s winners and those identified at highly commended will exhibit their work as part of the Opera: Passion, Power and Politics exhibition running at the V&A Museum in February.

The Royal Opera House’s prestigious Design Challenge is a national competition aimed at the next generation of aspiring set and costume designers, makers and marketing specialists. The annual competition is open to all UK FE colleges and sixth form schools or colleges, with over 1,000 students participating and being tasked with reimagining Richard Strauss’s Salome to test their design skills and show their vision for a production. Sussex Downs College students have won awards in the Design Challenge for six years running.

James DiBiase, Course Leader of Visual Arts at Sussex Downs College, coordinates the project. He said, “The Royal Opera House Design Challenge is a remarkable project. It is an incredible opportunity for our students to engage with a live brief, a real client and design for the most prestigious stage in the country.

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