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Local Plymouth creatives have used their digital skills to protect the city’s wildflower meadows. Following a workshop led by the Smart Citizens program at Plymouth College of Art, the signs were installed to celebrate and protect the spaces used for urban re-wildness.

Co-hosted by Plymouth City Council’s Green Minds Project, which conducts a number of local re-wilding activities, the workshop allowed participants to combine new computer-aided design (CAD) skills with their creative talents to produce nature-centric panels, which were then laser cut at the Fab Lab Plymouth and installed in 24 locations.

In addition to gaining new expertise in digital design, participants learned the laser cutting process and how to use Inkscape, the 2D design software. Through digital designs and messages, attendees hope their panels will raise awareness of the importance of wildflower meadows – which are essential for maintaining the city’s biodiversity, creating new habitats, and encouraging people to connect more with it. nature.

“Laser cutting gives a completely different feel to other mediums I have used in the past. I found that the whole workshop opened my eyes and it was a vital experience for my creative practice ” – Bethan Price-Nicholls, Plymouth College of Art

Bethan Price-Nicholls, a student who just completed her first year in BA (Hons) Illustration at Plymouth College of Art, said: “I love experimenting with new materials and media. By participating in the workshop, I discovered the laser cutting process, which I had never seen up close before.

“Laser cutting gives a completely different feel to other mediums I have used in the past. I found that the whole workshop opened my eyes and it was a vital experience for my creative practice, teaching me that there are still many ways to develop and learn. It also greeted me with the opportunity to expand my creative practice and really step out of my comfort zone to try more new things.

The project joins a selection of other nature and conservation-themed workshops organized by the Smart Citizens Program, harnessing the power of digital design to create things that benefit wildlife and the environment. Previous events have allowed attendees to create laser-cut birdhouses and assemble Smart Citizen Kit sensors to collect and monitor important environmental data around Plymouth.

Commenting on the Wild Grasslands Project, Councilor Patrick Nicholson, Deputy Head of Plymouth City Council, said: “It has been great working with local projects to create these fun signs and show people how great these grasslands are. wild flowers are beautiful and important – not just to people. , but also for wildlife.

“Every wildflower meadow is home to so many plants and insects and we can now share this message with the communities of Plymouth.”

Since their installation, the wildflower meadow panels have been met with enthusiasm by the public, demonstrating a clear commitment to Green Minds’ re-wild goals. As a result of this public support, another 60 signs have been commissioned by Plymouth City Council, which will be laser cut at the Fab Lab Plymouth and installed in new locations around the city in the spring of 2022.


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