Here is an interesting fact I learnt the other day. During the 1970’s much of the student body at Bristol polytechnic (later then to become UWE) dubbed Frenchay campus as ‘Colditz’ (As in the German Prisoner of war camp.) The reason for this supposed nickname was because of its cold grey architecture, its poor transport links and the social isolation that comes from being miles from anything.
The discerning amongst you may argue that not a lot has changed – at least architecturally speaking!
After wandering around grey buildings at UWE for three years, and now with the ‘selling off’ of St Matt’s- I think we need to make UWE Frenchay a more personal space which makes us the student’s feel like they belong to it.
The other evening a friend and I were talking about how Frenchay’s grim buildings could be transformed and how we could make the campus itself more inspirational. We both love the graffiti scene in Bristol and thought to ourselves how brilliant it would be to breathe inspiration into the university buildings!
One building especially in need of some attention is the sinister looking student’s union building – F block.
Could it be transformed into something really aesthetically pleasing, rather than its current appearance of a 1970’s concrete office Lego set?
From the outside it is unappealing to the eye, uninspiring and generally boring and grey.
We want to use graffiti art to decorate and liven up UWE and turn it into something we can be proud of!
We believe many of the buildings around our UWE campus are grey and cold looking. By improving our facilities with graffiti art, we would be able to create vibrant social areas and show that UWE seeks to improve the student experience.
By allowing students to have a say in how our university buildings look, we believe this will enable students to feel proud to be part of the UWE student community. Through graffiti art we can express the values that we share such as cultural diversity and equality.
If this campaign proves to be a success, it could put UWE at the forefront of innovation, showing the wider world and prospective students what UWE stands for.
If this is something that you would like to see on campus then join the campaign! There is now a Facebook group which is growing steadily Join this group, invite your friends at UWE, Let’s take back our university buildings and make them beautiful.
Together we can make this happen!
If it were to go ahead, what designs would you like to see? The plan is firstly to rally support for the campaign, then to attempt to pass a motion at a student’s council meeting. If all goes well, this would mean OUR student representatives would then be mandated to take the idea forward with UWE management on student’s behalf.
With Bristol’s great tradition of graffiti art, wouldn’t be great to have some professional artwork here on campus?
Who knows, perhaps Banksy may even put in an appearance in the form of his artwork!?
So if you’re a budding artist, have some ideas of designs or just love the idea, join the group. L
Link to the Facebook campaign group:
There is also an E-survey on the group, so if you have time to answer it then that would be great. Let’s brighten up Frenchay!