Swansea Streetwrap


The Swansea Streetwrap scheme will soon see utility boxes on High Street in Swansea decorated to improve the look of a key city centre gateway.

Surface Pattern Design Students from Swansea College of Art at University of Wales Trinity St David have developed designs for the utility boxes, thanks to a partnership project between Swansea Council, Coastal Housing Group and Volcano Theatre who are working together as part of the Station2Sea project.

The Surface Pattern Design students have been encouraged to develop patterns in response to Swansea related themes, taking inspiration from the immediate High Street locality, from cultural hotspots like Swansea Museum, the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and the National Waterfront Museum.

The students’ designs are being exhibited at Volcano from Tuesday 23rd January – Sat 3rd February, 10am – 5pm (10am-12pm Saturdays; not Sundays) and members of the public are invited to come along and vote for their favourite designs. In the next few months, the designs with the most votes will then be applied to up to 10 utility boxes in and around the High Street area.

Surface Pattern Design students at work.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Major Projects, said: “This scheme follows on from several other successful projects in recent years as the council continues to work with a large number of partners to improve the look and feel of High Street. This is important because High Street is an important gateway in and out of the city centre for many thousands of pedestrians and motorists every day.

“Although functional and safe, many of the 20 utility boxes in and around the High Street area don’t look great at the moment because of a combination of dirt, rust and peeling paint, so it makes sense to give them a new lease of life by harnessing the creative power of local university students who specialise in art and design.

“Not only will this project add more colour and vibrancy to High Street, but it will also further strengthen the growing relationship between the council and local creative talent as we work closely alongside one-another for the benefit of Swansea people and visitors to the city.”

During the project, careful attention will be given to the utility boxes to ensure they continue to be functional, safe and easy to open as per similar successful schemes that can be found across Europe.

Dr Sean Jenkins, of UWTSD, said: “UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art has played an important role in contributing to the vibrant art and design culture of Swansea for many decades, and this recent project continues that tradition in a highly visible way.  This exciting project with Swansea Council, Coastal Housing Group and Volcano Theatre has proved to be a great opportunity for our Surface Pattern Design students to make a creative and colourful mark on their city and paves the way for future creative collaborations that will enhance the city and engage with the community in a refreshing and dynamic way.”

Carrie Rhys-Davies, Programme Manager for Station2Sea, said:

“We’re so pleased to see this project come to fruition after Lisa, the City Centre Manager, initially floated the idea of decorating utility boxes on High Street. This is the first time Swansea College of Art, Swansea’s City Centre Management team and Station2Sea have all worked together in this way, and we’re already exploring how else we can collaborate to pattern the public realm, transforming the High Street’s terrain into a colourful canvas that inspires civic pride and makes a case for the value of innovative high quality design in positively influencing how people experience their local area.

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