Northumbria University’s School of Design is collaborating with English Heritage on a new design exhibition that will be housed within an historic Northumberland castle.
Aydon Castle near Corbridge will play host to a collection of objects that have been inspired by the castle, its history and the setting, created by designers who are all Northumbria staff and alumni.
The pieces to be displayed are household furniture and objects made from wood, metal, fabric and glass that offer a contemporary interpretation of historic materials associated with the unique venue. The exhibition will take place on the castle’s top floor for visitors to enjoy during the Reimagining Aydon exhibition.
Much of the original décor that was once found in the castle has been lost over the centuries and there are only limited records of the people who lived and worked there. This offered a blank canvas for the team of designers to reimagine new objects that creatively respond to the site.
‘We were conscious that Aydon Castle was a home and workplace for more than 700 years but, beyond a few names, there is little record of the individuals who lived there,’ said Anthony Forsyth, a senior lecturer in the School of Design. ‘Creating objects for the space has felt like a privilege in giving a human element back to the building.
‘At times, it has felt like a conversation with the people who might have lived there and whose lives we can only imagine,’ he continued. ‘We hope that, by making new pieces to furnish the space, we can make the lives of the people who once lived there more relatable, that their needs and hopes were not so different to ours.’
‘Aydon is such a beautiful place and working on this installation and with such a talented group of designers has been hugely gratifying,’ said Frances McIntosh, a curator at English Heritage. ‘We hope that visitors will be able to identify resonances and lessons for the things we create today, while offering new perspectives on historical practices, materials and typologies.’
Reimagining Aydon will run from 9 June until the end of October.