A new hi-tech Design Suite has opened at the King Edward’s Senior School in Bath, after a major refurbishment of the old photography studio.

The new teaching space, within the Art and Photography department, has been extended and completely refitted, and now includes a design area – equipped with enough computers to teach a whole class in one sitting – a photo studio and dark room.

The new Design Suite, which will be used by Year 7 pupils through to those studying Art and Photography at A-level, has been created in response to the ever-growing impact of digital technology on the art world, where even painting and sculpture are being influenced by digital techniques, and the boundaries of art ever challenged to include a burgeoning digital art and animation scene.

State-of-the-art equipment in the new Design Suite includes digital scanners and projectors, as well as new colour printers and enhanced photo studio lighting.

Commenting on the new facility, Mr Pell, Head of Art and Photography at KES, said, “The new Design Suite has immediately made an impact on the curriculum lower down in the school, as well as the way in which GCSE or A-level pupils go about building their body of work for external exams. For example, a wearable art project with Year 8 will involve them using the new photo studio to photograph themselves in their designs, while Year 10 GCSE pupils can use the design space and computers to work on editing images used as the basis for their portrait painting.”

The new Design Suite was opened by Dr Chris Stephens, Director of the Holburne Museum, Bath at the annual Art & Photography Exhibition. During the Exhibition, Dr Stephens spoke on the life and works of David Hockney, an artist renowned for embracing new technology, including his early use of polaroid and more recently his iPhone and iPad.