West Lothian 3D Design Challenge

Jupiter Artland, in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce, are collaborating to bring a new 3D Design Challenge to West Lothian. Students often lack opportunities to work in 3D as part of their standard curriculum therefore Jupiter Artland, as leaders in the field of outdoor education and working in response to landscape, have set this exciting challenge to give students an opportunity to develop a new set of creative skills. The project is in the initial stages and will run from September 2019 – June 2020.

Jupiter Artland Foundation is a contemporary sculpture park set in 120 acres of woodland in West Lothian. It is a registered charity, committed to nurturing the work of outstanding contemporary artists and commissioning site-specific works in response to the landscape. At the heart of everything is a ground-breaking learning programme, offering free visits for nurseries, schools, colleges, universities and community groups.

Many schools in West Lothian already make use of the Free Learning Programme at Jupiter Artland. However, there are barriers to schools in accessing the programme such as finding cover to allow teachers time away from school, student timetables and transport. These barriers are particularly prevalent in secondary schools, leading to a much lower uptake in free schools visit for secondary age students. To address this we are bringing a ‘Jupiter Experience’ to secondary schools in West Lothian in the form of an outdoor 3D Design competition.

The project works with all eleven Secondary schools in the county. S1 and S2 (11-13 years old) students have been identified by teachers as the age group who would benefit most from taking part. Individual schools have selected which students will take part based on need and timetable. In most cases between 40-60 students are taking part in each school but some schools are involving an entire year group. There are around 855 participants in total.

Workshops (September – November 2019)

The project kicks off with a half day workshop in each school. Students are challenged create a 3D design for a sculpture, event or happening to take place in a specified location in their school grounds. The workshop introduces the concept of land art, referring to Jupiter Artland’s collection. It explores permanence, impermanence, forms of recording and features the work of Andy Goldsworthy who has several pieces at Jupiter Artland. As the challenge involves student’s designing for their school grounds, the workshop explores the concept of site-specific work and how viewfinders can frame an aspect of a landscape. Next it takes a look at what constitutes 3D design. Students are encouraged to explore the collection at Jupiter Artland which includes large scale piece constructed in metal and wood but also delicate knitted pieces and conceptual pieces such as Peter Liverside’s Midsummer Snowstorm.

In smaller groups the students break off to make their own artistic proposals, these are encouraged to be as creative and impractical as possible — a field of beds, owl statues in all the trees in Scotland, people swimming in a fish bowl as fish spectators look on from a viewing platform in a field – and are then sent to the headteacher. In contrast, theother students are exploring the reality of working with materials to build in 3D. Wire, wood, stones and sticks are provided and the students are tasked with responding to a single word; ‘up’, ‘walk’ or ‘wrap’. Crucially they are doing this outside in the school grounds. The workshop closes with an exploration of how to respond to an artistic brief and how the design process works. Jupiter Artland provides a suggested brief which class teachers can then adapt to suit their needs.

Next steps

Students, working in groups or as individuals, create designs to be judged in school by their teachers. Jupiter Artland supply a judging framework for the schools which can be amended to meet specific criteria schools wish to include. A number of designs from each school will then be put forward for consideration by a judging panel from Jupiter Artland. A winning design will be selected from each school. Materials and technical support from Jupiter Artland will be supplied to each school to allow the winning design to be constructed by the students. Designs are to be submitted to Jupiter Artland during Spring term, construction will take place in late Spring and Summer terms.


The project has four general learning outcomes and a number of outcomes linked to specific curriculum priorities as identified by a steering group of teachers who were involved in setting up the project’s design. The project will be evaluated in a number of ways, both formally through classroom E&Os and through images and feedback from the students. The learning outcomes are intended to reach beyond those specific to art and to impact on other core ‘employability’ skills. In particular, we hope students will become comfortable dealing with abstract ideas and with the process of refining ideas and concepts to create something ambitious but also achievable. By having a process where many designs are created but only one is selected, we will also be giving students real life experience of conveying their ideas in a compelling way.

• Teamwork and communication
• Experience of ‘pitching‘ an idea
• Real life design skills
• Practical making skills

Outcomes Against Curriculum for Excellence (Level 3)

Art and Design

  • I have experimented with a range of media and technologies to create images and objects, using my understanding of their properties. EXA 3-02a
  • I can use and combine the visual elements and concepts to convey ideas, thoughts and feelings in EXA 2-03a expressive and design work. EXA 3-03a
  • While working through a design process in response to a design brief, I can develop and communicate imaginative design solutions. EXA 3-06a
  • I can respond to the work of artists and designers by discussing my thoughts and feelings. I can give and accept constructive comment on my own and others’ work. EXA 3-07a
  • Inspired by a range of stimuli, I can express and communicate my ideas, thoughts and feelings through activities within art and design. EXA 2-05a

Health and Wellbeing

  • Representing my class, school and/or wider community encourages my self-worth and confidence and allows me to contribute to and participate in society. HWB 3-12a
  • Through contributing my views, time and talents, I play a part in bringing about positive change in my school and wider community. HWB 3-13a
  • I value the opportunities I am given to make friends and be part of a group in a range of situations. HWB 3-14a

Planning for Choices and Changes

  • I am developing the skills and attributes which I will need for learning, life and work. I am gaining understanding of the relevance of my current learning to future opportunities. This is helping me to make informed choices about my life and learning. HWB 3-19a


Students were asked to identify something they had learnt or that was surprising in their inital workshops. This is a small selection of their comments.

  • ‘I learnt that little mistakes can make huge ideas’
  • ‘I learnt that art isn’t just about something physical, it can be ideas’
  • ‘I learnt that the first idea you have isn’t always the best’
  • ‘I was surprised by how much freedom and independence we had’
  • ‘I learnt how creative and fun it is to build things’


Jupiter Artland Educators (In Kind)

  • 11 classroom sessions @ 2.5 hours
  • 11 outdoor making sessions @ 6 hours
  • Project support and education resources
  • Judging panel

Construction materials will be funded by Developing Young Workforce and ordered by Jupiter Artland once final designs are selected for each school.

Kate Latham
Head of Learning and Community Engagement, Jupiter Artland