Sara Klodzinska is pictured with her award winning bench design at Fife College’s Glenrothes Campus. 

Students studying furniture at Fife College showcased their creativity recently by designing and building model benches as part of a design competition in partnership with the Woodland Trust Scotland. 

Twelve HNC/HND Furniture students produced a design after visiting the Fortmonthills Woodland area in Glenrothes last September. 

Tasked with producing a design that complements the woodland location, the students went on to plan and produce model designs which reflected their own interpretations of the brief. 

The students then presented their designs to a judging panel which included staff from the College and the Woodland Trust Scotland.   

After much deliberation, 18-year-old Sara Klodzinska’s ‘inspiring’ design was chosen as the winner.  Her design will now be progressed so that the bench can be built and installed on site in the woodland before the summer. 

Sara, from Edinburgh, said:

“I set myself a goal in creating an organic design which connected all living things and would represent the passing time. The reason behind my design was that when I younger, I always liked to count down growth rings and find how old was the tree whenever I had the chance.  From this it evolved into a bench idea which featured different kinds of woods, cut into discs as a seat. 

“I never thought that I would win this competition, it was hard to believe at first, I am now excited to face the challenges in making my fantasy bench into a reality.”

This is the second year the College has worked in partnership with the Woodland Trust Scotland on the project.  Last year, Andrew Huxtable’s design was chosen and is now in situ in Fortmonthills Woodlands.  

John Wincott, Environmental Services Coordinator at Fife College, said: 

“This is the second year we have worked with the Woodland Trust Scotland on this type of project, and again that students have exceeded all expectations. In addition to this bench project, students from the furniture class have also helped to plant 400 trees on two of our campuses, the trees also being supplied by the Woodland Trust.

“It is ideal for the students to be aware of the whole life cycle from planting trees right through to building a bench for installing in the local woods. The quality of work from the students is absolutely tremendous, and it is all credit to their hard work, and the guidance from their lecturers, that they are able to tackle such challenging projects at such an early stage in their courses.”

Jill Aitken, Site Manager for the Woodland Trust Scotland, said: “We were delighted to work with the College on this great project for a second year.  Once again I was amazed at the quality of work, and the diversity of designs that were presented on the day.  All the students should be really proud of their work.   

“Last year’s winning bench has made a great impression at Fortmonthills Wood already and we are sure this year’s winning design by Sara will also make another fine addition to the woodland area.” 

Woodland Trust Scotland is part of the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK.  Fortmonthills is one of 60 sites it manages across Scotland, for people and wildlife. 

For more information about studying Furniture Production at Fife College visit our course pages or call 0344 2488 0115.