A student from Kingswinford will get the chance to have her designs feature on benches across Brighton Marina.

Tiana Szalajda-Smith, a design student in her third year at the University of Brighton, has been selected as the winner of a competition aiming to transform the look of benches throughout the marina, with her wildlife and nature-themed design clinching the win.

Debuted on Wednesday (May 15), Miss Szalajda-Smith’s design has been installed on 27 marina benches, and are set to remain on display until early next year.



Read more: Merchants Fish and Chip Shop, Stourbridge, sold to new owner



Launched in 2023, the competition encourages students from the School of Art and Media to submit themed designs to a panel of judges consisting of artists and lecturers.

They then narrow down the submissions to a shortlisted three which are then put to public vote across the Marina's digital platforms, with over 1,300 votes cast.

Miss Szalajda-Smith said: "I applied to this competition without grasping the thought that I might actually win.

"When I received the email saying I'd won I couldn't believe it.

"It felt like my work was being recognised by a wider audience for the first time and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment."

Marking manager at the Marina, Sophie Chandler said: "We’re delighted to be working alongside the School of Art and Media at the University of Brighton once again to give students the chance to have their designs displayed across the marina.

"We encourage the local community to come down and see the winning design which will be on benches across the marina for a year."

Vanessa Marr, a principal lecturer at the University of Brighton, said: "I am extremely proud of her success in this competition.

"Tianna’s winning design captured the diversity of our coastal wildlife, along with the ubiquitous seagull, through a colourful composition that is dynamic and surely appealing to all who visit the area."