Birmingham-based PR agency S&X Media will be showcasing the work of Birmingham City University (BCU) design students when it moves into its new Jewellery Quarter office space later this year. S&X joined forces with students from the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) – part of Birmingham City University – to develop a live project assignment for first year Design Studies students, focused on upcycling.

Working in groups, the students were tasked with repurposing or upcycling materials supplied by local manufacturers to create designs and prototypes for a piece of furniture, storage, lighting or display.
The successful designs were showcased at an exhibition held at Birmingham City University’s Gosta Green campus on Thursday 13th June, where S&X announced one group as the winners of the project. The winning design, a stool using brass, steel, foam and seating fabric, was produced by a team comprising Gavin Atkinson, Minh Dao, Iona Dias, David Gu, Rayhan Miah and Hans Ramzan. The design prototype is being commissioned for production and will feature in the agency’s new office.

S&X and the University teamed up with Jewellery Quarter based manufacturers, A.E. Harris & Co, Chapman Driver Seating and Toye & Co, with each company providing students with excess, waste or off-cuts of metals, foams and fabrics used in their manufacturing processes.
Managing director of S&X Paul Phedon said: “We wanted to work with Birmingham City University design students on a project which will help reinforce our highly creative working environment. The students have created innovative and contemporary upcycling design concepts that certainly met the brief.”
Minh Dao of the winning team explained the concept behind the winning design: “The S&X ethos is about working together with their clients to create strong creative ideas. Our design was inspired by bees because they come together, this translated into both our approach to the project and our design; the idea behind the stool is to bring people closer together and work together.”
Senior Lecturer of Design Studies Jason Nicholson said: “The brief provided by S&X was fantastic as it addressed the module aims which were all about the interdisciplinary nature of design and working collaboratively.  It was great experience for the students to work on a live project as they have picked up elements of production techniques and an understanding of the life span of a product.”
The final production version of the stool will be revealed when the agency moves in to their new Jewellery Quarter offices, later this year.