Press Release: BBC announces winners of student competition to find Wales' brightest design talent

The broadcaster - in collaboration with leading national educational institutions, design companies and manufacturers - held a major competition to create innovative pieces of furniture for the ID:SR-designed interiors at the new BBC Wales Broadcast Centre. The winners include a flexible storage system and fabric designs, all closely tied to Welsh culture and manufacturing

Two of Wales' most talented design students have been chosen to help shape BBC Wales' future Broadcast Centre in Central Square, Cardiff. The winning designs are inspired by nature and the poetry of Dylan Thomas, say their creators.

The BBC - working with interior design firm ID:SR Sheppard Robson - launched a competition to find the most innovative design students, with the winners' vision brought to life at the broadcaster's new 14,000 m2 vibrant new media hub.

Cardiff School of Art and Design, Coleg Sir Gar, Swansea Metropolitan University, and University of South Wales all incorporated the competition within their syllabuses, with students challenged to create future-proofed and flexible pieces of furniture that embody the characteristics of the new centre, which include collaboration, interaction, performance and technology.

The winning designs will be manufactured by leading furniture company Bisley and fabric producer Camira, and will potentially be developed for wider commercial use, with the winning students retaining the copyright of their ideas.

Winners will also benefit from work placements at the manufacturers to develop and deliver their designs, whilst the runners-up will also receive an offer of a work placement at ID:SR Sheppard Robson.

The furniture award went to James Gould, a second year BA (Hons) Interior Design student at the University of South Wales (USW) in Cardiff. Inspired by the adaptability of nature, James designed a modular storage system that can flex to the specific requirements of the user. Kate Powell, on the same course and at the same institution as James, was also highly commended for her furniture designs.

The fabric award was given to Emily O'Reilly from Carmarthen School of Arts at Coleg Sir Gar. Emily's project, entitled 'Sound in the Cloth', designed fabrics inspired by the poetry of Dylan Thomas. Catheryn Gwynn's and Amy Peel's fabric designs were also commended.

James Gould, winner of the furniture award, at the Bisley headoffice in Newport

BBC Portfolio Director, Alan Bainbridge, said: "Unearthing new talent was a hugely enjoyable process and is even more satisfying for us as it will help create a really effective, creative environment for BBC Wales. The competition allowed us to explore the added value that new creative talent can bring to the built environment and how it can lift the quality of the spaces we are creating."

Helen Berresford, Partner and Head of ID:SR Sheppard Robson, said: "We held a similar competition when working on BBC North in Salford which successfully showed how workplaces can have a profound and lasting social value to the area. The competition is part of a bigger strategy to help the new home for this organisation be successfully established within its new surroundings and we are lucky to be collaborating with a team that share our belief in working with local materials and manufacturing. We hope we can play a significant role in kick-starting their career, with a number of designs from the BBC North competition still in production."

The panel included:
Alan Bainbridge, BBC Portfolio Director
Helen Berresford, Partner and Head of ID:SR Sheppard Robson
Angela Gidden, design and education advisor
Dr Jon Folly, J4 Projects
Representatives from Camira and Bisley