USW students help shape BBC Wales’ future Broadcast Centre in Cardiff

An artist's impression of the new BBC Wales HQ in Central Square, Cardiff.

BA (Hons) Interior Design USW student James Gould beat off competition from design students across South Wales, to help shape BBC Wales’ future Broadcast Centre in Central Square, Cardiff.

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, based in Cardiff city centre.

Students were 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. USW student James Gould was chosen as the winner of the furniture award.

Inspired by the adaptability of nature, James designed a modular storage system that can flex to the specific requirements of the user. Fellow USW Interior Design student, Kate Powell, was also highly commended for her furniture designs.

James’s design will be manufactured by leading furniture company Bisley and fabric producer Camira, and will potentially be developed for wider commercial use. He will also benefit from a work placements with 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.

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.”