Newmor Collaborate with Birmingham City University

At Newmor Wallcoverings, we are incredibly proud to have been a part of a project with Birmingham City University’s Interior Architecture and Design BA course. This partnership allowed us to support BCU’S students in reimagining Oaklands Young People’s Centre, a vital institution in Birmingham and its surrounding areas that provides a safe space for young people.

Oaklands Young People’s Centre, situated in Handsworth, Birmingham, reached out to the Interior Architecture and Design students at BCU. The centre sought their expertise for a live project—a design proposal to revitalise their youth centre space.

(pictured above: BCU Campus)

The Brief

Led by Desta Hall, a senior youth leader at Oaklands, the project’s vision was clear—to create a destination venue where children and young adults feel safe, empowered, and proud of their environment. With limited resources and a modest budget, the students were challenged to explore innovative ways to improve the existing space while accommodating the needs and ethos of the young members.

The youth centre operates from 3 pm onwards, while during the daytime, it serves as the premises for a specialist SEND School. Consequently, the students’ designs needed to consider both user groups and incorporate strategies to control functionality and atmosphere during changing usage. With years of service under its belt, Oaklands Young People’s Centre was ready for a transformation that would reflect the aspirations and needs of its diverse community.

(Pictured Above: Oaklands Young Peoples Centre)

Newmor’s Collaboration

When BCU approached Newmor Wallcoverings with the opportunity to support this fantastic project, one which would be a final summer project for the students at BCU, we recognized an opportunity to nurture young talent in the industry and were delighted to get involved. As a company invested in the growth and development of aspiring designers, we eagerly joined forces with the university and offered our expertise and resources to support the students’ creative journey in re-imagining this vital space.

Course lecturers Tony Salmon and Alexander King were thrilled to have Newmor on board, adding expertise and support to the project.

Our Head of Design and Marketing, Rosanna Campbell, assisted in judging the project, providing valuable insights and guidance. She also shared a trend presentation to inspire the students. By showcasing the latest design trends, materials, and techniques, we aimed to broaden their horizons and encourage them to think innovatively.

(Pictured Below; Rosanna Campbell, Newmors Head of Design and Marketing giving a trend presentation to BCU’s students)

To further assist the students, we provided them with access to our extensive collection of commercial wallcoverings. Our range of images and samples allowed the students to incorporate our prints and textures into their proposals, exploring the endless creative possibilities our wallcoverings offer. It was a pleasure to witness the students’ vision as they incorporated our materials into their proposals, breathing new life into Oaklands Young People’s Centre.

(Pictured Above: Project Winners Abigail Cooper, Geanina Lungu, Lauren Roberts, Monika Szostek, and Shiryes Agyeman)

Judging and Winners

During the judging process, Rosanna, alongside Desta and the tutors at BCU, had the privilege of witnessing the remarkable creativity and vision displayed by the students. The level of ingenuity showcased in their design proposals overwhelmed Desta, making it a challenging task to select a winner. Each group made an outstanding contribution, leaving a lasting impression with their innovative ideas and dedication to transforming the space. The collaboration between Newmor Wallcoverings, Oaklands, and the talented students at BCU truly resulted in a fantastic showcase of talent and potential. There unfortunately could only be one winning group: pictured above are winners Abigail Cooper, Geanina Lungu, Lauren Roberts, Monika Szostek, and Shiryes Agyeman. Well done!

(Pictured Above: Desta Hall, senior youth leader at Oaklands with the winning project)

This collaboration is a part of our mission at Newmor to make a positive impact on the wider design community; We are proud to have been a part of this project and grateful for the opportunity to support Birmingham City University, Oaklands Young Peoples Centre, and the talented students involved. At Newmor Wallcoverings, we will continue to champion young talent, nurture creativity, and contribute to projects that bring positive change to the industry and beyond.