Yesterday, we were invited along to Space Jam, a new collaborative design event for students at Birmingham City University held at the fantastic creative space, Black Tape Studios – The Mills Studio. The Space Jam founders Mohamed and Shamil attended the Service Jam in February and as graduates of BCU, they were really keen to start an event to help students across different design disciplines to work together. So when myself and Chris turned up to find a room full of super creative, energetic young people effectively working through a design process together and using exercises and tools from the Service Jam, we felt a real sense of encouragement and optimism for the future of the Global Jam community in Birmingham.
In true jam style, walls and tables were covered in the beginnings of some fantastic ideas on flipchart paper and post it notes. We were then invited to share some of experience of hosting Spaghetti jams and what collaborative working is all about. As BCU Alumni, there was something quite fulfilling about being to be able to impart some of the things we have learned along our career journeys and inspire young minds as to the ever increasing opportunities out there for creatives who understand deeply these collaborative ways of working.
Towards the end of the event, we were asked to listen to the team presentations and give feedback on what was been produced. We were very impressed not only by the originality of some of the concepts but the general standard of presentations coming from the students.
Here are a few words from Shamil on the Space Jam his reasons for starting it, and what they’ll be doing next.
Space Jam is a competition style event that allows students from different design societies to connect, collaborate together, working on a project all whilst having fun. The idea came from when both Mohamed and myself graduated from university having studied BA(Hons) Architecture. It was quickly realised that in industry, collaboration between different people occurred more often and was used in order to achieve goals.Space Jam gives the current students the opportunity to embrace this skill at an earlier career stage to take into industry whilst also building up networks and connections for the future.
One of the key things we picked up from attending the Service Jam in February is how important the environment you create is for the participants. We set out make sure they felt comfortable and safe in the space they’re are so that they can work together and come up with some great ideas.
#BRUMSPACEJAM was our first step that we believe was a success. As organisers, one of our main objectives was for the students to open up to a new way of thinking and producing ideas and enjoying the process and we believe we achieved that. Now we want to take the next step of getting the students at the university (with our help and support of course) to start setting up their own space jam with the idea of integrating a Space jam Society into the university. We’ve been in talks with students from universities in Birmingham and Manchester and we are now aiming to run the next jam in October in time for Freshers Week.
Jamming is contagious! Congratulations to Mo and Shamil, we’re looking forward to seeing what you guys do next with the Space Jam.