Since January we’ve been fortunate to have a group of graduates from Birmingham city university extend our fantastic team through an internship scheme. Bringing their diverse pool of skills and talents as well as their hopes and dreams for their careers, the Hub interns have significantly enhanced our community with their ideas, passions, and energy over their first three weeks with us. 

For their first week, we set them a one-week creative brief for them to use their own skills and talents to produce their own personal interpretation of Impact Hub Birmingham, it’s role in the city and what they could bring to mix to further enhance the mission. Each week we will be sharing their perspectives as well as the work our interns they have produced in their first week, 

This week we have Mel O’Reilly, graduate in Design for Performance, sharing her interpretation of Impact Hub Birmingham.

The Hub has unleashed a new passion

for me as a creativeDSC07227_batch


As a fresh-faced intern set a new challenge, I wanted to use a variety of different skills that I already possessed, as well as challenge myself to do something new. My initial impression of the Hub was that it was a diamond in the rough – an oasis for creatives. Hidden in the depths of Digbeth, this light, welcoming space was the perfect place to experiment with ideas and meet new people.

I decided to develop an abstract visual representation of Impact Hub Birmingham, that originally started as a clean yellow box. Being interested in sound design and wanting the installation to be interactive, I considered how to capture the Hub using other senses. One thing that struck me very early into my time here was the coffee-shop atmosphere; the hustle and bustle of people and coffee grinders and steam. I decided to capture snippets of sound from the Hub by taking a microphone around with me and recording all the sounds that I felt personified the space. The idea of making the sounds come out of the box would invite audience members to lean in and interact with the box which I felt was important – the Hub is all about interactions and developing yourself and your connections.

Having my little yellow box sculpture allowed me to interact with members and introduce myself and my practice. By leaving the box, complete with soundscape and coffee scent on a table in the workshop, it started many conversations and connections for me, which was another of my early goals as an intern. I wanted to take on a role that brought members together and promoted creative discussions. A lot of the time I was explaining my work and my practice to people who came across it while deciding on a place to work. I began to allow the people I was connecting with to ‘impact’ on the box: I invited anyone who stumbled upon it to write, draw, innovate and communicate whatever they wanted to on the surface of the box – representing collaboration and community.

The end result was an eclectic collection of thoughts and ideas covering the surface of the box. Displaying it in different areas of the building with a short poem, written by another intern, explained how the box was a metaphor for the Hub. This metaphor became a symbol for the Hub that allowed me to create digital content for social media. I began to work with photoshop to create digital content (something that I am really keen to do more of). The Hub has unleashed a new passion for me as a creative.

This first project has explained my practice and shows what I could do here at the hub. I want to create collaborative work that draws ideas from the community and has a feeling of togetherness.

Instagram: @mel_oreilly_design




Amy McCranor

Amy McCranor

Hi! I'm Amy, a Fashion Design and Communication graduate from Birmingham City University. Talk to me about fashion, art, writing and veganism :)