BCU Inspired

SMILE has launched a pivotal new showcase platform for BCU’s creative graduates.

SMILE helped BCU to design and build a website that allowed the world-renowned institutions (Birmingham Institute of Creative Arts, Birmingham Institute of Media and English, Birmingham Institute of Jewellery, Fashion & Textiles, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham School of Architecture and Design – collectively making up the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media) to collect student portfolios and publish them.

“SMILE were selected for three reasons: the team’s understanding and experience of developing platforms for education, the agile way they managed the website in tight timescales and as an added bonus the directors are faculty alumni.”

Sara Middleton, Associate Dean the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
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BCU Inspired Single Page bcu
BA (Hons) Art and Design student Jessica Overdijk

For the class of 2021 the showcase for Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Arts, Design and Media graduates included printed billboards, digital screens, ad vans and a new website www.bcuinspired.com designed, built and managed by SMILE.

“In an unprecedented year our talent graduate of 2021 have shown a level of creativity and innovation that deserves to be celebrated and showcased to as wide an audience as possible. And if people can’t come to us, it is only right that we take the exhibition out in to our city and shown in prominent locations as well as on digital platforms.”

Sara Middleton, Associate Dean the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

The website is a vital tool in the employability strand of the BCU value proposition and also as a way for students to host their work in a space alongside their peers.

Students can upload their media, including embedded media from their own portfolios. They are also able to provide a bio and links away to their own portfolio if applicable.

Some SMILE favourites include:

From the homepage, users can filter down by course or by subject area, and the system intelligently recommends related students to keep potential employers hooked. Each institution gets its own site, and faculty are able to moderate and publish submissions just a few clicks.

“This has been a great project to work on and we’re excited to develop the platform further after listening to feedback. I’d love to hear from other universities about portfolio sites for their students – I think they can really add a sense of belonging, which is much needed in a time of studying remotely.”

Nathan Monk, Co-founder of SMILE
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Matt Lees
Matt is the Creative Director at SMILE.