Graduates partner up to launch design studio


Architecture graduates Mohamed Rahouma and Shamil Chauhan have recently launched an independent design studio called 'Backpack Studio' based in the Hale area of Manchester.

The pair graduated from Birmingham City University with a BA (Hons) Architecture (RIBA Part 1 Exemption) in 2014 and worked together closely on various projects throughout their time at university.

Since graduating, the young entrepreneurs have had previous spells at architecture practices such as Associated Architects as well as boasting experience in the graphic design industry.

Backpack Studio is now starting to build its reputation in Manchester, working and collaborating with other creative businesses such as DK Creative, who also share office space with the start-up firm. Mohamed Rahouma, 22, Co-founder and Director at Backpack Studios said:

Vital role

Birmingham City University played a "vital role" in giving the young entrepreneurs the skills and confidence needed to set up a business and thrive in the industry. Shamil Chauhan, 22, Co-founder and Director at Backpack Studios added:

"Studying at Birmingham City University has opened our eyes to the endless possibilities we can go through in the design industry and having studied the architecture course we have gained a great amount of knowledge that we didn't think we had the capability of learning. 

"Birmingham School of Architecture prides itself on helping students even after leaving the School and that has definitely been evident with us. Alessandro Columbano (our third year tutor) has been involved with helping us from the start even before we had thought of starting up the studio."

Although the business is headquartered in Manchester, the pair are still keen to maintain connections with Birmingham, setting up their first Space Jam in the area. Mohamed explains the thinking behind this decision:

"We aim to conduct this process and take on some of the best talent in our universities by setting up Space Jam. A 'jam' is a chance for designers to bring together their personalities, ideas and skills to create something extraordinary."

The founders of the studio have ambitious plans for the future and have stressed the importance of continuing the momentum they have generated.

As well as making a name for themselves, the business-owners are very enthusiastic about giving something back to the student community and the university system. Mohamed added:

"Another important part of our business is helping out students in gaining experience before they jump into the industry. We will hire freelance students to work on a few projects that we are working on which will help them build a portfolio."

Visit the official Backpack Studio website for more information on the services that they provide.

Return to the previous page.