Design & Facilitation

On the 25th of March we hosted a forum on Design and Facilitation in the National Museum or Ireland. The forum, which consisted of four prominent designers working as facilitators within public and private realms, aimed to highlight a few of the ways that designers can act as change makers. The talks were held in conjunction with the National Museum of Ireland and Dublin Institute of Technology and took place in the Museum at Collins Barracks which is home to a large chunk of Ireland's physical history.

Speakers on the day included Michael Torrans of The Potting Shed Dublin, Jonathan Legge of The Souvenir Project and Makers & Brothers, Barry Sheehan of The Dublin Project and DIT and Kim Mackenzie-Doyle of the Institute of Designers Ireland.

The theme of Design and Facilitation was chosen as a reaction to new roles that designers are finding in the world today. The place of the designers as the makers of iconic products for international manufacturers is as strong as ever, however some designers are choosing to put their skills to use in managing, curating and collaborating to change systems and communities.

On the day, each speaker described their experience acting as a facilitator of change within the context of a specific subject and the result were four very-different talks that touched upon some of the key elements of this practice: what was important to them in the projects, what they aim/aimed to achieve and the problems they faced.

It was a real pleasure to run the talks on the day and to be made so welcome in the National Museum of Ireland on a beautiful morning in March. These four talks have provided an point from which to explore facilitation and change making in Ireland by design and I look forward to expanding on this subject soon.

*Many thanks to Eimir O'Brien (@eimirobrien) at the National Museum of Ireland, Bernard Timmins of DIT and all of the speakers.  

**The four talks will be available soon, for more information please get in touch.

Mick Torrans | The Potting Shed Dublin

Mick Torrans | The Potting Shed Dublin

Jonathan Legge | The Souvenir Project/Makers & Brothers

Jonathan Legge | The Souvenir Project/Makers & Brothers

Barry Sheehan | The Dublin Project/DIT

Barry Sheehan | The Dublin Project/DIT

Kim Mackenzie-Doyle | Institute of Designers Ireland

Kim Mackenzie-Doyle | Institute of Designers Ireland

New Medium and Large Lamps

After a couple of busy months we're proud to announce the release of two new sizes within the Hands Collection.

The new medium lamp has a stout base with a large white shade while the large lamp has a taller, skinnier base. I'm really happy with how these have turned out and think they offer the range a greater flexibility and suit places where the smallest lamp is simply too small. 

Both lamps have a new style of shade that is made from our distinctive white foam. These shades offer a great amount of light and are glare-free, meaning they emit a soft, even light during these hazy spring evenings.

The photos here were all taken by Mark McGuinness - for more information on his work check out his website here.

For more information about the collection or for a full range of press-ready photographs get in touch with us through the form here.



 

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Creative Ireland

The Irish government have announced the launch of Creative Ireland - an initiative to place the creative arts of Ireland at the heart of policy making over the coming 5 years.

The first year action points include the launching of a pilot program to support self-employed artists through social welfare payments and a plan to provide access to tuition in music, drama, art and coding for every schoolchild. With general themes of openness, access and inclusion the proposal is an ambitious attempt to build upon Ireland's creative culture.

Behind the developmental elements of the scheme, which have been widely applauded, there is a focus on support for artists and designers generating 'creative capital'. This concept, encompassing the widest range of Creative enterprises, is not a new one, however it does seem to be the political underpinning of the project - which fundamentally aims to create a more prosperous state.

Strangely the plan suggests the creation of a unified vision of Ireland that can be marketed and shipped abroad. Of the five pillars detailed in the plan this is the most controversial as it belies a belief in political circles about the role of the arts in society.

As this plan to support creative ireland is rolled out over the coming 5 years it will be interesting to see conversations develop around this topic. At a recent symposium in the Irish Museum of Modern Art, entitled The Artist and the State, a similar group of conversations began. The speakers on the day described the importance of critical practice and the role that they this could play in society. The symposium was dense, intricate and left you withink lots of food for thought. The role of artists and designers in society beyond the production of content for marketing is something I hope the Creative Ireland program will inspire.

The stunning chapel room inside the Irish Museum of Modern Art at the Artist and the State Symposium

The stunning chapel room inside the Irish Museum of Modern Art at the Artist and the State Symposium

IDI Awards 2016

The Institute of Designers in Ireland, or IDI, is Ireland's largest and oldest association of design professionals. Committed to advancing the value and impact of design both locally and nationally, the IDI organises a range of activities that celebrate the creativity and successes of Irish designers.

The annual IDI awards ceremony was held on the 17th of November in Dublin and I was delighted to be able to give a hand on the night. 

The design community in Ireland is finding its voice through organisations such as the IDI and events that bring together designers are incredibly important in this. Epsilon, a creative agency from Dublin and deserving nominee on the night of the awards, are organisers of the Bread and Butter IDI Design Socials. These socials, structured around a presentation of work from an Irish designer, are a notable example of events that give designers the chance to share knowledge and build connections.

For more information on the IDI Awards 2016 awards search the  #DESIGNRISING hashtag. Congratulations to all the designers recognised on the night! 

 

IDI Awards Trophies 2016
Lamp A - a lamp I made from Hi-Macs solid surface and winner of the 2015 Hi-Macs IDI Graduate Design Award was on show too.

Lamp A - a lamp I made from Hi-Macs solid surface and winner of the 2015 Hi-Macs IDI Graduate Design Award was on show too.