Summary of outcomes of consultation with member organisations and clients in 2018

Posted 07.06.19

In late 2018, DCCoI conducted a survey among DCCoI member organisations and registered clients in order to assess potential ways to promote and celebrate excellence in Irish design and craft. This survey was carried out as a follow up to the decision by the RDS to restructure their annual RDS Craft Awards and the subsequent statement which DCCoI made.

The survey was conducted to evaluate the impact of the restructuring of the RDS Craft Awards (formerly the RDS Crafts Competition) and the merit of potentially developing a future programme, subject to funding being made available. It offered member organisations and clients an opportunity to provide their input and suggestions on what type of potential programme would be most important and beneficial to the design and craft sector. Respondents were asked to bear in mind that the development and delivery of any future programme would be very much dependent on the availability of funding.

Over 500 responses were received, with 43% of respondents having previously entered the RDS Craft Awards. Key outcomes can be summarised as follows:

  • The type of initiative respondents felt would be most beneficial to them, and to the design and craft sector going forward, include:
    - An open submission exhibition
    - An award of distinction
    - A heritage and traditional skills award


  •  The value that respondents felt having a new programme would offer them, and the design and craft sector as a whole, include:
    - Profile for individuals and for their practice
    - Financial award
    - Profile for the design and craft sector as a whole

Further details on the outcomes of the survey can be viewed here.

A summary of the outcomes of the consultation was presented at the DCCoI Guilds, Associations, Networks & Societies (GANS) meeting in Dublin on 7 March. GANS representatives in attendance discussed the significance of the RDS Awards in helping build profile and raise awareness of craft and commented that the Awards were important for commercial makers, good design and innovative thinking. There was a vote amongst the attending representatives on which was more important: the award or exhibition, with the majority (over 90%) voting that the exhibition was more important.

In 2018, the Board of DCCoI convened a Heritage Sub-Committee to work with the DCCoI team in maximising opportunities in the heritage and traditional craft sector as a means of preserving skills and knowledge. To this end, the Sub-Committee is developing a three to five year strategy to address identified opportunities and challenges to the heritage and traditional craft disciplines and to explore opportunities for collaboration with other organisations.

The Heritage Sub-Committee undertook to further consider the outcomes of the consultation and make recommendations to the DCCoI Board. These recommendations have been presented to the DCCoI Board and are currently under consideration in relation to DCCoI’s overall strategic planning and budgeting process.

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