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About Future Makers

Awards for the designers and makers shaping the future

Established in 2009, Future Makers is a Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) initiative which recognises talent, potential and creativity. Its aim is to support the next generation of makers, designers and craftspeople to take the step from training into enterprise. It is one of the largest prize-funded award programmes in Europe.

Divided into student and emerging maker categories and covering a wide range of disciplines, Future Makers recognises and rewards vision, innovation and excellence in both making and the creative process among students and emerging makers. This is a crucial time in the career path of young makers and Future Makers creates a platform to showcase talent, as well as providing much-needed financial support.


Awards and supports

  • Future Maker Student Award – 1 award of € 2,500
  • Award for Sustainable Design – 1 award of €1,000
  • Materials Awards  – 5 awards of €500
  • Travel & Training Awards  – 5 awards of €500
  • Professional Development Awards – 3 awards of €500
  • Future Maker Emerging Makers Award – 1 award of € 3,500
  • Award for Sustainable Design – 1 award of €2,000
  • Studio Awards  – 4 awards of €1,000
  • Residencies/Training Awards  – 3 awards of €1,000
  • Exhibition Awards – 3 awards of €1,000

Previous Future Makers winners include fashion designer Natalie B. Coleman, furniture designer Simon Doyle, ceramic artist Kate O’Kelly, ceramic artist and educator Owen Quinlan, fashion designer Sorcha O’Raghallaigh and designer Úna Burke.

The RDS Craft Awards

Future Makers is the qualifying competition for the annual RDS Craft Awards, which provides 5 awards of €10,000 each to makers at a formative stage in their careers. These 5 significant awards are for the development of business and craft skills for those pursuing a professional career in the sector. The money can be spent on further education and training, research, development of new work, mentoring, purchase of equipment, studio improvements, website and residencies.

Winners will also have the opportunity show their work to the public on a free stand (value €2,000) at Gifted – The Contemporary Craft & Design Fair, which takes place annually in the RDS. To be eligible for the 2024 RDS Craft Awards, emerging craft makers must have won a Future Makers Award or Support in 2023. For more information see

Meet the 2023 Judges

Applications for Future Makers 2023 closed on 16th June and we have now entered the judging phase find out more about this years judges.

Apply now