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Design & Crafts Council Ireland opens Hidden Treasures

Posted 18.11.2022
Press Releases

Design & Crafts Council Ireland opens Hidden Treasures – Young Finnish Design exhibition to celebrate 60 years of design since the publication of the Scandinavian Report. 

On Thursday, 17th November, Design & Crafts Council Ireland opened the ‘Hidden Treasures’ exhibition by Young Finnish Design at the National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny. This initiative is part of Design Week, and in recognition of the heritage of design in Kilkenny and its Scandinavian links with Kilkenny Design Workshops. The exhibition contains a curation of prototypes of furniture, lighting and textile design that tells the stories of young designers in Finland. ‘Hidden Treasures’ includes work by 29 designers and runs from Thursday, 17th November, to 28th January 2023.

Design & Crafts Council Ireland rekindles its longstanding relationship with Finland in its first design-focused exhibition, ‘Hidden Treasures’. The exhibition celebrates the beauty of Scandinavian design and recognises its role in igniting a love of design in Ireland. At the opening, there will be talks from Irish Ambassador to Finland, Ambassador Raili Lahnalampi; State Secretary to the Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Johanna Sumuvuori; Co-founders at Young Finnish Design, Elisa Luoto and Heidi Maria Huovinen; Kilkenny Mayor, David Fitzgerald; and CEO of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Rosemary Steen.


At the event, Mayor Fitzgerald said: “The introduction of design in Kilkenny triggered a synergy between the cultural and historic elements of the city which created the economic model on which Kilkenny has thrived since the 1960s. Kilkenny has become synonymous with high standards in craft, design and cultural interpretation including our many historic buildings and city core. Kilkenny values Design & Crafts Council Ireland as a key stakeholder in our city and underpins our commitment to the highest standard of creative work and design. We look forward to working with Design & Crafts Council for many years to come.”

Speaking ahead of the launch, CEO of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Rosemary Steen, said “There is fantastic Irish heritage in all forms of art and design in this country, but it is also important to recognise and celebrate the international inspiration for Irish craft and design. The Scandinavian Report played a huge role in the modern history of Irish craft and design and is the main inspiration for the Design Workshops here in Kilkenny. The Design & Crafts Council Ireland prides itself on celebrating young Irish designers, as has been done this week with Future Makers as part of Design Week. It is also an honour to celebrate the young Finnish designers whose work can be seen here today. It is through nurturing this relationship between Ireland and Scandinavian countries that young designers can be given the opportunity to flourish in an international market.”

‘Hidden Treasures’ marks 60 years since the publication of the Scandinavian Report, which was commissioned by the Irish Export Board and published in 1962 by the Scandinavian Design Group. The report is a critical review of the Irish approach to design and significantly impacted the Irish mindset and is still quoted by many Irish designers. Following this and a trip to meet with design leaders and visit design workshops in Finland and Sweden, the Kilkenny Design Workshops were founded in 1963. This marked Ireland’s concerted effort to highlight the value of design, resulting in the design approach being included in the production of everything from local authority bins to carpets, logos, and crafts.

The exhibition includes pieces from furniture to ceramics to lighting and more. Curator(s) Heidi Maria Huovinen and Elisa Luoto of Young Finnish Designers said: “’Hidden Treasures’ is one way to push designers forward in their careers. Exhibitions offer designers’ visibility in relevant media as well as a chance to build networks with companies and operators from the field of design. For a young designer, these are extremely important things. A designer needs to persistently forward their career and therefore exhibitions play a major role in building a design career.”

State Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Ms Johanna Sumuvuori, stated at the exhibition opening: “Finland and Ireland have many things in common and have worked very harmoniously on themes of peace, nature and culture over the years. Ireland is known the world over for its ‘soft power’, that is, the strength of its culture, and design is a big part of this. Today, with Hidden Treasures, we are reminded of the importance that design has in our everyday lives, from wellbeing to aesthetics, to the economy. We are delighted to be working with Design & Crafts Council Ireland and look forward to many more collaborations.”

For more information on Irish craft and design or Young Finnish Design visit: or join the conversation by following @dccireland

About Design & Crafts Council Ireland

Design & Crafts Council Ireland is the national agency for craft and design in Ireland, we support designers and makers to develop their businesses in a sustainable way, and advocate for the societal benefits of craft and design. DCCI’s activities are funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment via Enterprise Ireland. DCCI currently has 64 member organisations and over 3,500 registered clients. / @dccireland

The National Design & Craft Gallery is part of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, based in Castle Yard, Kilkenny.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00am – 5.30pm | / @NDCGallery

About Young Finnish Design:

Young Finnish Design is founded by two young designers Elisa Luoto and Heidi Maria Huovinen from Finland. Through their own experiences exhibiting their designs abroad in different design fairs, Luoto and Huovinen noticed that most young designers are struggling to move forward in their career. Due to this Luoto and Huovinen decided to found Young Finnish Design, a company which focuses only in bringing work to emerging designers from Finland.

Young Finnish Design advances emerging designers’ careers by offering design services to companies and scouting design projects for emerging design talents. Young Finnish Design cooperates with tens of companies in Finland and has already begun networking with companies abroad. / @youngfinnishdesign

About Design Week

Supported and funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment and convened by Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI), Design Week Ireland 2022 is a national programme of events taking place from 14-18 November 2022. Throughout the week, DCCI will curate and host a series of events focussing on why design matters to the advancement of our economy and society and highlighting issues around diversity, sustainability, and inclusion. DCCI will also support and promote events across the island of Ireland designed to link with these themes, supporting design industry leaders and designers.

For further information, please contact [email protected]