Design & Craft Careers
The craft and design sector in Ireland employs just under 50,000 people across the country and contributes over €37 billion to the economy annually*. Design and craft careers are diverse and wide reaching. Craftspeople create expertly crafted products and artworks in disciplines such as ceramics, glass, textiles, metalwork, basketmaking, woodworking and mixed media. The crafts sector has evolved dramatically over the past half a century, growing from a loose collection of cottage industries to become a major presence on the global design stage, enhancing Ireland’s reputation as a creative society and economy.
Design is all around us and embraces a broad spectrum of disciplines. The chair you sit on, the laptop, computer or phone you use, the operating system on your devices, your internet browser and this website have all been designed. In digital design, UX Designers focus on providing meaningful and relevant experiences for users, spanning from branding, design, usability and function. UI designers focus on the look, style and how users access and interact with digital products, for example Siri on the iPhone or Alexa on amazon devices. Industrial designers make electronics and medical equipment. Product designers focus on users, their needs and desires and create products to meet these needs across a range of mediums. Medical device designers focus on medical needs and functionality, creating new devices, adaptions and updates to help users.
The role of designers is constantly evolving and diversifying, but the commonality between the design roles are that they are all human centered. They all start by investigating or understanding human needs and behaviours.
Despite the current challenges this year has brought, the design and craft industries have shown their resilience, adapting their products and services to continue growing. Research undertaken by DCCI in June 2020 showed 7 in 10 Irish adults (70%) are interested in Irish-made and designed crafts, demonstrating the strong demand for Irish craft.
The Together for Design report was published in 2020 by the Expert Group for Future Skills Needs (EGFSN). The EGFSN reports to the Minister of Enterprise Trade & Employment and advises the Irish Government on current and future skills needs of the economy. The report finds that by 2025 occupations in digital, product and strategic design could see a growth between 21,000 to 33,000 -meaning that design jobs would account for 2.8% of all jobs in Ireland.
*figures from Policy Framework for Design in Enterprise In Ireland at Showcase 2016
Learn more about exciting careers in design and craft
Lauren Cooke is a graduate of the BA in Design (Fashion and Textiles) at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology. Lauren is currently working as a Fashion/Manufacturing designer at Portwest, a global manufacturer and innovator of workwear, safety wear and PPE based in Westport, Co. Mayo.
Marie Kane is a graduate of the MSc in Medical Device Design at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin. Marie currently works in Medical Device design for Versona Medical, based in Galway. Versona Medical’s mission is to transform intravascular treatment for CLI patients.
Noel Cullen is a graduate of the BA in Creative Digital Media at Crawford College of Art and Design/Munster Technological University (MTU). Noel is a Creative Executive at IPG Mediabrands, London. IPG Mediabrands are media and marketing specialists based in London.
Christine Akinrinde is a graduate of the BA in Visual Communications at Technological University Dublin (TUD). Christine is currently working as a Junior Brand Designer at Dynamo. Dynamo is a strategic creative branding agency based in Dublin.
Harry French is a graduate of the BSc in Product Design at Maynooth University. Harry is working as a UX Designer for Each & Other, based in Dublin. Each & Other are a strategic design firm dedicated to helping organisations grow online revenue by designing and building compelling digital customer experiences.
Passion for Design and Making
In partnership with the Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) Arts in Junior Cycle,DCCI produced a series of videos showcasing ‘Passion for Design and Making’.
Alan is a furniture designer and installation designer. Alan graduated with a Masters in Architecture from University College Dublin in September 2015. Alan currently works from his studio in County Laois, imagining and creating one of a kind and speculative pieces for both public and private clients. Completed projects include; one of a kind furniture, public space design, and a collection of sculptural wood-turned vessels.
Kim Sharkey is a muiti-media artist, craftsperson and educator. Kim is a graduate of Nottingham Trent University where she studied BA in Decorative Arts. Kim also completed a BA in Animation at Letterkenny Institute of Technology.