30 winners of the Future Makers Awards & Supports Programme 2016 announced

Posted 08.06.16

30 winners of the Future Makers Awards & Supports Programme 2016 announced

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Design & Crafts Council of Ireland fund recognises and supports Ireland’s emerging designers and craftspeople

With a total prize fund of €24,500 for 2016, Future Makers Awards & Supports is one of the biggest award programmes in Europe for students and emerging makers and is one of a number of Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) initiatives supporting emerging talent. Divided into student and practitioner categories, the annual programme rewards the next generation of Irish creatives at a critical stage in their career, helping them develop an exciting future in Ireland’s vibrant craft and design industry. Last night, DCCoI announced 30 emerging designer-makers as this year’s winners during a presentation ceremony at Dean Dublin.

Following an initial call out in early March, DCCoI received 168 applications, the largest number of application since Future Makers was first launched by DCCoI in 2009, reflecting the growth and development of the programme and the high level of interest from emerging designers and makers. All applications were assessed by a judging panel including internationally renowned designer makers Michael Eden and Sasha Sykes, resulting in a short list of 76 for the final assessment and subsequently the selection of 30 winners and recipients.

For 2016, Future Makers welcomed applications from visual communications and speculative designers for the first time in the programme, broadening its bandwidth for participation and innovative creative projects. The successful applicants, who represent a broad range of disciplines from practitioners and students throughout the country, were chosen for their experimentation, quality of making and imaginative use of skill.  

Key Awards in the Recent Graduates/Emerging Practitioners Category:

  • The Future Maker of the Year Award of €5,000 was shared between two Dublin-based practitioners - fashion designer Edel Traynor and furniture designer Simon Doyle who each received €2,500.
  • The Innovation Award of €2,000 was presented to ceramic artist Zsiri Melinda Dempsey who is originally from Hungary but is now based in Co. Clare.
  • Visual Communications graduate James Delaney from Dublin was the recipient of the Imagined Futures Award of €1,000, a new category introduced for 2016. James’ award winning project questioned what a first Irish space mission might look like, and how Irish designers and craft makers might work with the Irish space industry to make history and launch a first satellite Irish mission.

Key Awards in the Student Category:

  • Jack Roche from Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford who is studying fashion at LSAD received the overall Future Makers Student of the Year Award of €2,000 for his collection which took inspiration from mixing his family cultures together, combining the Irish landscape with Cypriot techniques and colours.
  • The Innovation Award of €1,000 was presented to Maureen Laverty from Toomebridge, Co. Antrim, who is studying Product Design Engineering (PDE) at the Glasgow School of Art and has formerly studied fashion design at NCAD.
  • Ciana Keating from Dublin who is studying fashion design at NCAD was announced as the winner of the Design Award of €1,000.
  • NCAD students Conaill O’Dwyer who is studying fashion at NCAD and Annemarie Reinhold who is studying jewellery at NCAD each received Residency Support of €1,000.
  • The Fixperts Creative Award of €500 was awarded to five NCAD students – Sarah Madden (visual communication), Alana McDonough (visual communication), Laura Lowry (visual communications), Nathan Joyce (product design) and Maverick Andaloc (product design) - for their collaborative project entitled ‘IndePEN – a pen holder for Donal’.

Speaking at the Future Makers presentation ceremony, Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, highlighted the importance of supporting designers and makers at all stages of their career. “The wealth of emerging creative talent here in Ireland has recently achieved significant exposure both at home and internationally, particularly through the government-backed Irish Design 2015 initiative. The Future Makers Awards & Supports Programme reflects DCCoI’s commitment to investing in the development of the next generation of Ireland’s craftspeople and designers, paving the way for a strong, innovative and dynamic craft and design sector into the future. We hope to work with these up and coming designers and makers in the years to come, supporting them as registered client enterprises with the potential to grow and generate vital employment. We wish them every success as they establish their careers,” she said.

Commenting on the 2016 Future Makers Awards & Supports Programme, Muireann Charleton, Academic and Industry Partnerships Manager at the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, who chaired the selection panel, said: “The 2016 Future Makers winners are all innovators pushing the limit and boundaries, fused with personal expression, in their creative practice. Future Makers 2016 demonstrates that exciting experimentation in craft skills and design capability among emerging makers in Ireland today.”

Other Future Makers Awards & Support winners for 2016

Recent Graduates/Emerging Practitioners:

  • Studio Support of €1,000 was awarded to each of the following:
    - Ruth Duignan, a fashion designer from Leitrim
    - Kate O’Kelly, a ceramicist based in Limerick
    - Cathy Burke, a ceramicist based in Wicklow
  • Residencies Support of €1,000 was awarded to Aoife Mullane, a textiles artist based in Wicklow
  • Exhibition Support of €500 went to Luisa Verling, a jeweller based in Clontarf, Dublin
  • A Judges Spotlight Prize of €500 was awarded to each of the following:
    - Ryan Connolly, a furniture designer in Monaghan
    - Fiona Mulholland, a jeweller based in Leitrim


  • The Push the Limits Award of €500 went to NCAD student Róisín Pierce from Dublin, for her radical use of textiles and unique fabric manipulation techniques to create original silhouettes around the body
  • Materials Support of €500 was awarded to each of the following:
    - Robert Gorman, a GMIT Letterfrack student of Furniture Design and Manufacture
    - Rachael Finlay, an Ulster University student of Textile Art, Design and Fashion
    - Kate McGuane, a student at DCCoI’s Ceramics Skills and Design Course in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny
    - Holly O’Hanlon who is studying jewellery design at Central St. Martins, University of Arts London
    - Siofra Caherty, an Ulster University student of MFA Multidisciplinary Design
    - Fiona White who is studying Textile Surface Design at NCAD
  • The Judges Spotlight Prize of €500 was awarded to Aoife Duncan who is studying Fine Art (Ceramics) at GMIT
  • Exhibition Support of €500 was awarded to Tom Healy, a student of Furniture Making and Design at Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa

- Ends -

Download the Press Release here

For further press information, please contact Elevate PR, 01 662 5652
Tara Walsh - tara@elevate.ie / Emer Igbokwe - emer@elevate.ie


About Future Makers: Future Makers Awards & Supports were launched by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) in 2009. The programme aims to assist students and recent graduates of full-time craft and design based studies or training to pursue an exciting and rewarding career in the craft and design industry. DCCoI takes a leading role in recognising and rewarding excellence in craftsmanship and design innovation. It aims to provide practical support and professional encouragement to students and practitioners at critical points in their training and careers. www.futuremakers.ie

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland: The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the main champion of the design and craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. DCCoI's activities are funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has over 60 member organisations and over 3,200 registered clients. www.dccoi.ie  

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