Future Makers Awards & Supports 2018 is now open for Entries

Posted 12.03.18

Future Makers Awards & Supports 2018 is now open for Entries

View Gallery

Images by Future Makers 2017 winners & recipients (l to r): Caoimhe McGuckin, Adele Walsh, Alan Meredith, Alanna Plekkenpol

Calling all student and emerging designers and makers!

Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s Future Makers fund of €23,500 recognises and supports emerging Irish designers and makers

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) Future Makers Awards & Supports programme for 2018 has opened and is now accepting online applications. With a prize fund totalling €23,500 this year, Future Makers Awards & Supports is one of Europe’s largest prize-funded award programmes for students and emerging makers, rewarding the next generation of Irish creatives and assisting them as they develop a career in the design and craft industry. 

Entry to this exciting programme is free and the closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 13th April 2018. Entries will be assessed by a judging panel comprising Claudia Casali, Director of International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, Italy and Philip Hamilton, Creative Director of Perch, Dublin. The panel will be chaired by DCCoI’s Education Manager, Fiona Byrne.

Future Makers Awards & Supports was established in 2009 and is one of several DCCoI initiatives supporting and investing in a new generation of talent in the design and craft sector. Divided into student and recent graduate/emerging practitioner categories and covering a broad range of disciplines, the Future Makers programme recognises and rewards vision, innovation and excellence in both making and the creative process.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, said: “We are committed to supporting and nurturing emerging designers and makers so that they can hone their skills, raise the profile of their work and establish careers in their chosen field. Our Future Makers Awards & Supports programme is one of several Design & Crafts Council of Ireland initiatives aimed at assisting and encouraging the next generation of designers and makers in order to create a pipeline of fresh talent and grow Ireland’s vibrant design and craft sector.”

Previous winners and recipients of Future Makers Awards & Supports have established and developed careers across a wide breadth of design specialties in the creative sector. Former winners include fashion designers Pearl Reddington, Natalie B. Coleman, and Sorcha O’Raghallaigh; jeweller Pierce Healy; leather artist Úna Burke; design studio Superfolk; and furniture designers Cillian Ó Súilleabháin and Alan Meredith.

Alan Meredith, who was presented with Future Maker of the Year Award in 2017, said: ''Future Makers 2017 has helped establish a profile for my work and has exposed it to a large audience. Winning such a prestigious award, judged by an international panel, instils confidence in customers and has generated interest from galleries and collectors.”

Ceramicist Chloë Dowds, who received Residency Support in the Emerging Practitioner category last year, also commented: “I applied to help with my ceramics residency to the Zentrum Fur Keramik in Berlin, Germany. The award helped me greatly as this was an expensive project to undertake. It allowed me to experiment with a different clay which I had never used before and which proved to be very expensive.”

In a new development for the craft sector, the recently restructured RDS Craft Awards will be open to winners of DCCoI Future Makers Awards & Supports in the preceding year e.g. Future Makers 2018 winners can apply for the 2019 RDS Craft Awards. Five bursaries of €10,000 each will be awarded for the development of business and craft skills to those pursuing a professional career in the sector. The award can be spent on further education and training, research, development of new work, mentoring, purchase of equipment, studio improvements, website and residencies. See RDS craft for information.

In addition to the above, students and emerging makers are once again invited to apply for a commission to design and make an award piece for the NFETL Learning Impact Awards that will be presented in Dublin Castle later this year. Following the launch of the NFETL (National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) Awards design competition in last year’s Future Makers Awards & Supports Programme, the 2018 competition, again a joint NFETL and DCCoI initiative, is open to college students and emerging makers (within three years of having left college). Those interested in applying should note their interest through this year’s Future Makers application process. The selection panel will consist of representatives of the NFETL and DCCoI as well as independent designers/experts. 

All Future Makers Awards & Supports Categories for 2018:

Students Category:

Future Makers Student Award: €2,500
Innovation Award: €1,000
Design Award: €1,000
Craft Skills Award: €1000
Materials Support: €500 x 4
Travel & Training Support: €500 x 2
Professional Development Support: €500 x 2

Recent Graduates/Emerging Practitioners Category:

Future Makers Emerging Maker Award: €3,500
Innovation Award: €1,500
Design Award: €1,500
Craft Skills Award: €1,500
Studio Support: €1,000 x 2
Residencies/Training Support: €1,000 x 2
Exhibition Support: €1,000 x 2

Open to students and emerging makers (having graduated within the last three years):

NFETL Award Design Piece commission in association with Ireland’s Higher Education organisations (those interested in applying should note their interest through this year’s Future Makers application process).

Full details are here

Every application for Future Makers will be automatically considered and assessed for all of the award options under the relevant student or recent graduate/emerging practitioner category. Assessment will be based on the strength of an applicant’s written proposal and their creative work. Applicants may also apply for one support option that suits their career development plans. For full details about eligibility criteria and terms and conditions, please visit here. A set of application guidelines is also available here.

The judging panel will create a shortlist based on the information and images of work provided in the first round of online applications (deadline 13th April). Shortlisted applicants will be notified in late April and asked to submit up to 3 pieces of work in mid-May for final assessment in all categories. The winners and recipients of the 2018 Future Makers Awards & Supports programme will be announced at a presentation ceremony in Dublin in July.

Full details on the programme are available here

All applications must be submitted online HERE and the deadline for entries is Friday, 13th April 2018.



For further press information, please contact Elevate PR, 01 662 5652

Tara Walsh - tara@elevate.ie/Emer Igbokwe - emer@elevate.ie 


About Future Makers

The Future Makers Awards & Supports programme was 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. For further information, please visit www.futuremakers.ie.

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, stimulating innovation, championing design thinking and informing Government policy. DCCoI's activities are funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has 64 member organisations and over 2,500 registered clients. www.dccoi.ie 

< back