DCCI’s Future Makers Awards & Supports 2020 Is Now Open For Entries

Posted 03.03.20

Images l to r: Model Abbie Brennan wears yellow twill, stretch satin and gingham dress from designer and 2019 Future Makers Awards & Supports recipient, Chloe Joyce

  • Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s Future Makers fund of €25,000 recognises the next generation of Irish designers and makers.
  • One of Europe’s largest prize-funded award programmes, over the past 11 years Future Makers has invested more than €285,000 in awards and supports to Irish designers and craftspeople.
  • The closing date for online applications is 9am, Tuesday, 31st March 2020.

Applications are now open for Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s (DCCI) Future Makers Awards & Supports programme for 2020. With a total fund of €25,000 this year and 28 prizes available, the programme is one of Europe’s largest prize-funded awards for emerging makers. The closing date for receipt of applications is 9am, Tuesday 31st March 2020. Entry is free and all applications must be submitted online at futuremakers.ie.

DCCI’s Future Makers programme rewards excellence in both making and the creative process. Divided into student/recent graduate and emerging practitioner categories, it covers a broad range of disciplines, including fashion/textile design, ceramics, furniture design, jewellery design, glass artistry and mixed media construction.

Entries will be assessed by a judging panel comprising both national and international judges. Frances McDonald, Contemporary Design and Craft Consultant, and Paula McCoy, Homeware Buyer, will review and select a long-list from the first round of entries. The final round will be assessed by Rachel Dickson, Dean of Academic Programmes in Central Saint Martins, London and contemporary Irish jewellery designer Alan Ardiff, who will then choose the  winners from this group. 

Future Makers 2019, which marked the 10th anniversary of the annual programme, received the highest number of entries to date with 214 applications.

Rosemary Steen, Chief Executive of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, said: “The Future Makers Awards & Supports programme is one of several DCCI initiatives that support emerging talent. Since its launch in 2009, it has assisted over 250 Irish designers and craftspeople with previous winners including leather artist Úna Burke, jeweller Pierce Healy and ceramicist Chloë Dowds. We are delighted to offer a new group of makers the opportunity to compete in this year’s Future Makers. We are looking forward to discovering some exciting new Irish talent in the competition.”

Other winners of Future Makers Awards & Supports have established and developed careers across a wide range of design fields in the creative sector. Former winners include furniture designers Cillian Ó Súilleabháin and Alan Meredith; fashion designers Pearl Reddington, Natalie B. Coleman, Róisín Pierce, Edel Traynor and Sorcha O’Raghallaigh; jewellers Annemarie Reinhold and Genevieve Howard; glass artist Aoife May Soden; ceramicist Ann McBride; and design studios Elements of Action and Superfolk.

Róisín Pierce, who was awarded Overall Emerging Maker 2019 for her fashion designs, said: “Winning the Future Makers [award] has been invaluable to my practice. The award allowed me to take the next needed steps at a crucial stage in my career. It enabled me to buy machinery which has improved my ability to create in a much more efficient and consistent manner, resulting in saved time to create a body of new pieces that further challenges my craft.”

Fashion design student Isobel O’Reilly, recipient of the Overall Student/Recent Graduate Winner in 2019, also commented: “Winning a Future Makers award was not only greatly financially helpful but it was also an enormous confidence boost as an emerging artist. The funding allowed me to enrol in a tailoring course to develop my technical skills and the press enabled me to show my work, leading me onto some exciting commission work.”

Woodturner Alan Meredith, who was presented with the Overall Future Makers Award in 2017 in the Emerging Maker Category, also adds: “Winning Future Maker of the year 2017 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, instilled confidence in customers and generated interest from galleries and collectors whom I continue to make work for today.”

Additionally, the RDS Craft Awards 2021 will be open to winners of DCCI Future Makers Awards & Supports 2020. 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 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 at the RDS, Dublin. To be eligible for the 2021 RDS Craft Awards, emerging craft makers must have won a Future Makers Award or Support in 2020. See rds.ie/craft for more information.

Future Makers Awards & Supports Categories for 2020:

Students Category:

  • Future Makers Student Award: €2,500
  • Materials Support: €500 x 6
  • Travel & Training Support: €500 x 4
  • Professional Development Support: €500 x 4

Recent Graduates/Emerging Practitioners Category:

  • Future Makers Emerging Maker Award: €3,500
  • Studio Support: €1,000 x 4
  • Residencies/Training Support: €1,000 x 4
  • Exhibition Support: €1,000 x 4

Full details are here: futuremakers.ie/categories

Assessment will be based on the strength of an applicant’s written proposal and their creative work. For full details about eligibility criteria and terms and conditions, please visit here. A set of application guidelines is also available here.

Full details on the programme are available at futuremakers.ie. All applications must be submitted online at futuremakers.ie/apply and the deadline for entries is 9am, Tuesday 31st March 2020.

The winners and recipients of the 2020 Future Makers Awards & Supports programme will be announced at a presentation ceremony in Dublin in June.


For further press information, please contact:

Deirdre O’Reilly, DCCI Communications Manager at: deirdre@dcci.ie or 056 7796 141, or Michelle Lynch at FleishmanHillard Dublin at: michellelynch@fleishmaneurope.com or 01 618 8444


About Future Makers
The Future Makers Awards & Supports programme was launched by Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) 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. DCCI 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 futuremakers.ie.

About Design & Crafts Council Ireland
Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, stimulating innovation, championing design thinking and informing Government policy. DCCI's activities are funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCI currently has 59 member organisations and more than 3,000 registered clients. dcci.ie

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