Work from the Global Irish Design Challenge to Exhibit at the National Craft Gallery

Posted 24.01.17

Innovative Irish Design Work To Exhibit At The National Craft Gallery As Part Of The Global Irish Design Challenge
10 February – 1 May 2017

Images l to r: Juxtapose (Cara Murphy); THX.OBJ (Nora O Murchú); Orchestral Chair (earó)

Innovative Irish work which aims to address societal, environmental and economic challenges will be showcased at the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny this spring. The Global Irish Design Challenge exhibition will be launched by Eamonn McKee (Director General, Trade Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) on 10 February and it runs until 1 May 2017. Visitors to the National Craft Gallery will have an opportunity to see a selection of projects and concepts that have the potential to revolutionise the way we live, creating a platform for game-changing Irish design innovation while connecting a broad global network of Irish design talent.

Initiated by Louise Allen, Head of Innovation at the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), the idea for the challenge grew from a desire to seek out designers and innovators who are driven to find solutions to the challenges facing humanity. The resulting exhibition features over 50 diverse projects, offering a unique opportunity to bring visibility to the exceptional levels of design and innovation taking place across the globe. The exhibition, which premiered at The Coach House, Dublin Castle in the summer of 2016 in partnership with the Office of Public Works (OPW), marks the culmination of this iteration of the Global Irish Design Challenge.

Several of the projects and designers featured in the exhibition have achieved national and global acclaim. These include:

  • The InstaTemp MD, developed by Design Partners for Arc Devices, was named as one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of 2016.
  • Dublin Design Studio, who recently won the prestigious Irish Times Innovation Awards: Creative Industries section for Scriba and were selected to attend the Slush conference in Helsinki to present Scriba to international technology investors and potential partners.
  • The Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum wireless gaming mouse created with Design Partners has been given a Good Design award from The Chicago Athenaeum.
  •, who have been selected as a finalist in the international IX awards in New York in February 2017 for their work in addressing the healthcare issues experienced by migrants in partnership with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Geneva ( won the award in 2015 with which is part of the exhibition).
  • Éntomo has been tipped as one of the top 100 start-ups by The Sunday Business Post.

The selected works being showcased at the National Craft Gallery will range from ground-breaking work by multi-national companies to projects by designers that could have significant impact if further developed. Transformative projects to feature include:

  • Arup Ireland’s Bangladesh project which, following the disaster in the textile factory in Rana Plaza, established a system to ensure safety in the workplace and has been adopted by 5,000 factories in India and by the United Nations.
  • The InstaTemp MD, a new type of thermometer which uses sensor technology to measure core-body rather than external body temperature. Developed by Design Partners for Arc Devices it was used as a diagnostic aid that helped to stem the spread of Ebola in Liberia.
  • Steri-pak, a low-cost solution designed by Moses Rowen that aims to repurpose gas cylinders into autoclaves for general-use sterilisation to give people access to low-cost, effective sterilisation where it was previously unavailable.
  • The Micklem Bridle, a more humane bridle and noseband for horses designed by William Micklem. It removes the discomfort caused and is currently the top-selling bridle in the world.
  • Sense, developed by Eilis Delany, introduces tactile feedback into fire-fighting performances. The device can be retro-fitted into fire-fighting helmets. It enables the user to navigate around dark spaces in a similar manner to bats with improved perception of their environment.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of DCCoI, said: “Following the enormous success of the Global Irish Design Challenge exhibition in Dublin Castle last year, we’re delighted to bring these extraordinary and eclectic examples of ingenuity and design thinking to the National Craft Gallery. As one of the legacies of Irish Design 2015, the positioning of Ireland as a leader in cutting-edge design practice and the continued development of our design sector is paramount, and we are pleased to see that many of the works featured in this Challenge and those behind the projects have since been recognised both nationally and internationally for their inventiveness, design innovation and contribution to problem solving.”

The Global Irish Design Challenge was officially launched in August 2015 as part of the year-long government-backed Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) initiative. Centred on core themes of sustainability, wellbeing, sense of place and innovation, designers of Irish lineage or with a strong affiliation to Ireland were invited to submit projects that addressed societal issues or provided an ingenious solution to a problem. The challenge, which was promoted through the Irish Embassy network abroad and the international design publication Dezeen, received over 140 entries from 14 countries. Following a selection process by an international panel of judges, over 50 projects were chosen for exhibition. The judging panel consisted of high-profile design experts, including Jay Osgerby of renowned British design studio Barber & Osgerby; veteran Japanese designer Hideichi Misono who was formerly chief designer for Toyota; and Ailbhe McNabola, Director of Policy and Research at the Design Council UK. ID2015 was convened by DCCoI, in collaboration with partner organisations, on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Enterprise Ireland. 

- ENDS -

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

Tara Walsh - / Emer Igbokwe -


Curator’s Talk & Exhibition Launch
Fri 10 February, 6pm
Louise Allen introduces the Global Irish Design Challenge exhibition, highlighting selected projects, followed by the exhibition launch with Eamonn McKee, Director General, Trade Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Meet the Makers
Explore works and ideas in the exhibition in more depth through these designer talks.

Thurs 23 February, 6.30pm
Narrative and Animation with Susan Broe of Wiggleywoo and screening of their quirky adult shorts series, ‘Tea with the Dead’

Thurs 23 March, 6.30pm
Sustainable Textile Production with Berni Raeside-Bell of Detta Textiles on her ecological and ethically printed textile project

Thurs 27 April, 6.30pm
Future Materials & Glaze Experimentation with Lucie Libotte on her Dust Matter(s) glaze project 

Family Day Workshops*
Explore design ideas and processes through talking, drawing and making (5-13 years).

Sat 18 February, 10.30am + 12noon
Origami Creatures with George Dempsey Flanagan 

Sat 11 March, 10.30am + 12noon
Looking & Telling with Ronan McDonnell

Sat 8 April, 10.30am + 12noon
Spring Seedling Pots with Carrie Lynam

School Visits*

Tues 14 February – Fri 28 April
Introducing students to design and craft through an interactive exhibition tour. Tours can be tailored to suit primary, secondary and third levels.

*Booking through or call 056 779 6151 


Details on all projects in the exhibition can be seen at
Projects featured in the Global Irish Design Challenge:

·       3D4 Medical

·       Anya

·       Aran Ambitions

·       Arc Devices

·       Arckit

·       Arup Bangladesh Project

·       BloodCaptor

·       Connect

·       Craft Whiskey Distillery

·       Designing Ireland TV series

·       Dust Matter (s)

·       earo - orchestral chair

·       Einstein 100

·       EiraBot

·       Éntomo

·       ESET Remote Administrator Console

·       Experiments in urban re-use, regeneration, culture and architecture in the Ravenna Docklands

·       Flint Table

·       Float

·       FUNGO BIO - Biological mushroom campain

·       GREY · WHITE · KLEE

·       Grow A Rascal

·       Immersion 2.0

·       LittleBig bike

·       Logitech G

·       Looking and Telling

·       Looking for/through/with/amongst/beyond/around Content

·       Micklem Bridle

·       Misery Matters


·       Nano Filter

·       Neighbourhood Furniture Factory

·       Noticing Tools for NYSCI

·       ONEder board

·       Origami Craft Pack and Storybook - Children's Creative Learning

·       Out of Box Experience – AccuChek

·       Ray

·       Rotary EUS-FNA

·       ROY

·       Scriba

·       Sense: a concept which introduces tactile feedback into firefighting performances

·       Seven Wood

·       SteriPak

·       Stride

·       Tailored/Sur Mesure

·       Target Open House

·       Tea with the Dead

·       The Story of Gin

·       The Visual Time Traveller

·       THX.OBJ

·       Titanic Hotel, Liverpool

·       Tomra CUI

·       Tullamore D.E.W. TRILOGY box

·       Twist Chair

·       VIBE

·       Zero2020

About the National Craft Gallery
Established by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in 2000, the National Craft Gallery is Ireland’s leading centre for contemporary craft and design. It exhibits Irish and international designers, artists and makers who push boundaries in their engagement with the making process. Its mission is to inspire appreciation, creativity and innovation and it plays a critical role in building understanding of craft and material culture in Ireland.

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 64 member organisations and over 3,200 registered clients. 

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