Global Irish Design Challenge

Global Irish Design Challenge

10 February 2017 – 1 May 2017


Global Irish Design Challenge10 February 2017 – 1 May 2017

View information on the selected projects here

The idea for the Global Irish Design Challenge grew from a desire to seek out designers and innovators who are driven to find solutions to the challenges humanity faces. 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 received over 140 entries from 14 countries and following a selection process by an international panel of judges, over 50 projects were chosen for exhibition. The nature of entries range from ground-breaking work by multi-national companies to projects by designers that could have signifcant impact if further developed. Transformative projects such as 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, has been adopted by 5,000 factories in India and by the United Nations. The InstaTemp MD is a new type of thermometer. It 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, designed by Moses Rowen, is a low cost solution 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.

Not every project addressed such large-scale humanitarian issues; the Micklem Bridle designed by William Micklem, is a more humane bridle and noseband for horses. 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 retrofitted 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.

The exhibition contains many more examples of projects and concepts that have the potential to revolutionise the way we live. It creates a platform for game-changing Irish design innovation, while activating and connecting a broad global network of Irish design talent. The Global Irish Design Challenge provides a unique insight into the impact that design and innovation has on shaping and improving the way that we live and interact.

Louise Allen

Education & Outreach

Curators Tour Fri 10 February, 6pm

Louise Allen introduces the Global Irish Design Challenge exhibition, highlighting selected projects. Followed by the exhibition launch with Eamonn Mc Kee, Director General, Trade Division, Department of Foreign Affairs

*Family Day Workshop: Origami Creatures with George Dempsey Flanagan Sat 18 February, 10.30am + 12noon

Craft colourful origami creatures inspired by Flopsy Hop the Rabbit in Origami Wonderland. BOOK NOW

Meet the Maker: Narrative and Animation with Susan Broe of Wiggleywoo Thurs 23 February, 6.30pm

With a screening of their quirky adult shorts series Tea with the Dead

*Family Day Workshop: Looking & Telling with Ronan McDonnell Sat 11 March, 10.30am + 12noon

Looking & Telling storyposters give children a starting point to create and tell imaginative stories. BOOK NOW

Meet the Maker: Sustainable Textile Production with Berni Raeside-Bell of Detta Textiles Thurs 23 March, 6.30pm

Discussing her Aran Ambitions project and research in ecological and ethical printed textiles

*Family Day Workshop: Spring Seedling Pots with Carrie Lynam Sat 8 April, 10.30am + 12noon

Inspired by Grow-a-Rascal project encouraging children to grow and eat fresh fruit and veg. BOOK NOW

Meet the Maker: Future Materials & Glaze Experimentation with Lucie Libotte Thurs 27 April, 6.30pm

Dust Matter(s) glaze project examines discarded matter exploring the value in making and material innovation.

***Unfortunately this event has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.***

*Design and Health: Type 1 with Caroline Schofield and Jaki Coffey 10 April, 10am - 4.30pm

A creative day for teenagers with Diabetes; work with designers, experimenting with materials and playing with forms, to design and prototype unique personalised pump bags. BOOK NOW

*School Visits: Primary to Third Level Tues 14 February – Fri 28 March

Our educators introduce your students to design and craft through an interactive exhibition tour. Tours can be tailored to suit your classes stage and interest. BOOK NOW


*Booking required: call 056 7796151 or email