Call for entries to the Global Irish Design Challenge 2015

Dezeen promotion: entries are now being accepted for this year's Global Irish Design Challenge – a competition that asks designers to address international issues through innovative products and concepts.

Designers of Irish lineage or who have a strong affiliation with the country are asked to present products, projects and concepts that have the potential to revolutionise the way we live.

 Silvair by Design Partners and Seed Labs Inc – part of the Liminal Irish Design at the Threshold exhibition in Milan
Silvair by Design Partners and Seed Labs Inc – part of the Liminal Irish Design at the Threshold exhibition in Milan

Selected entries will be showcased in an exhibition at the National Design Centre in Dublin next year.

The first edition of the competition forms part of Irish Design 2015 – a year-long initiative backed by the Irish government that aims to explore and promote design throughout Ireland and internationally.

Arkit modelling kit by Damien Murtagh
Arkit modelling kit by Damien Murtagh

The project has so far included exhibitions in Milan and London, and an installation by Grafton Architects at London's V&A museum.

In keeping with the core themes of the strategy, entries are encouraged to address innovation, sustainability, well-being and sense of place.

The Cabinet of modern Irish life by Studio AAD and John McLaughlin Architects – part of the Liminal Irish Design at the Threshold exhibition in Milan
The Cabinet of modern Irish life by Studio AAD and John McLaughlin Architects – part of the Liminal Irish Design at the Threshold exhibition in Milan

A jury made up of leading international designers and directors of influential design institutions will include Jay Osgerby of London design duo Barber & Osgerby.

Entry to the competition is free, and submissions can be uploaded to the Irish Design 2015 website until 30 November 2015.

Read on for more information from the organisers:


As part of Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), designers from around the world with Irish links are invited to address global challenges through innovative design.

London School of Economics student centre by Irish architects O'Donnell + Tuomey
London School of Economics student centre by Irish architects O'Donnell + Tuomey

The Global Irish Design Challenge is calling on designers of Irish lineage, or those with a strong affiliation to Ireland, to present products, projects and concepts that have the potential to revolutionise the way we live. The challenge aims to celebrate and provide a platform for game-changing Irish design innovation, while activating and connecting a broad global network of design talent. It offers a unique opportunity to bring visibility to the exceptional levels of design and innovation taking place across the globe.

The Global Irish Design Challenge is one of a number of international programmes for ID2015, a year-long initiative backed by the Irish government exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design throughout Ireland and internationally. ID2015 is being convened by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland 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.

London School of Economics student centre by Irish architects O'Donnell + Tuomey
London School of Economics student centre by Irish architects O'Donnell + Tuomey

In launching the challenge, Ireland’s Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD said: "The Global Irish Design Challenge will raise awareness of the strategic importance of design for Ireland’s future including helping to address societal and economic challenges and will strengthen Ireland’s reputation internationally. It will bring together the Irish design diaspora to help build a design-focused, creative economy on the international stage."

"Irish companies such as Design Partners, Mcor Technologies and Dolmen are achieving recognition and winning prestigious awards internationally, growing Ireland's reputation abroad as a home for innovative design across a broad range of disciplines. We look forward to seeing the innovative Irish solutions to global challenges that will arise out of the Global Irish Design Challenge," Minister Nash added.

London School of Economics student centre by Irish architects O'Donnell + Tuomey
London School of Economics student centre by Irish architects O'Donnell + Tuomey

An independent international jury will assess entries for the Global Irish Design Challenge. The jury is made up of leading international designers and directors of some of the most influential design institutions globally. The jury will be asked to select top entries across the range of design disciplines.

In the midst of London Design Festival, ID2015 was delighted to welcome internationally acclaimed designer Jay Osgerby to the Jury for the Global Irish Design Challenge. Co-founder of the Barber & Osgerby studio, Jay will bring the wealth of his extensive design expertise to bear on submissions from designers across the globe with strong links to Ireland. Further jury members will be announced in the coming weeks.

The announcement of selections is planned for January 2016 and ID2015 plans to showcase selected entries in a high-profile Global Irish Design Challenge exhibition at the new national design centre in Dublin in 2016.

University of Greenwich architecture school by Irish Firm Heneghan Peng Architects
University of Greenwich architecture school by Irish Firm Heneghan Peng Architects

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of Irish Design 2015 said: "Celebrating Irish design and the ingenuity of designers with an Irish connection, we're delighted to announce that entries are now open for the Global Irish Design Challenge. We welcome the Government’s continued support of Irish Design 2015 and the initiatives being introduced this year such as the Global Irish Design Challenge. Through the Challenge, we wish to create a strong vision and narrative of Ireland, positioning the country at the cutting-edge of design thinking and practice."

Irish Design 2015 has an extensive international programme with participation in Design weeks in Milan and New York earlier this year and upcoming events at London Design Festival and London Fashion Week in September and Dutch Design Week in October. Following Ireland's presence at London Festival of Architecture earlier this year, the Irish architecture and built environment sector will continue to be showcased at architecture biennials in Chicago and Shenzhen/Hong Kong later this year. The Global Irish Design Challenge will be actively promoted at these events and across the Embassy network abroad with the aim of engaging as many internationally based designers as possible who have links to Ireland.

ID2015 sees over 300 design installations, conferences, exhibitions, talks and more take place on the island of Ireland and at high profile global design events in London, Paris, Eindhoven, Milan, New York, Chicago and Hong Kong/Shenzhen. The best talent in Ireland across a broad range of design disciplines - from product and industrial design, architecture and design engineering to fashion, costume and set design, animation, gaming and ICT design – continues to be profiled throughout 2015.

University of Greenwich architecture school by Irish Firm  Heneghan Peng Architects
University of Greenwich architecture school by Irish Firm Heneghan Peng Architects

Irish Design 2015 emerged as an idea from the Global Irish Economic Forum in 2013 which the government supported. The initiative, which has been included in the Government’s 2015 Action Plan for Jobs, aims to: create 1800 jobs over three years through sales of design-led products and services, generate an additional €10m in design-based exports, generate 200 new design-led business start-ups, facilitate more than 300 companies in international trade missions and design based trade events and engage with an audience of over 3 million at home and abroad.

Through a year-long programme of events and activities exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design both in Ireland and internationally, Irish Design 2015 aims to showcase the very best of Irish design in order to drive job creation, grow exports and increase competitiveness. ID2015 is an island of Ireland initiative engaging the public, the design community and businesses. The initiative is promoting Irish design in just about every form at home through events and exhibitions while also targeting the export market through trade missions and events in international capitals of design and commerce.

www.globalirish.irishdesign2015.ie