Minister Donohoe launches Design Island photographic exhibition at Dublin Airport

11th March, 2015

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, was at Dublin Airport today to officially launch Design Island, a photographic exhibition celebrating the breadth of Irish creativity as part of Irish Design 2015 (ID2015).


Presented by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and daa, Design Island features a series of 300 photographs by award winning Irish photographer Peter Rowen capturing 24 designers at work in their studios all over Ireland.  It presents evocative images of each designer’s location, the raw materials and tools of their trade, the design process and completed product, along with the designer’s portrait.


Today’s announcement took place as Minister Donohoe was departing Dublin Airport for San Francisco where he will be participating in the Government’s Saint Patrick’s Day programme over the coming days.  In launching Design Island, Minister Donohoe said: “In additional to its significant contribution to the Irish economy, our vibrant design sector greatly adds to Ireland’s cultural offering to visitors from all over the world. This exhibition of wonderful photographs showcases both Irish creativity and the beautiful landscapes that inspire our designers, offering a contemporary Irish experience to airport passengers during 2015.  Irish Design 2015 aims to drive job-creation and grow exports through the promotion and celebration of Irish design, which is key to our continued economic recovery. This exhibition gives people an insight into Irish design and the craftsmanship involved in the industries depicted. I commend everyone involved with this exhibition and I look forward to promoting Ireland and the Irish Design 2015 initiative during my visit to the United States over the coming days.”


Design Island depicts many internationally renowned and award winning Irish designers across a broad range of disciplines.  The exhibition includes architects Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey of O’Donnell + Tuomey who are the 2015 recipients of the Royal Gold Medal, the world’s most prestigious architecture award; animation studio Brown Bag Films whose host of nominations, including Oscar, BAFTA, Emmy and Annie, affirms their success; and Frontend whose apps recently won numerous awards at both the International Interaction Design Awards in San Francisco and the Digital Media Awards in Dublin.


Laura Magahy, Chairman of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland says that presenting Design Island at Dublin Airport throughout 2015 is a huge privilege for Ireland’s design sector.  “The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to celebrate and promote Irish talent and creativity at Ireland’s gateway to the world, enforcing a first and lasting impression of the diversity of design in Ireland. I would like to sincerely thank and commend daa for partnering with us on this initiative as one of the highlights of our programme of exhibitions for Irish Design 2015,” said Ms. Magahy.


Kevin Tolland, Chief Executive of daa added:  “We are delighted to support this exhibition at Dublin Airport which will showcase Irish design and creativity to more than 21 million passengers before the end of 2015. Peter Rowen’s beautiful photographs are a wonderful enhancement to our terminal buildings and provide a uniquely Irish perspective on design for international visitors.”


The images have been installed throughout Terminal 2 (T2) and installation in Terminal 1 is currently underway. Design Island includes a total of 300 photographs depicting many of Ireland’s top design and craft practitioners at work in their respective disciplines to reflect the breadth of the ID2015 initiative and the diversity of Ireland’s design sector.





About Design Island:

The Design Island exhibition features 300 large format (1300mmx1300mm) photographs by award winning Irish photographer Peter Rowen which have been installed at Dublin Airport to showcase Ireland’s design and craft sector as part of Irish Design 2015.  Reflecting the breadth of the ID2015 initiative, the exhibition spans 24 design disciplines, with a grouping of 4 – 6 photographs per discipline, accompanied by information on the featured design business.


The 24 disciplines are:

1         Animation – Brown Bag Films

2         Architectural design – O’Donnell + Tuomey

3         Basket weaving – Joe Hogan

4         Blacksmithing – Michael Calnan and Gunvor Anhoj

5         Engineering design – Arup

6         Fashion design – Helen Steele

7         Furniture – Joseph Walsh

8         Glassmaking – Jerpoint

9         Goldsmithing – DCCoI’s Jewellery & Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course

10     Graphic design – Atelier David Smith

11     Hand weaving – Studio Donegal

12     Industrial design – Design Partners

13     Jewellery making – Bláithín Ennis

14     Knitwear – Carraig Donn

15     Leatherworking – Garvan de Bruir

16     Millinery – Martha Lynn

17     Ceramics – DCCoI’s Ceramics Skills & Design Course

18     Printmaking – Print Block

19     Product design – Notion

20     Shoe design – Tutty’s Handmade Shoes

21     Stone working – Hennessy & Byrne

22     UX design – Frontend

23     Textiles – Cushendale

24     Woodworking – Chaim Factor


About Irish Design 2015:

Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) is a year-long initiative backed by the Irish government exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design throughout Ireland and internationally in order to drive job creation, grow exports and increase competitiveness. The programme for the year includes presenting the work of Irish designers at high profile events in design capitals including London, Paris, Eindhoven, Milan, New York, Chicago and Hong Kong/Shenzhen.  ID2015 is being convened by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (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. ID2015 partners include Founding Partners – MCO Projects; Accommodation Partners – The Doyle Collection; Venue Partners – OPW; Exhibition Partners – DAA; Technology Partners – IBM and Media Partners – The Irish Times.


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 over 75 member organisations and over 3,000 registered clients.


About daa:

daa is a commercial semi-state company that owns and operates Dublin and Cork airports. Dublin Airport is Ireland’s largest airport, handling 20.2 million passengers in 2013. daa also operates ARI, a major international travel retail business and daa International, which provides specialist advice and training to airport operators and parties involved in airport transactions.