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image1-2Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D. officially launched Ireland – the Design Island at the National Film School, Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), Dun Laoghaire on Thursday 2nd of February 2017

It was a real honour to edit the paper in collaboration with Karen Hennessey, CEO of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), and author content and case studies in partnership with a fantastic team of contributors from industry, academia and the wider design community.

The paper urges sustained investment in design and proposes a series of actions for the strategic development of design and design thinking.

Ireland – the Design Island encompasses the breadth of issues that need to be examined in order to develop a National Design Strategy for Ireland and has been structured under four themes, which reflect the key challenges faced by the sector: Policy & Promotion; Research & Innovation; Education through to Enterprise; and Society, Culture & Collaboration.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “It is important that we build on the momentum and achievements of ID2015 in order to develop opportunities for growth, especially in relation to exports. I am very pleased to see that a wide range of education and industry representatives have been involved in this consultation. The resulting document contains a list of issues that need to be examined, from quick wins to long-term strategic goals. This will now inform my department’s plans for developing Ireland’s design capability and for encouraging design thinking across all sectors. Design will be a specific component of the Action Plan for Jobs process in 2017, both at national and regional levels. I am excited by the possibilities that design represents for our country’s creative future.”

The main aims of the consultation paper are to:
• develop Ireland as an internationally-recognised centre of excellence for design and design research, building on Ireland’s rich heritage in craftsmanship, innovation and creativity
• create a design culture and promote a better understanding of both design and the value of design in business and society
• expand Ireland’s design skills base, from primary level education upwards
• increase the use of design as a source of innovation in Irish businesses, especially in the sectors identified as key growth areas for Ireland
• champion the use of good design in addressing Ireland’s societal challenges and increase the use of design by public bodies
• encourage the use of design in public procurement processes in order to drive innovation

Ireland – the Design Island began development in April 2016 when a Steering Committee of industry representatives was established and convened by DCCoI. An extensive consultation process was undertaken during 2016 to actively involve a broad range of stakeholders in workshops and interviews. These included Enterprise Ireland client companies; DCCoI registered clients and member organisations; small and medium enterprises (SMEs) currently using or considering using design, coordinated through the Local Enterprise Office network; multinational companies coordinated through the IDA; as well as Third Level design educators and professional bodies.

You can download the consultation paper at: ‘Ireland – The Design Island’, a consultation paper towards a National Design Strategy

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