The Souvenir Project
Apr 8 -
A Project about Souvenirs.
Commissioned by Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI). Curated by Jonathan Legge, Makers & Brothers. Creative direction by Jonathan Legge and Makers & Brothers
Alex Milton, Programme Director, Irish Design 2015
Ireland is home to a vibrant design and craft sector which has its roots in Ireland’s heritage and tradition but is continually innovating, exploring new ideas, approaches and techniques.
Inspired by the country’s stunning landscapes and an abundance of local materials, designers and craftspeople throughout the island of Ireland create contemporary objects with a strong sense of place. The ambition of The Souvenir Project is to showcase the extraordinary creative talent and quality of materials and making within Ireland. Souvenirs are a symbolic reminder of experience, location and culture, and this collection of authentic Irish products, designed and made in Ireland, provides visitors a means of taking home the very best of Irish design. These products reinvent, reclaim and redeem the humble and often stereotypical souvenir, making it beautiful, meaningful and eminently collectible.
Irish Design 2015 marks a pivotal chapter in Irish design, helping to inspire, promote and develop Ireland’s design capacity and culture. This commissioned project, through a series of collaborations between designers, makers and manufacturers, demonstrates the power design has to create a future where designers make opportunities, and businesses have the opportunity to make it. Taking elements of the island’s past, the designers and makers featured in The Souvenir Project have created a collection of products that reflect Ireland’s design-led future and celebrate Irish materials, culture and heritage. Each tells a unique story of Ireland.
Jonathan Legge, Project Curator and Creative Director, Makers & Brothers
The term souvenir may have an unfortunate veil of commercialisation drawn over it due to mass tourism but at its root, it is literally about memory and recollection. A souvenir is so much more than useful or beautiful; it is a loved object laced with emotional associations. This collection of new Irish souvenirs carefully explores this thinking, filtering it through the local context, embracing the subtleties of the land, weather, histories and people. It is a gathering of objects with meaning and depth that softly speak of a time and place.