LiminalIrish design at the threshold


Dolmen &


Part of
Oct 17-25


Part of
Nov 20 -
Dec 30

Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Google+




Dolmen is a Dublin based creative design and innovation consultancy that discovers, develops and delivers new products by combining innovation strategies with creative design thinking. For the past 24 years they have been developing award-winning, intellectual property-rich new products and experiences for a diverse range of industries, ranging from medical devices and consumer products to information and communication technology and fast-moving consumer goods. Key clients include Diageo, ASH, ACT, Hollister, Stryker, Covidien, and Medtronic.

The core of Dolmen’s work is centred around a proven strategic design thinking process, which comprises a variety of tools and methodologies that are adapted to customers’ requirements and result in uncovering unmet and unarticulated needs in the end user. This is followed by intensive work by a highly creative design team, designing products from the inside out, and delivering products to clients that win in the marketplace.

Dolmen is een adviesbureau voor creatieve vormgeving en innovatie. Ze ontdekken, ontwikkelen en leveren nieuwe producten door innovatiestrategieën te koppelen aan creatief vormgevingsdenkwerk. De afgelopen 24 jaar hebben ze nieuwe prijswinnende, IP-rijke producten en ervaringen voor een diverse reeks industrieën, van medische apparatuur en consumentenproducten tot ICT en FMCG.




Novaerus is the first plasma system for airborne infection control. It uses a low-energy patented plasma that is stable, reproducible, containable and highly destructive to the microorganisms that enter its field. Its plasma requires no maintenance and works 24 hours a day to eradicate airborne viruses, bacteria, mould, allergens and odours, essentially cleaning the air and creating a healthier environment. By reducing the presence of these pathogens in the air, healthcare facilities can significantly lower the risk of infectious outbreaks.

Novaerus streeft ernaar de zakelijke kant en de kwaliteit van zorg te verbeteren door middel van de toepassing van technologie voor de bestrijding van ziekteverwekkers in de lucht. Tot nu toe zijn er belangrijke vorderingen geboekt op het gebied van hygiëne door ontsmetting van handen en oppervlakken. De Novaerus-technologie gaat verder dan slechts het schoonmaken van handen en oppervlakken en maakt ook de lucht schoon.










Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene L (ABS-L).
115mm x 75mm x 20mm, approx. 300g.


Dolmen and Novareus

Great products work well because we think about the users as we design for them. Psychology and ergonomics play a large part. During your education, you learn how colour and form enhance what you’re making. Then you go into a practical environment and you tie that in with the experience you gain from the products you design.

There is beauty in simplicity and that is a trait in human behaviour. Whether a product is being used by a doctor, nurse or site manager, they’re all still people, who have a pre-wired sense of what looks good and what works. When you see a simple, uncluttered form, there’s a reassurance about it, it ages well and will be easy to use. This makes sense for a developer such as Novaerus and was one of the aesthetic drivers for Dolmen. But it’s not all about aesthetics, we have to back it up with ergonomics and engineering, this is key to this sector. These three must exist in perfect equilibrium. That’s our sweet spot for a product.

Collaboration happens naturally. We incorporate clients as team members, so Felipe became an essential part of the process – it’s not about calling to the door and ordering something! We’ve been working together for just over a year. With Felipe, we’re looking to make a product that has to sit and quietly do its business in health care facilities, it has to look reassuring, be smooth so it can be easily cleaned, and it has to look very modern – because it is a very smart piece of kit.

Felipe Soberon of Novaerus Interview
We have worked on many projects with Dolmen. We make airborne infection control systems, that kill any pathogens in the air, destroying viruses, yeasts, mould. We wanted to make sensors to show what’s actually in the air, so we developed the technologies, but then we wanted to get a good enclosure around them.

We do a thorough testing of our products. I have a college connection through DCU with some of the guys who work at NASA. When we wanted to know what our systems are actually doing to destroy the bacteria in the air, they came on board. The first microorganism they picked up was E-Coli, so they passed them through our system. The rod-shaped E-Coli cells come through completely deformed, broken, so this shows the plasma charge is very intense – even to such an aggressive pathogen. We’re now looking at MRSA with them, forensically right down to atomic level.

It was Laser Prototypes Europe Ltd. in Belfast that recommended Dolmen to me, so I ended up talking to Chris and Kevin Maguire about the ideas and concepts. We want products that work, but that look beautiful too. Dolmen do this amazing research. There was one product with a fairly simple LED display, and they said that if we put a plastic piece in the right tone of semi transparent black, we can make it look really good, so Mark Murray went off and bought lots of pairs of sunglasses to experiment to get the right tone, and it was perfect. So this is the amount of creative dedication they put into it.

You can make the technology, but a collaboration with the right people makes the product.