LiminalIrish design at the threshold

ID2015.


Studio AAD &
John McLaughlin Architects
The Cabinet of Modern Irish Life

M

Part of
Liminal
Milan
April 14-19

NY

Part of
Liminal
New York
May 15–18

E

Part of
Liminal
Eindhoven
Oct 17-25

D

Part of
Liminal
Dublin
Nov 20 -
Dec 30

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Studio AAD

Studio AAD

Studio Aad is a Dublin design consultancy that works with clients of all sizes and from a wide range of sectors, using design to help them shape their projects. Building on a project’s core strengths, Studio Aad works across disciplines to deliver ideas, solve problems and build tools that help clients to explain, engage and make an impact. The studio is founded on an entrepreneurial spirit and for the first 5 years of business the team also had a successful clothing brand that sold in stores across Europe and Asia, from Urban Outfitters to Colette in Paris and Journal Standard in Tokyo.

This experience provided a unique and holistic insight for the design practice. Passionate advocates of creativity as a catalyst, the Studio Aad team invests time and money in the development of studio and community projects such as the charity site Grow and the social project Where We Are. Studio Aad is also a founding member of the 100 Archive, a site dedicated to mapping the quality and diversity of Irish communication design with the aim of providing a strong context for its development.

studioaad.com

Studio AAD is een ontwerpadviesbureau dat interdisciplinair werkt om ideeën te leveren, problemen op te lossen en hulpmiddelen te bouwen die klanten helpen uitleggen, uitnodigen en indruk maken. Studio AAD is ook een van de oprichters van 100Archive, een site gericht op het in kaart brengen van de kwaliteit en diversiteit van Ierse communicatievormgeving, met als doel een sterke context te bieden voor de ontwikkeling daarvan. Studio AAD presenteert Connections, een expositieoplossing in capsulevorm om internationaal te toeren voor Irish
Design 2015.

John McLaughlin Architects

 

John McLaughlin Architects

John McLaughlin Architects is a design focused studio based in Dun Laoghaire. Their practice works at many different scales and across a wide range of project types. They are particularly interested in connections between architecture and the wider landscape and built environment. They design masterplans, landscapes, buildings, houses, public art and exhibitions. Prior to establishing the practice in 2010, John was director of architecture with the Dublin Docklands Authority where he was responsible for the design of many of the public spaces in the docklands including the Grand Canal Harbour District.

Taking their inspiration from Irish modern architects and designers, their designs have been noted for their beauty, understated elegance and playfulness. They have received many awards and have participated in a number of exhibitions. John curated the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 titled Shifting Ground, and (with Gary A. Boyd) he curated and designed the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014 titled Infra Éireann.


The Cabinet of modern Irish Life

The Cabinet of Modern Irish Life

The cabinet of modern Irish design

The cabinet of modern Irish design

The cabinet of modern Irish design

The Cabinet of Modern Irish Life


Interview

Scott Burnett of Studio AAD
talks about Irish design and the development of The Cabinet of Modern Irish Life.

It’s like a window on Ireland – I wanted to bring breadth to how people understand Irish Design. I’m thinking of it as a glimpse of modern Ireland through the lens of design. I imagined it like a kitchen dresser, the eclectic backdrop to family life; and that let me bring in quite disparate things that nevertheless have a relationship through how we use them, how they give us a sense of who we are.

The cabinet is very broad, in a similar way to Connections, the capsule exhibition we’ve made for ID2015 to tour embassies around the world. People who view it may not know much about Ireland, or they may have a ‘diddley-eye’, more folk based perception of what Irish design is, so we wanted to create an honest collection that shows modern Ireland as it is. It’s a little portal that gives a wider sense.

It’s been curated like an insider’s guide, so we’ve included ephemera: flyers and books; and well-designed everyday items, rather than just up-on-a-pedestal objects of desire. It’s quite broad, covering many aspects of modern life – design for work, play, life, to wear, to inhabit. That’s what I like about design: the real everyday stuff. I’m a big advocate of design as a way to make things better, a lot of it is invisible and those can be the very best things.

I studied Visual Communications in Aberdeen in Scotland, then I worked in photography in Glasgow and London before coming to Dublin in 1998 to work in design agencies. I started Angry, a clothing company in 2000. We were selling in London, Paris and Tokyo, and even though the brand was successful, we knew nothing about the business of fashion, so we weren’t making money. We set up Studio AAD in 2004 to work on branding, design and multidisciplinary projects. I’m also involved in the 100Archive (100Archive.com), mapping the landscape of communication design in contemporary Ireland. The project creates a context to show how varied design can be.

Some of the things in the cabinet are amazing. Like the award winning Moocall, by Dolmen. Apparently one of the hardest things in cow farming is getting the vet to the cow at the right time to deliver the calf. It’s a dangerous time for the animal and even experts could miss the moment. So Dolmen created this device that tracks the movement of the cow’s tail, and sends a text message when calving is about to begin. Moocall and Mcor’s 3D printing technologies are these brilliantly unexpected stories of ingenuity in an Irish context.

On the other hand, there’s a copy of the Dublin Review. It’s a literature periodical designed by Atelier David Smith, and it’s just gorgeous. They’ve been doing that since 2000, and it’s elegantly laid out and beautifully appropriate. Ireland has such a strong reputation for literature, but not everyone would put the effort into designing a periodical that well, it’s a joy to see it.

We also have one of the Douglas Hyde Gallery’s publications, an annual report from the brilliant Science Gallery and a range of other Irish designed books. There’s been a renaissance in Irish children’s books over the past few years, and Chris Haughton’s ‘A Bit Lost’ is beautiful.

I wanted to get away from the clichés of traditional design, but we’ve also included modern makers with a basis in craft, like The Atlantic Equipment Project, who make hardwearing gear for hikers and surfers from their studios in Sligo, Elks who make lovely clothes for kids, and Superfolk. There’s napkins designed by Pony for the Cake Café, and a crystal glass from Waterford’s J.HILL’S Standard. There’s a richness to these pieces, that pick up on a design heritage that had fallen into abeyance for a time. A new vernacular has been growing over the last six years that is world class but also proud of its heritage and tradition. These are the things that form the backdrop to Modern Irish Life.

Working in the industry today, I know so many colleagues making brilliant things. That’s what excites me. ID2015 has already sparked a lot of conversations within the industry. The next stage is for us to create the foundation to bring those conversations to the wider public. That’s the best legacy for when this year is over.