Exciting new work to be unveiled in The Souvenir Project at London Design Festival 2015

An exciting collection of nine new souvenirs challenging the perceived notions of Ireland, championing contemporary Irish design and supporting local production will be unveiled during London Design Festival 2015.

The Souvenir Project, specially commissioned by Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), is being curated and creatively directed by Jonathan Legge, Makers & Brothers. The project looks to questions what an Irish souvenir might be. It presents a collection of contemporary objects with meaning and depth that carefully explore the local context whilst advocating creative collaborations between Irish designers and makers.

Running from Tuesday 22nd to Sunday 27th September, The Souvenir Project will be at Rochelle School, Arnold Circus and is part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle. The project features exciting new work and exclusive collaborations between over 20 Irish makers and designers across a broad range disciplines. Playful, useful or simply curious, the resulting objects engage on many levels and reflect Ireland’s rich, dynamic and imaginative cultural landscape.

The Souvenir Project collection which will be exhibited and available to purchase during LDF will include:

  • The reinterpretation of the classic Nicholas Mosse flora and fauna sponge-ware patterns by animator and director Johnny Kelly to mark the historic outcome of Ireland’s recent referendum on same-sex marriage.
  • A series crystal vases by J. Hill’s Standard that are cut with new graphic patterns, developed by Studio AAD, representing curious Irish expressions used to describe the many ways rain falls in the Emerald Isle.
  • Brandubh - the reimagining of an ancient Irish board game by celebrated architect Tom dePoar, resulting in a portable set with 13 playing pieces formed from compressed peat by Hill Picket Studio.
  • A series of patterns developed by design studio Superfolk based on Ireland’s celebrated dry stone wall constructions and applied to Irish linen by Print Block.

Curator Jonathan Legge explains the concept behind the project:

“The term souvenir may have an unfortunate vale 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.”

Alex Milton, Programme Director of Irish Design 2015 said:

“The ambition of the 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.”

The Souvenir Project is one of a number of Irish design events in London this year as part of Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), a year-long initiative backed by the Irish Government promoting and celebrating Irish design in Ireland and internationally. A selection of work from The Souvenir Project will be dual sited and available to view at Tent London as part of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s fourth exhibition at LDF. Entitled Ó, meaning 'from' in the Irish language, the exhibition will feature beautifully designed products in stone, glass, ceramics, wood and textiles from over 20 designers who are passionate about materials, production and a strong sense of place, including Snug, Ceadogán, Aodh Furniture, Superfolk and Mourne Textiles.

ID2015 is also partnering with London Design Festival in presenting The Ogham Wall at the V&A. Designed by Grafton Architects in collaboration with Graphic Relief and sponsored by Techrete, the ambitious landmark project weaves narrative and culture with monumental design.


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For further information and high-res images, please contact:

Katherine Sandford-Anderson | Sandford PR | katherine@sandfordpr.com (UK)

Leslie Curtis | Sandford PR | leslie@sandfordpr.com (UK)

Cristina Belmonte | Sandford PR | cristina@sandfordpr.com (All other media)



Follow ID2015 on social media:

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Notes to Editors:


The Souvenir Project opening days and times in September 2015:

Tuesday 22: 10.00 – 21.00

Wednesday 23 - Saturday 26: 10.00 – 18.00

Sunday 27: 11.00 – 17.00

at the Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London E2 7ES


About Irish Design 2015

Through a year-long programme of events and activities exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design both in Ireland and internationally, Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) aims to showcase the very best of Irish design in order to drive job creation, grow exports and increase competitiveness. ID2015 is an island of Ireland initiative engaging the public, the design community and businesses, promoting Irish design in just about every form at home through events and exhibitions while also targeting the export market through trade missions and events in international capitals of design and commerce. 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. Irish Design 2015 partners include Founding Partners - MCO Projects; Accommodation Partners - The Doyle Collection; Venue Partners - OPW; Exhibition Partners – DAA; Technology Partners – IBM; Transport Partners – Bus Éireann Expressway; Construction Partners - SISK and Broadcast Partners - RTÉ. 


About the Curator

Jonathan Legge is co-founder and creative director of the multi-channel retail project, Makers & Brothers, a design led operation offering a curation of everyday design & craft. He is also co-founder and director of ChanLegge, an exploratory design studio working on a diverse range of cultural and commercial projects in the UK and Ireland. Prior to founding Makers & Brothers and ChanLegge, he worked with Ilse Crawford. During his five years at Studioilse he led projects in the UK, Sweden and Canada. Prior to this, he completed a Masters in Design Products at the Royal College of Art, studying under Ron Arad. In recent years he has been a visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art, London and National College of Art and Design, Dublin. His own creative work has been exhibited in New York, London, Milan and Berlin.

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