15.03.2015

Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD, today launched Connections, a capsule exhibition of Irish design at Ireland House, the Irish Embassy in Stockholm as part of Irish Design 2015.

Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) is a year-long government-backed initiative exploring, promoting and celebrating the talent behind Irish design in the island’s first ever global design showcase. Through a programme of events and activities engaging the public, the design community and businesses both in Ireland and internationally, ID2015 aims to highlight the very best of Irish design in order to drive job creation, grow exports and increase competitiveness.

Minister Nash’s visit to Sweden is part of the Government’s wider promotional activity to mark Saint Patrick’s Day.

“Living on a small island at the western edge of Europe, the Irish people have always sought to make connections across the world and the Government’s Saint Patrick’s Day programme aims to strengthen Ireland’s ties with our global neighbours. I am particularly delighted to be launching this capsule exhibition in Sweden which is world renowned for its design. Connections showcases the wealth of creative talent in Ireland, both from the past and the present. Irish Design 2015 is about harnessing the creativity and vibrancy of the design sector in Ireland and promoting it to the world in order to support Irish businesses in selling their goods and services in competitive foreign markets. This exhibition provides a platform to promote the skills and talents of Irish designers to international audiences as it tours to Irish embassies around the world throughout the year,” he said.

Connections presents two linked perspectives: Irish design that connects with the world and design that is shaping modern Ireland. The exhibition aims to provide an insight into Ireland’s warmth and values and to show the unexpected ways the Irish help define experiences and relationships around the world. Connections features diverse design projects that resonate across the world in a variety of places, purposes and contexts and similar projects that are indicative of the modern Irish experience. The featured designers and projects include The Book of Kells which is celebrated for its lavish decoration and attracts over half a million visitors year; Kilkenny Design Workshops whose 50th Anniversary has been marked with the launch of a new iPad app; Wexford-born Eileen Gray who was responsible for some of the most iconic furniture designs of the 20th century; Sugru, the world’s first mouldable glue that turns into rubber; and Oscar nominated animation studio Cartoon Saloon.

Designed by Dublin-based design consultancy Studio AAD, the capsule is an innovative and transportable solution to showcasing contemporary Irish design in many forms. The exhibition will tour throughout the year, engaging a network of over 20 Irish Embassies selected for their strategic location in relation to ID2015’s wider international programme.

According to Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, ID2015 offers a unique opportunity to promote Ireland’s well-recognised strengths and international reputation for design and creativity.

“Events and activities both at home and abroad throughout 2015 will position Ireland at the heart of a design-focused, forward-thinking creative economy. Our international programme aims to highlight the quality of Irish design to audiences around the world in order to generate export opportunities and raise our overall global competitiveness,” she said.

ID2015 will see over 300 design installations, conferences, exhibitions, talks and more take place on the island of Ireland and at global design events. The best talent in Ireland across a broad range of design disciplines - from product and industrial design, architecture and design engineering to fashion, costume and set design, animation, gaming and ICT design – will be profiled throughout 2015. The year-long programme includes presenting the work of Irish designers at high profile international events in design capitals such as London, Paris, Eindhoven, Milan, New York, Chicago and Hong Kong/Shenzhen.

For further details on all events and activities, visit irishdesign2015.ie

Ends.

For further press information please contact: Aoife Smith, Sorcha Furlong or Tara Walsh at Elevate PR on 01-6625652 or aoife@elevate.ie / sorcha@elevate.ie / tara@elevate.ie

Notes for Editors

About Irish Design 2015

Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) is a year-long initiative backed by the Irish government exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design throughout Ireland and internationally in order to drive job creation, grow exports and increase competitiveness. Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, is Patron of Irish Design 2015 and the initiative has been included in the Irish Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. 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. ID2015 partners include Founding Partners - MCO Projects; Accommodation Partners - The Doyle Collection; Venue Partners - OPW; Exhibition Partners – DAA; Technology Partners - IBM and Media Partners – The Irish Times. To learn more, visit www.irishdesign2015.ie

About DCCol

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the main champion of the design and craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. The mission of DCCol is to promote and stimulate the creative and commercial potential of Irish design and craft and to work in collaboration with strategic partners in the ongoing development and growth of the sector. To learn more, visit: http://www.dccoi.ie

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