Liminal - Irish design at the threshold | ID2015 Flagship Show at Milan Design Week

14.04.2015 –


Liminal – Irish design at the threshold features over 20 designers, companies and studios involved in collaborations across disciplines, and presents them for the first time in Milan. This is the flagship show from Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), a year long initiative backed by the Irish government promoting and celebrating Irish design in Ireland and internationally.

Visit the Liminal website to view all of the collaborations and to find more.

Presenting a pivotal chapter in Irish design, Liminal explores, identifies and showcases Irish creativity, and how designers, companies and studios are moving across the disciplinary boundaries and limits of what design was, into what design can become.

As design increasingly seeks to create holistic experiences and narratives, Ireland is placed to play a significant role in 21st century design, helping meet the challenges of tomorrow. Liminal provides a timely platform for creative change on the island of Ireland.

Taking the theme of liminality, which refers to spaces that lie between the known and the unknown, this exhibition explores the craft of collaboration and presents the exploratory journeys undertaken by designers. Moving through a series of design venues, starting in Milan, and followed by New York, Dublin and Eindhoven, the exhibition demonstrates Irish design excellence across disciplines and considers the possibilities for the future. 

Highlights of the Irish Design 2015 exhibition in Milan range from exclusive launches of new furniture collections resulting from collaborations between Perch Design Studios, Thomas Montgomery and Labofa to the incredible story of Mourne Textiles whose award winning fabrics and rugs were first exhibited at La Triennale di Milano in 1951 and will be brought to Milan once again through a collaboration with Notion design studio.

Work by Annie Atkins, famed for her graphic design in films including the Oscar winning The Grand Budapest Hotel, will provide a visual twist for all tastes, as will the collaboration between product designers Designgoat and chef Katie Sanderson.  Design Partners are set to unveil a world premier in technology that will revolutionise how we interact with our living and work spaces, while Studio AAD will provide a visual narrative that contextualises and highlights the breadth of Irish design.

Liminal exhibitors, who are either from Ireland or live in Ireland include:

Andrew Ludick - collaborating with Ceadogán Rugs

With a background in illustration, ceramicist Andrew Ludick moved to Ireland in 2003 from the US.  Andrew's work has slowly evolved towards forms that illustrate the natural properties of clay and the processes he use to create them. Ceadogán Rugs create contemporary designer rugs and wall-hangings. The team is focussed, highly skilled, very experienced and dedicated to pairing the traditional values of remarkable craftsmanship with contemporary design. Their collaboration with ceramic artist Andrew Ludick began in 2014 when Ceadogán Rugs Creative Director Fiona Gilboy saw the potential for his intuitive and playful use of pattern to translate perfectly into rug designs. and


Cathal Loughnane - collaborating with Peter Sheehan

As Creative Director with Design Partners, Cathal Loughnane plays a central role in developing the company’s unique approach to industrial design, merging craft techniques with advanced computer aided technology. Peter Sheehan has worked for over 25 years across the spectrum of design consultancy for global brands, including Design Partners. His work has been exhibited globally including MoMA San Francisco and New York. The History Chair developed in collaboration with Cathal Loughnane was featured in “Vernacular” by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland at the London Design Festival in 2013. Their newest collaboration, “ibi”, which is being launched in Milan, was inspired by the act of reliving a defining moment in our lives. and


Claire-Anne O’Brien

Claire-Anne O’ Brien is a constructed textile designer who creates 3 dimensional, knitted fabrics for interiors. Traditional textile techniques such as weave, knotting and basketry inspire playful investigations into structure and form using the unique properties of knit. Tubes and ribs are assembled into intricate patterns, revealing and celebrating their construction through exaggerated scale and bold colour. The studio produces a range of knitted wool furniture as well as bespoke commissions and fabric development for commercial and private clients.


Derek Wilson

Belfast based Derek runs a successful contemporary studio practice that focuses on producing a range of hand thrown porcelain tableware as a selection of sculptural objects. He has exhibited extensively throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe and was previously featured in the Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition in Milan. Derek will be showing pieces of his latest work in Milan.


Designgoat - collaborating with chef Katie Sanderson

Designgoat creates experiences through products, spaces, furniture and food, working on a broad range of projects including self-directed products, commercial interiors and exhibition designs. Katie Sanderson creates special food experiences in spaces that are out of the ordinary: disused warehouses, galleries and a Wicklow rainforest. Vegetables are the main feature and Katie likes to evolve recipes from the past and use seaweeds and other sea vegetables as an enhancing ingredient. and


Design Partners – collaborating with clients SEEDlabs, Calor, Terraillion and Le Creuset

Design Partners is a leading strategic product design consultancy with a team of award winning designers, engineers and makers working from studios in Dublin, San Francisco and Eindhoven. The portable “Calor Mini BBQ” will be in use onsite at selected times during Liminal’s run in Milan, serving tasty treats to visitors.


Garrett Pitcher, Indigo & Cloth – collaborating with Designgoat

Garrett Pitcher is creative director at Indigo & Cloth, a menswear boutique and branding studio which works with a number of local and international brands, conceiving and producing creative ideas. Garrett has worked with Designgoat on the development of a chair and magazine rack that will be exclusively launched in Milan.,


Grafton Architects - collaborating with Graphic Relief

Grafton Architects, formed in 1978 by co-founders Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara have won numerous prestigious awards internationally for their work in projects ranging from the Bocconi University project in Milan to the Department of Finance building in Dublin. Graphic Relief has developed the capability to produce extremely fine detail moulds that can be used to cast a variety of different materials. Ideas and designs can be transformed into a wide range of architectural finishes, for both internal and external applications. The collaboration shows the potential for adding a new dimension to the use of building materials. and


Mourne Textiles - collaborating with Notion

Founded in the 1940s in a workshop at the foot of the beautiful Mourne mountains by Norwegian design pioneer Gerd Hay-Edie, Irish heritage brand Mourne Textiles uses traditional weaving techniques on custom-made handlooms. Gerd’s name became a staple in mid-century British design through long collaborations with Robin Day for Hille & Co and Terence Conran. The Milano rug originally commissioned by Robin Day won the silver award at La Triennale di Milano in 1951 and is just one of the recently re-issued pieces in the collection. Gerd’s designs are revived in vibrant tones and rich textures in a lifestyle collection that includes blankets, throws, shawls, cushions, tableware, rugs and upholstery fabrics. Notion industrial design studio has worked with small start-ups to global design brands, with a diverse portfolio that demonstrates their flexible and applicable approach to design. The small team of designers uses the industrial design philosophy thinking-through-making, designing everything from watches through to a remote home heating system. and


Perch - collaborating with Thomas Montgomery and Labofa

Perch specialises in research-led furniture design for Applied Human Movement. Their approach to critical thinking and problem solving is truly interdisciplinary and they always strive to find that perfect balance between interactive simplicity, scientific relevance and aesthetic beauty. Thomas Montgomery Ltd is one of Ireland’s leading contemporary soft seating and upholstered furniture manufacturers, producing high quality upholstered furniture for the office and commercial interiors markets. Labofa A/S is a Danish manufacturer specialising in the development and production of chairs and furniture for educational environments and public and private offices since the 1950s. Perch will be showing two projects in Milan -  “Float” which was realised with Thomas Montgomery and “RAY” which was developed with Labofa., and


Rothschild and Bickers

Victoria Rothschild specialises in glass and lighting design and much of her work is a tactile response to the raw material, retaining a close relationship between the product and the process of making. She has worked on a diverse range of critically acclaimed projects with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and her work has been exhibited internationally. Victoria and business partner Mark Bickers set up the Rothschild and Bickers studio in Hertford to produce beautiful hand-blown glass lighting. Their “Empire” lighting range will be shown in Milan.

Smarter Surfaces - Smart Wall Paint

Smarter Surfaces whiteboard paint product, Smart Wall Paint, was founded by entrepreneur Ronan Clarke in 2011. This innovative product won FM Office Product of the Year 2014, by the EOPA. Today, the company's product range also includes Smart Projector Paint, Smart Magnetic Wallpaper and Smart Whiteboard Sheets. Smarter Surfaces trades globally through a network of distributors and ecommerce websites. Smart Wall Paint will be used in an interactive way around the barbeque area at Liminal.



From their workshop in Snugboro, Co. Wicklow, Conor Kelly and Nell Roddy run Snug, creating well-crafted and designed furniture that sits comfortably in any home.  Conor is a trained cabinet-maker with over 15 years experience working with crafted furniture in Ireland, Kenya and New Zealand. Nell has a passion for design and together they started Snug in April 2014 to demonstrate their belief that good design can transform everyday living. Each piece is a celebration of design that is playful, functional and crafted.  Snug will be exclusively launching new work in Milan.


Studio AAD – Commissioned to develop a visual narrative of Irish Design

Studio AAD is a Dublin design consultancy working across disciplines to deliver ideas, solve problems and build tools that help clients explain, engage and make an impact. Studio AAD is also a founding member of 100Archive, a site dedicated to mapping the quality and diversity of Irish communication design with the aim of providing a strong context for its development. Studio AAD will be presenting “Connections”, a capsule exhibition solution developed to tour internationally for Irish Design 2015.


Studio PSK – collaborating with MCor Technologies, FabLab Limerick and Fintan O’Toole

Studio PSK is a collaborative design studio whose work spans physical, digital and print media, often focusing on complex contemporary issues and the use of design as a way to communicate or challenge these.  Mcor Technologies Ltd is an innovative manufacturer of the world’s most affordable, full-colour and eco-friendly 3D printers. Fab Lab Limerick is a collective of staff, students and graduates from the School of Architecture at the University of Limerick (UL), with a shared passion for digital fabrication technologies and their potential in creative projects. Fintan O'Toole is literary editor of The Irish Times and Leonard L. Milberg visiting lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University. For Milan, Patrick Stevenson Keating of Studio PSK has responded to essays by Fintan O’Toole and the objects being shown are the result of a collaboration with Fab Lab Limerick using MCor’s 3D printers., and


Think & Son - collaborating with Seymour’s biscuits

Annie Atkins has specialised in the creation of artefacts, signage and documents on a wide range of film productions. She worked on Oscar-nominated animation “The Boxtrolls”, as lead graphic designer and on “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which went on to win the Oscar for Production Design. Eoghan Nolan is an award-winning copywriter and former creative director of McCann-Erickson, Irish International BBDO and Leo Burnett. Eoghan first collaborated with Annie Atkins in 2011. Together they work under the name Think & Son. Seymours Irish Biscuits is a family-owned specialist bakery producing individually hand-cut biscuits made in small batches. The bakery in West Cork uses the fresh milk and creamery butter for the biscuits from their own dairy, giving a superlative taste that no other biscuit bakery can match. and



Zero-G is a Dublin-based design practice engaged in research, strategy and design. With creative partners globally, they develop stories that focus purpose and meaning, creating tools that empower employees to look at opportunities with fresh eyes, and demonstrating the power of design to make things better for the user, be they customer, employee, audience, or citizen. Zero-G will be unveiling a specially created infographic navigating the evolution of Ireland’s legislative, judicial, executive and local government structures since the country’s 1937 constitution.

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