IDI Newsletter - December 2017

We had a busy 2017, new President, new initiatives with a successful Mind over Matter in November and Why Design, our established Bread and Butter social vent series was again a big success as was our extensive CPD and training initiatives from Design Enterprise including a large design Conference- The IDI Awards in September and Graduate Awards in November - both attracted biggest ever numbers of entries.. more below

IDI Newsletter - Christmas 2017

2017 in Review

We had a busy 2017, we welcomed our 45th President Kim Mackenzie-Doyle & new board members kicking off #balancebydesign our 2017/2018 President’s initiatives; IDI Mind Over Matter and Why Design. Our Design Enterprise Skillnets CPD courses launched across the country, where hundreds of designers availed of tailored professional development courses. We held our first Design leaders conference to great acclaim. The best of Irish Design was showcased at the IDI Irish Design Awards at the incredible outdoor venue of Meeting House Square (check out the video) and the future of Irish Design was highlighted at the IDI Graduate Awards hosted graciously at IADT. Supporting Irish Design Research we have funded the publication of Iterations, the only Irish peer reviewed design research journal.

We proudly sat on the National Design Forum, lobbying on behalf of our members. We also sat on the National Review Committee for the new ISO standard for Design for All with the NSAI. We are currently engaged  in talks with the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) and have made important progress in the tendering for design services in Ireland. More on this in 2018.

Mind Over Matter

On November 2nd we held the first ever National Day of Design. Partnering with Aware we hosted 10 sites across Ireland from Belfast to Cork, where we held consultations with entrepreneurs, start-ups and businesses on how Design can add value to industry. We raised €7000 for Aware together with donations from the day and have already started planning for next year. 136 designers donated 1,220 hours of their time to put a spotlight on creative mental health.

“Today exceeded my expectations. We spoke of the structure around my branding strategy. I was lucky enough to get a follow up as we got so into it that the hour was not enough!  It was lovely to continue and get some definitive outcomes out of today.”  Siobhan Walsh, Entrepreneur

Mind Over Matter for Students

We are delighted to roll out a Life Skills course launching in Dublin Institute of Design in January. We  have arranged this directly with Aware who will be working with us for 6 weeks with DID students. The take up has been very strong and Aware with 25 students attending. Should you wish to run your own course in-house send us a mail we can coordinate with an Aware trainer.  The course is also available online here should students wish to do it in their own time:

Regional plans summary

We continue to host IDI Design Enterprise CPD events in Cork, and build networks in Northern Ireland with another planned visit in January. We were delighted to have sparked connections between designers across the country through IDI Mind Over Matter. A key aim of the initiative was to create a platform for designers from different disciplines to connect and form peer to peer networks.

Why Design

Launching in 2018, the IDI will begin to address the gender imbalance that exists in the Irish Design Sector. Currently 25% Female to 75% Male compared to a national workforce figure of 46% female to 54% male. More women than ever are studying Design in Ireland but it is not transferring to Industry, with only 17% of women in architecture and 5% in product design and in senior positions only 11% of creative directors being female. IDI Why Design, is an online platform,  aimed at 2nd level female students, their parents, teachers and guidance counsellors. It will communicate what Design actually is, the possible career paths and a national overview on all the creative courses in the country.

We will be launching this platform on International Women’s Day on March 8th with an incredible line up. We are delighted to have Deloitte Digital on board as sponsor, if you would like to sponsor this initiative please contact for a sponsor pack.

Design Enterprise Skillnet

The Design Enterprise Skillnet is the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) arm of the IDI, and was launched by the IDI  in 2017 to provide subsidised training that is tailored specifically to the needs of Irish designers and design practices across the country, to provide the structure and supports for designers and design SMEs to grow their business, up-skill their management and teams, and attract and service clients in a rapidly changing commercial landscape.

Our mission is to develop and deliver new offers that are industry related, and focus on the needs of design and creative businesses.  Aside from formal training, we offer tailored in-company training and workshops, and facilitate informal activities and networking events, including breakfast briefings, masterclasses and bespoke events like our Design Leaders Conference on October 9th.

Financial Summary

Our governance structure has undergone intensive streamlining and restructuring, with board and council members getting used to their brand newly defined roles, and new financial structures are coming into play along with more transparent, responsible and protective consultancy services both inward and flowing out from the Institute. This is not without its challenges and we thank everyone for their patience.  As long as IDI is a volunteer led organisation with short term leadership, there will be incremental change in small measures - we are hoping to get the organisation ready now to be fully functional and supported by the appropriate resources to lead Design in Ireland.  This will involve sophisticated engagement with government, local industry entities and all sorts of tiers of promotion, partnership and policy guides from within our own community.

Education Network

This year the Education Network has been established for educators on a national and regional basis to link in with the IDI. The purpose is for us to share information that can support the student experience. It is difficult for regional colleges to attend IDI Council meetings but this way they can be kept it the loop. From simply knowing what college events are on throughout Ireland to sharing resources. – this network in its infancy will hopefully continue to grow. The extension of our Presidents amazing initiative Mind Over Matter  has also been rolled for Students. Working with Aware there is a commitment to engage with students in creative courses throughout the country through a Life Skills course which helps students develop coping skills for the stresses of everyday life and college life.

IDI Graduate Awards @ IADT

An expanded Graduate Design Awards was hosted by IADT on the 30th November.  New categories of Design Research and Transdisciplinary Design were added, and the Visual Communications and Product Design categories were split.  This went down well with graduates, with 484 entries (over 200 from Vis Comm alone) with 92 shortlisted and exhibited from 16 colleges.  21 winners were announced on the night, with 26 commended awards.  The night was a huge success, with nearly all of the shortlisted graduates attending and collecting their certificates.  For the second year we gave certificates not just to winning and commended entries, but also to shortlisted.  Plans are already underway for 2018.

A big congratulations to all colleges and their students for what was a fantastic Grad Awards night in  IADT. We have published images from the night but if you have any extra ones please feel free to send through and we will include them. A big thank you to IADT for pulling out all the stops! And our internal Committee and sponsors for all the hard work.

IDI Logo best in class

The current IDI logo was created in 2014 by Dublin brand and design agency RichardsDee. This design was recently chosen by creative bloq as being among the 6 best design industry logos

“It sets the main three words of the organisation’s lengthy name  in a condensed sans serif with smooth round corners, inside an overarching ‘D’. Black and white, simple, legible... what’s not to like? “

Our friends at RichardsDee were also delighted to be recognised against global peers such as Adobe, SXSW and D&AD. We love it too!

IDI Irish Design Awards

A reimagined IDI Irish design Awards took place 15th September 2017 in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar. From a total number of nearly 400 entries, our judges savagely whittled these down to a shortlist of just 83 designs. These projects represented 61 individual designers and studios and also the work of 161 contributing designers. From this group, 19 winners and 25 commendations were raised up and received accolades on the night for their work. The competition featured work in Visual Communications, Structures and Spaces, Product Design, Digital Design, Fashion & Textiles, TV & Film, and Education & Research. 2018 will be the 20th anniversary of the Awards. We have begun a project to retrospectively populate this Awards website with all previous winners from the past two decades. We think this will create a fascinating repository and tell the story of the event and Irish design in a unique way.


Bread & Butter (IDI Design Social)

What a year we have had with the Bread and Butter Design Talks. Having kicked off the year in style in Baggot Hutton with a fantastic lineup of speakers, we went from strength to strength, finding a new home in The Grand Social.

A huge thank you for everyone involved in securing venues, convincing speakers to participate and of course, the always enthusiastic audience for attending. Big shout out to our media sponsor, 256 media for giving being the backbone of our online content.

We are cooking up something special for next year so keep an eye on the IDI Website and the IDI Design Social on all your favourite social media channels. Anyone who is interested in becoming a speaker for one of our future talks, contact Paul through

2018 Plans

We have exciting plans for 2018, on International Women’s day we will be launching ‘IDI Why Design’ our gender balance initiative, an online platform showcasing practicing female designers and more. We are thrilled to have an Emmy & Oscar award winning designers to launch the initiative.  We are also partnering with #Designpopup in April to bring an interactive exhibition to our members – watch this space for more information. In late April early May we will hold our AGM and welcome our 2018/2019 President Kirk McCormack. IDI Design Skillsnet will be hosting new and essential professional development courses throughout Ireland. We also look forward to the next wave of IDI Bread and Butter, with some very interesting design mash-ups planned. We are looking forward to being involved in Offset in March, and in the Future 2018!


We plan to launch the first annual Irish design survey in Q2 of 2018. This will be an essential ongoing data source for designers, industry, government and academia to measure and improve our industry.


Membership Fees 2018

We will be having a membership price FREEZE in January 2018, from February 1st we will be increasing membership so we can offer even more to our members! Renew your membership now to avail of this great offer!


From February 1st;

Student and Graduate Associate – No Change.

Overseas Membership €75 ex VAT (from €50)

Institutional/University Membership – €1500 ex VAT (from €1000)

Professional Membership - €175 Ex Vat (up from €150)

Design Teams up to 4 €600 Ex Vat (up from €500)

Design Teams 5-8 €1200 ex VAT (up from €975)

Design Teams 9-12 €1575 ex VAT (up from €1200)

Design Teams 13-30 €1950 ex VAT (up from €1500)

Design Teams 30+ €5,245 ex Vat (Uncapped number of members. Note: 50 members it’s a saving of €3,500)


Happy Christmas from all of us

The IDI Executive:

Kim Mackenzie Doyle - President

Kirk McCormack, President Elect

George Boyle, Treasurer

Denis O’Kelly, Secretary

Andrew Bradley

David Wall

Lynda Smith

John Moore

Claire Dowling