IDI Board and Council

The IDI is led by a Board of Directors who represent a cross-section of the Design Industry, ensuring the strategy of the IDI is always relevant and fit for purpose. The board works closely with IDI Councils, which represent the strategic pillars of the IDI and shape and inform the focus of IDI activities.

Image (C) Rich Gilligan

The Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI) is a fully incorporated company limited by guarantee, a non-profit entity, led by an executive board of directors, monitored and steered by a guardianship council, directed by its members.

The board of directors provide strategic guidance to the day to day activities of the IDI. This is currently made up of Mary Doherty, President; Dominic Southgate, President Emeritus;  David Wall, Danielle Townsend, Dr Kevin Dowd, John Lynch, Ann Kehoe, Aisling Farinella and Brian Dixon.

Mary Doherty <br /> President (2022 - Present)

Mary Doherty
President (2022 - Present)

Mary Doherty is the elected president of the IDI, appointed in November 2022 after 2 years as an IDI board Director.

She is the founder of leading brand design agency, Red Dog. Her vision and steadfast demand for excellent design has helped drive the creative team forward to becoming an internationally recognised, award-winning creative agency.  Mary holds a BDes (Hons) in Visual Communications from NCAD, is a Fellow of the IDI and a Board Member of the Merrion Fertility Clinic. 

Dominic Southgate <br /> President Emeritus

Dominic Southgate
President Emeritus

Dominic is the IDI President Emeritus, having held the position of president from 2020-2022. He is the acting Treasurer and has been a member of IDI's council for a number of years. 

He is the founder and Director of award winning industrial design business, Boxclever.

David Wall <br /> Board Director

David Wall
Board Director

David is an IDI Board Director and Creative Director at Tines.

He co-founded the 100 Archive and is an ICAD member. Previously, David was  Head of Design in McCann, and co-founder/director of WorkGroup, an independent design studio.

David has spoken and contributed at conferences, events and discussions, including keynote presentations at Birmingham Design Festival 2019, Offset 2019 (Dublin), Glug Dublin 2018, The Future 2017 (Dublin), ICAD Socialise 2016 (Dublin), Sligo Design Week 2016, Defuse IxDA (Dublin) 2015, Creative Mornings (Dublin) 2014, Offset 2012 (Dublin). He has lectured and taught in in graphic design courses and in other design disciplines in Ireland and the UK. 

Danielle Townsend <br /> Board Director

Danielle Townsend
Board Director

Danielle is an IDI Board Director and eductation consultant, and former Director of Programmes at Dublin Design Institute.

Danielle is an assessor and member of the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD), and assessor at 100 Archive. She has taught on visual communications programmes across Ireland, is an external examiner and secretary of Design Educators Ireland (DEI). She has a Masters in Professional Design Practice, Degrees in Graphic Design & Digital Media, Marketing, Advertising, Sales Management and PR and a Postgraduate in Teaching & Education. She heads up the Education Council and initiated the IDI's Graduate platform, The New Now.

Dr. Kevin Dowd <br /> Board Director

Dr. Kevin Dowd
Board Director

Kevin is an IDI Board Director and currently leads the global design function at TransferGo, a FinTech specialising in international payments and transfers.

He completed his doctorate in design at Kingston University in 2015, focusing on the development of practice-based visual methods, and has presented at numerous conferences, including ATypI and the International Visual Methods Conference. In 2021, he completed an Executive MBA with distinction at Warwick Business School, with a focus on creative leadership and innovation in business.

Kevin is particularly passionate about the value in-house creative functions can create for business, as well as the impact of inclusive design practices for under-represented communities. 

John Lynch <br /> Board Director

John Lynch
Board Director

John Lynch is an IDI Board Director and founder of Context Studio, a service design practice based in Dublin. He is also co-chair of Service Design Network, Ireland Chapter.

John started his career in software development, as part of various design practices. He went on to study on the Interaction Design Programme at Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design (CIID) in 2011 and has since focussed on the application of service design and user centred design, particularly as it relates to public services. 

John brings a service design lens to the activities of the IDI, supporting our work with government bodies to further amplify the voice of design in Ireland.

Aisling Farinella <br /> Board Director

Aisling Farinella
Board Director

Creative Director, Stylist and Consultant, Aisling has worked in fashion in Ireland for almost two decades. A proven advocate for Irish Design, Aisling has played an important role in repositioning Irish fashion design and creative professionals on national and international platforms. She is excited to promote opportunities around fashion in Ireland to the highest international standards, as representative of a modern Irish design culture and reflective of a myriad of modern Irish identities.

Ann Kehoe <br /> Board Director

Ann Kehoe
Board Director

As Group Senior Brand Director for Kerry Group, Ann is responsible for the strategic brand positioning and reputation of Kerry as a world leader in sustainable nutrition. She brings the voice of the client to the board, along with a wealth of skills in sponsorship and leadership to augment the existing board Directors. 

Dr Brian Dixon <br /> Board Director

Dr Brian Dixon
Board Director

Brian brings a strong academic background to the board, with over a decade of educational and research leadership in design in Scotland as well as the north of Ireland, where he is currently Head of Belfast School of Art. He currently oversees one of the largest art and design schools on the island, with a programme portfolio spanning Animation through to Service Design. Brian will bring his extensive knowledge to support the range of educational initiatives currently underway through the IDI.