IDI continues to strengthen its voice for commercial design with new board directors

IDI continues to strengthen its voice for commercial design with new board directors

Three new Directors have been appointed to the board of the IDI, as the professional membership organisation for commercial designers deepens its influence and impact.

The moves comes as the IDI continues to reach new audiences and broaden its appeal, supporting designers across disciplines from strategic design (such as UX and service design), communications design (graphic, brand, digital), spacial (interiors and architecture), fashion, and product (industrial) design disciplines.

New directors include:

Aisling Farinella, Stylist and Creative 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.

Aisling 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, Group Senior Brand Director for Kerry Group

Ann is responsible for strategic brand positioning and the 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, Head of Belfast school of Art

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. 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. 

Commenting on their appointments to the board IDI’s President Mary Doherty, Founder of branding agency Red Dog said: ‘we welcome Ann, Aisling and Brian to the IDI as we usher in a new phase of the organisation’s growth.

‘The IDI appointed its first ever Chief Executive, Charlotte Barker in 2020, signalling intent from the design industry that leadership for the sector was needed.

Having undergone root and branch organisational change, established a clear strategy and appointed the right people to execute on the plan has been fundamental to the onward trajectory of the IDI. We are confident in the future of the design sector and the future of the IDI.’

Chief Executive Charlotte Barker said: ‘IDI existed for the best part of 50 years on the generosity and good will of design professionals, giving their time and talent to benefit the entire design community.

The design sector is valued at €53bn and employs 59,000 people. Design is recognised by government as a strategic tool for change, and is used by the biggest businesses to continuously innovate and communicate. Now is the time for design to shine, and the IDI is here to amplify the voices of designers across the island of Ireland.’

See all Directors here.


Photo credit: Rich Gilligan 2023