Even if you only have the slightest interest in design, you should make 2015 the year you visit Ireland. This year has been designated as the year of Irish Design (ID2015) in Ireland with numerous festivals and events set to showcase the vast array of Ireland’s designers. ID2015 will celebrate Irish design in just about every form - from fashion and architecture to graphic design, landscape and food - with events across the island, ensuring there's something to interest everyone and making this year the ideal time to visit Ireland.
The Coach House at Dublin Castle kicked off the festivities and will be a design hub for showcasing Irish and international talent throughout the year. The ‘In the Making’ exhibition by leading designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgersby will run until St. Patrick’s Day - March 17.
In April, Dublin Castle will host ‘Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things’, where 36 everyday objects will be featured and their importance on modern life celebrated. Then, from July to September, the flagship exhibition of the year, ‘Irish Design Here/Now’, will explore design in Ireland and the work of Irish designers at home and abroad. One exhibition that caught my eye is the Appetite for Design event which will feature the work of leading Irish designers, architects, cooks and restaurateurs who will discuss and speculate about the design of food and our experience of it. This exhibition will be held at Kilkenny's National Craft Gallery from May 9 to June 30.
Around the country a number of the nation’s major Irish festivals will also have design themes for 2015. These include Dublin’s St Patrick’s Festival, the Galway International Arts Festival, Cork Craft and Design Festival and Craft Month Northern Ireland.
As part of the ID2015 celebrations the International Association of Designers has designated Dublin a World Design Hub.
Outside the country there will be showcases at design weeks, fashion weeks and architecture biennales in selected international design capitals, including London Fashion Week, Milan Design Week, Tokyo Designers Week, Maison et Objet in Paris and the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
A new generation of exciting crafts people and designers is shaking up the scene on the island of Ireland, mixing traditional techniques with a contemporary edge. The country will be steeped in design, imagination and creativity all through 2015 and anyone who wants to learn about Irish design and meet the people behind it will have boundless opportunity to connect with it.
With so many events happening for ID2015 there's never been a better time to meet the makers, see Irish inventiveness first-hand and take home a little bit of Irish design flair. Why not make Ireland a part of your travel plans this year?
Photos courtesy of Tourism Ireland