Ireland is a relatively small island nation with a population in the region of 6.4 million people (when combining the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland). Despite its smallness, Irish culture and its people have made an indelible impression in every corner of the world. Rather unfortunately, St. Patrick’s Day – with its garish, albeit benign, foolishness – is one such influence. An occasion still celebrated the world over, St. Patrick’s Day reinforces the belief on a yearly basis that we Irish are obsessed with leprechauns, the colour green and Guinness (and sometimes green Guinness).
Irish design is often viewed as clichéd and old-school craft. Yet today, the country’s design output (north and south), is a covetable showcase of handsome objects made by emerging and established designers and brands. Where Ireland succeeds as a country replete with creative talent, it fails in its ability to promote that talent. In a bid to right this wrong,
Superfolk – part of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland exhibit at Tent London 2015. Photo © Sophie Mutevelian.
Storytelling, craft and a heritage of handmade wares are deeply ingrained within Irish design. This remains a veritable strength, though one yet to be fully realised. And so in honour of the aforementioned St. Patrick’s Day, these Irish-made designs are ripe for a truly cultural celebration.
Based in Dublin, Aodh is a furniture company whose mission is to offer honest design that will last for many years. Its collection, curated by an Irishman with a passion for design, was produced by independent designers for use in many spaces and places. At Aodh, furniture is the amalgamation of good design, craft and ecology.
Aodh – part of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland exhibit at
For over twenty five years,
Images © 2016
Designed by Andrew Clancy for
Andrew Clancy seated on his Carvel Chair. Photo by Ben Quinton ©
Image © Déanta Design.
Andrew Clancy also designed the elegant Strand Lamp. This tall and small light has an inclined cowl (the hooded light shape) in either natural or lacquered copper, that is held by a single ‘strand’ of brass.
Images © Déanta Design.
Dublin-based industrial design studio
In ‘Gray’, Designgoat’s first furniture collection, Fakhry and Corcoran redesigned Eileen Gray’s
Photos by Philip White via Designgoat.
Donna Bates Design
Photos by Dolf Patijn via
Saturday Workshop is a Dublin-based studio that was set up by a father and daughter team, Edward and Iseult O’Clery. With a penchant for crafting simple wood objects and toys, the pair employ a mix of traditional skills and new technologies. Using locally sourced hardwoods, Saturday Workshop’s range of wooden creations will bring a smile to the faces of children and adults alike.
Irish River Fish.
Images © Saturday Workshop.
Dublin-born and -based furniture designer
Toro Table in European oak.
Jealousies Cabinet in Irish walnut, MDF and cotton fabric.
Simon Doyle’s Workshop and Chair in the spotlight.
Images © Simon Doyle.
Images © Snug.
At Superfolk, the tagline is “discover nature everyday”. The studio, based in Westport, Co. Mayo, is led by partners Gearoid Muldowney and Jo Anne Butler. Superfolk maintains a passion for nature and wildlife, as told through the story of its products. Here, slow design is prized, where objects are crafted with honesty and a desire for longevity.
Folding Table and Folding Canvas Stool.
Ash Trivet, Kombu Kelp Print, Leather Folding Stool and Connemara Tea Towel.