Client: Design & Crafts Council of Ireland
Role: Curator & Exhibition Designer
Graphic Design: AAD
Winner - Exhibition Design of the Year
Institute of Designers of Ireland Awards 2016
"a beautiful exhibition of some of the country’s top talents"
The New York Times Style Magazine
(12 Projects to Know from the London Design Festival)
"A definite highlight"
"The presentation included an impressive new selection of stone, glass, ceramics, wood and textiles from over 20 designers"
Video - The Making Of
‘Ó’, meaning ‘from’ in Irish, was an exhibition for a commercial trade show that promoted 28 Irish designer/makers. It had to showcase a substantial and diverse range of products while accommodating three live studio spaces.
The curatorial approach aimed to raise awareness for the materials that are used in the production of Irish craft, highlighting both the time it takes for a craft object to be made and the time it takes for the raw material to exist. By doing so it was encouraging designers and makers to respect our resources, and ultimately helping buyers of Irish craft to recognise that what they purchase is a unique piece of Ireland.
The exhibition design evolved out of this curatorial intent; to evoke a sense of the origin and beauty of natural Irish materials, while referencing the passing of time and presenting the objects in a visually impactful and desirable way.
Two Irish beech tree trunks were cut into planks and pulled apart to help create the central display system. Both trees were over 150 years old when storms unearthed them. Their untreated exposed grain documented a time before any of us were born, questioning the pace at which we design and create, while acting as a backdrop that complemented the colours of the products and imbued them with a sense of raw materiality.
The design of the shelving created the immediate visual impact required to attract visitors to the stand; simultaneously it orchestrated the arrangement of surrounding plinths and live studio spaces. When approached, the shelving bays allowed for each product to be viewed in isolation, creating a calm environment for potential buyers to focus on the exhibition content.
Designed as a modular system the shelving was easily installed, dismantled and flatpacked for shipping and use in other venues.