News & Events

Design Directory Ireland, the first centralised online database

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D., today officially launched Design Directory Ireland (, the first centralised database of designers in Ireland across multiple disciplines. This new web portal is a comprehensive and searchable register of over 1,000 designers, design companies, architectural practices and makers in this country, and creates links for the Irish design community to businesses, other designers and to the public. 

Initiated by Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) to act as a legacy of the landmark initiative and produced in collaboration with IBM Studios Dublin, the aim of Design Directory Ireland is to open up channels of engagement between designers and design specifiers, commissioners, and buyers; to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration between designers; and to encourage job creation in the design sector. 

Commenting on the new website, Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D., said: Ireland’s design sector plays a vital role in our economy. I am delighted to launch this new directory, one of the many legacies of Irish Design 2015 which showcased to the world the wealth of design talent we have across the island of Ireland. This website will help to link the design community with the wider business world and the public, encouraging collaboration and competition, and will ultimately contribute to the sector’s role in developing ideas, and innovating and creating business solutions. 

Design Directory Ireland currently embraces and supports traditional design practices, such as furniture and textile design, alongside emerging disciplines such as UX design. By hosting all of these disciplines within the same directory, their commonalities – innovation, functionality and aesthetic awareness – are emphasised. This broadens the design awareness of members, encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration and development. 

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, said: Irish Design 2015 aspired to increase competitiveness within Ireland’s design sector in 2015 and beyond.Design Directory Ireland provides a permanent network for enhanced collaboration and encouraging design-led solutions for business. Collaborating once again with the team at IBM Studios, we were able to utilise their experience and expertise to bring the directory to life, and I look forward to seeing it grow and develop as more members join the online community.’’ 

The directory hosts members and clients of accredited design institutions, such as the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), and the Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI). From its inauguration, there were over

1,000 designers active on the site. There are 13 main design categories, including disciplines such as architecture, product and industrial design, and service design, representing the diversity of design practice in Ireland. Designers have the option of further refining their practice by tagging their profile with sub-disciplines, allowing them to express the unique identity of their work. 

The Directory was designed by the team at IBM Studios Dublin. Fred Raguillat, Head of IBM Studios Dublin, said: IBM is committed to contributing to the support and promotion of the Irish design community in partnership with DCCoI and other relevant organisations. Working together, our aim is to grow the design ecosystem in Ireland, benefitting Irish software and digital technology companies through the creation of talent and skills. 

The functionality of Design Directory Ireland allows members to edit their profile and update it regularly with relevant information and images. A major asset of the directory will be the provision of a clear portal through which businesses and members of the public can contact designers. The website also features a dedicated resources page which informs users – both designers and buyers/commissioners – about upcoming opportunities in the design community, as well as hosting industry information and ‘how to’ guides on topics such as ‘commissioning a designer’. It is intended that the Directory will become an instrumental resource for the Irish design community and will continue to grow its number of members in the future. 


About the DCCoI and IBM partnership:

In 2014, during the planning of the year-long Government-backed ID2015 initiative, the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) sought a digital technology partner that could provide hardware and software support for the broad range of design activities that were being prepared. IBM Studios Dublin thought it would be an ideal opportunity to contribute to the landmark initiative, providing resources and expertise, especially in regard to software design. Furthermore, IBM’s experience and expertise left the ID2015 team free to focus on developing and delivering the extensive programme of events and activities throughout Ireland and around the world. Key collaborations during ID2015 between DCCoI and IBM include the design and development of the Design Island app, aimed at helping tourists as well as Irish people discover and experience the best of Irish design in an intuitive, user-friendly way, and design of the New Horizon_architecture from Ireland flagship exhibition website to promote Ireland’s presence at key architecture biennials in London, Chicago and Shenzhen during 2015. 

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the main champion of the design and craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. DCCoI's activities are funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has 64 member organisations and over 3,200 registered clients. 

About Irish Design 2015 (ID2015)

In collaboration with partner organisations, DCCoI convened Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Enterprise Ireland. ID2015 was a year-long programme exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design through signature events on the island of Ireland as well as in prestigious partner venues in international capitals of design and commerce throughout 2015. 

About IBM Studios Dublin

IBM Studios are the cultural places of Design at IBM.