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Acclaimed Irish Artist

Saturday the 29th of August 

18:00 - 18:45  

Tickets through Eventbrite

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Why Design 

What Glass Ceiling?

Kim Mackenzie-Doyle and Why Design present a panel discussion about resilience, responsibility and why there are only 11% female Creative Directors in Ireland.

About this Event

Kim Mackenzie-Doyle instigator of WhyDesign and CEO of The Big Idea will host a panel discussion with Lesley Tully - ex- Head of Design Thinking Bank of Ireland, Claire Dowling Director of Creative at Deloitte Digital and Lorna Ross Chief Innovation Officer, VHI Health and Wellness.

Join us to get a glimpse into the careers of women shaping creative practice in Ireland. Join in on a frank and honest discussion aimed to lift us all up, motivate and inspire.

Why Design is working to address the gender imbalance in the design industry across Ireland, by showcasing influential female Irish designers. Supported by the Institute of Designers in Ireland.       Institute of Designers Ireland

Saturday the 29th of August 

12:00 - 12:45  followed by a networking lunch.

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The Project Twins - Michael Fitzgerald.j


The Project Twins are James and Michael Fitzgerald, a Cork-based collaborative art duo. They work across a broad range of disciplines including painting, print-making, design, illustration and three-dimensional work.

Their use of minimal forms and graphic shapes are rooted in the visual language of signs, symbols and pictograms. They are interested in the use of this as a universal language and its ability to convey ideas, information and narratives. They have exhibited widely and completed several public and private art installations.

Alongside their fine art practice, they regularly produce editorial illustrations for the likes of The Guardian, The New York Times, Nature Journal, The Economist and Time Magazine. With a focus on social, political and economic work they produce concept driven illustrations which responds directly to the themes within the articles.


Fiona Kearney is the founding Director of the Glucksman, a contemporary art museum on the campus of University College Cork, Ireland. The Glucksman promotes the creation, exploration and enjoyment of the visual arts through ambitious programmes for all ages and abilities. 

Kearney has curated numerous exhibitions in Ireland and internationally, with particular emphasis on how contemporary art practice relates to research directions within academic

contexts. Throughout her academic and professional career, Kearney has received several distinguished awards including the designation of college scholar by UCC, the NUI Prix d'Honneur from the French Government, a UCC President’s Award for Research on Innovative Forms of Teaching and the Jerome Hynes Fellowship on the Clore Leadership Programme. She is currently a board member of the Irish Architecture Foundation, VISUAL Carlow, and Cork Midsummer Festival. 


Suzanna Melinn


Suzanna Melinn runs Banana Melon Kitchen, an exciting and innovative plant-based food start-up. BMK is a fusion of food and art; they make edible alchemy with an emphasis on colour and creativity, using plants only.  Melinn, originally from Clare but now based in Cork City, supplies Neighbourfood markets and has hosted a series of sold-out vegan brunch pop-ups in Cork city, Bantry, Skibbereen and Kinsale throughout 2018. They were also featured as Irish times one to watch in 2018. Beyond this, Banana melon kitchen will be at Mahon Market next month and focusing on opening Banana Melon Kitchen next Spring.

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Kim Mackenzie-Doyle

Kim Mackenzie-Doyle is an internationally recognised product designer, winning multiple worldwide design awards. Former President and Director of the Institute of Designers Ireland and currently sits on the National Design Forum, a government-led initiative to drive Ireland's capability and reputation as a source of Design innovation. She is also part of the Expert Group for Future Skills Needs championing creative education. Kim has been awarded Creative Industries Leader of the year award at the inaugural Irish women’s awards 2019 for her work on two not-for-profit initiatives reaching international acclaim & Kim is also Design Track Captain for Start-up Week Dublin promoting creativity in early-stage start-ups. Kim is CEO of The BIG Idea, a creative awarding programme to champion and encourage creativity in students & schools launching in Ireland 2021.


CEO | Founder: We Are Design Thinking
CEO and Founder of We Are Design Thinking and formerly Head of Design
Thinking for Bank of Ireland, Lesley specializes in the discipline of Design
Thinking: development of deep customer insights and the embedding of
design thinking tools and methods to translate into actionable revenue-generating propositions.
Lesley has worked extensively in the financial services, fintech, agriculture
and the international cultural industries in US, Switzerland and Europe. She is
a frequent speaker on Design Thinking and adjunct lecturer at Trinity College
Dublin Business School and UCD Smurfit Business School.
Lesley holds MPhil from Goldsmiths (London) and Trinity College Dublin and
Bachelor of Design from Institute of Art, Design and Technology. She sits on
the Board of Governors at the National Gallery of Ireland and is a Director of
the Institute of Desi
gners in Ireland.

Lorna Ross

Chief Innovation Officer, VHI Health & Wellness

Lorna’s design career spans 30 years, with stops in the world of fashion, wearable technology, robotics, and for the past decade, health care. She is a futurist at heart, recognised for her ability to anticipate shifts in the social, cultural and economic context for design. She was one of the pioneering researchers to focus on wearable technologies and built a reputation for research activity in this arena.  She later identified the theme of health as an emerging arena for design to thrive. She founded and led the Human Wellbeing Group at the MIT Media Lab. Her vision was to employ human centred design principles to address the biggest challenges facing the healthcare industry. She subsequently built and led the design group at Mayo Clinic’s Centre for Innovation from 2009-2017 before returned to her native Ireland to take up the position as the Group Director at the Fjord design studio inside Accenture’s global R&D centre The Dock. 

While at the Dock she launched the Human Insights Lab as a venue to examine some of the most confounding and challenging aspects of the human/machine relationship through the lens of philosophy, ethics and history.  

In April of 2019 she left Accenture to take up a role with VHI Health & Wellbeing Group as their Chief Innovation Officer where she oversees both the clinical services & practice model design along with the digital health strategy. 

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Claire Dowling

Creative Director of Deloitte Digital

With 16 years experience as a design strategist and experience design specialist, Claire is creative director at Deloitte Digital Dublin, leading the experience design and service design teams. A multi-award winning designer and art director, Claire has a background in both design and psychology. Working across industries and disciplines, Claire applies design thinking to real world problems, tackling ‘wicked’ problems such as unemployment, social welfare, health, tax and financial services. Claire has previously lead projects from proposition design, through to
agile development and delivery for clients including Google, Facebook, Liberty Insurance, Bank of Ireland, Barclay’s, Irish Life, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and Revenue Commissioners. Claire currently sits on the board of directors of the Irish Design Institute, is an assessor for the International Society of Typographic Designers, guest lectures in the UK and Ireland and speaks at conferences both locally and internationally.

OHK CAFÉ – Sarah and Carol O’Brien
Sisters Sarah and Carol O’Brien opened O‘Herlihys Kinsale (OHK CAFÉ) in August 2017, continuing a six-generation family business in the centre of Kinsale. The girls’ grandmother Eily had shut the doors of the premises in the mid-90s having continued Herlihys pub (The Harp & Shamrock) that had been established in 1864. Sarah and Carol retained and expanded the interior pub aesthetic and it has influenced all
aspects of their design, a kind of local and vernacular aura.
Both Sarah and Carol are art school graduates, with Carol holding a BDes (NCAD 2011) and Sarah holding an MFA (NCAD 2007).

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Founded in 2016 by Niamh Chambers & Declan Crowley, Studio Anois is based in Smithfield, Dublin 7. Studio Anois is committed to enhancing the everyday experience through carefully considered, contemporary design. The practice is founded on the ambition to design great spaces which positively influence those who use them. Materials and form are carefully considered and tailored to each individual project. Both environmental and social sustainability are at the forefront of the studio’s work.


Graham Vard – Billion
Graham Vard is the founder and creative director of Billion - a design lead brand experience
company. Billion works with a variety of clients in the US, UK, Middle East and Europe to help
them improve their meaning and relevance in the lives of the people that they provide products
or services for. Billion’s current client list ranges from small energetic start-ups to SME’s to large
scale global businesses. Graham’s design thinking philosophy lies in human-centred
observation and insights methodology. Graham graduated from IADT-DL in 2003 with
qualifications in visual communications and interactive design. He was previously a creative
director at FutureBrand in New York and London. During this time he played an instrumental
role is shaping the messaging and visual expression of brands such as Nestle, Bentley Motors,
Tp-link, American Airlines, Georgia Pacific, Microsoft, London 2012 Olympics, American
Greetings, Nike and Leffe Beer. His work has been recognised with numerous honours,
including the 2017 IF Design Award and 2012 British Interior Design Award.

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Ernest Cantillion - Kinsale Gin & Red Earl  Irish Whiskey
Ernest Cantillon is a Cork native and has run a variety of businesses, mostly hospitality-related, over the past 15 years. His current focus is on the Kinsale Spirit Co which produces both gin and whiskey. He is the owner-operator of Sober Lane Bar and Electric Bar and Restaurant in Cork City. He loves marketing and innovation, and in particular collaborating and exchanging ideas with other people interested in disrupting their sector. He has an in-depth knowledge of both the operational and financial aspects of businesses in the hospitality sector. Ernest has a passion for organising small to medium-sized festivals and corporate events and has a flair for product storytelling.
He is a member of the VFI, RAI and CBA, the former president of the Cork Business Association and a graduate of Commerce in University College Cork.

Tony Speight - West Cork Coffee

Tony Speight is the owner of West Cork Coffee (WCC), a wholesaler specialty coffee roastery based in Innishannon, Cork. He began his career in coffee by leveraging his background as an electrical engineer to build a home roaster in 2004. This hobby became a profession and then a company in the form of WCC in 2016, with the goal of providing a high-quality specialty coffee to complement the amazing produce on offer in the West Cork region. WCC has grown organically and Tony’s coffee has garnered the attention of prestigious customers like Master Chef winner Diana Dodog of Food Depot, the Michelin Star awarded Ichigo Ichie and best café in Munster winner Good Day Deli. Additionally, WCC was selected for The London Coffee Masters in 2017 and 2018.


Simon Roche - Bureau
Simon is a design director in US educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, working on curriculum books and heavily involved in the transition to teaching digitally. He has also worked on branding, mapping and publication design for many cultural institutions under the studio name Bureau. Bureau is a bespoke graphic design service for publication, editorial and cultural/music-related projects as well as for branding projects ranging from the international to breaking-ground new businesses. Simon has worked in many fields in the last 20+ years as a designer, and produced work for many international clients as well as Irish businesses – focussing on cultural work, branding and editorial design. In 2008 he won the Periodical Publishers Association of Ireland award for best Irish Designer, for his work with State Magazine. He lives and works in Dublin.

Darragh Breathnach – DUA
Darragh graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology in 2010. Immediately after graduating,
he moved to Spain to work for RCR Arquitectes, winners of the 2017 Pritzker Prize for
Architecture. Upon returning home, Breathnach spent two years working with award-winning
Irish practice ODOS Architects. In parallel to this, Breathnach co-founded VAV Architects, who
completed and published a number of projects in Europe.
In 2015 Darragh founded DUA - Design Urbanism Architecture, a multi-disciplinary architectural
practice. What sets DUA apart is the way in which they work through a process of prototyping
and material exploration. The practice has created waves at national and international levels,
receiving highly commended status from the RIAI Future Award 2017, being the only Irish
architect featured in Wallpaper* magazine’s Architects’ Directory in 2017 and the winners of the
RIAI Fit-Out Award in 2018. Breathnach’s furniture has also been lauded, with his modular
Triangle Table recognised as the IDI Furniture Design of the Year in 2016.

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Maser truly embodies the centric spirit of contemporary visual art in Ireland today. Having created artwork since 1995, over the last 25 years, Maser has earned much respect professionally and has generated a large and dedicated following in Ireland and abroad - through his seamlessly imaginative and unique graphic style.

Having become internationally recognised for his expansive repertoire of contemporary visual art, Maser’s artistic practice includes works on canvas, sculptures, prints, immersive installations, interactive exhibitions and exquisite large-scale murals. His unique, artistic style draws upon numerous influences including optical art and mid-century art, and is regularly complemented with bold colours, pattern and text.

Maser boasts an impressive list of exhibitions in high-end art galleries and has been commissioned to create original artwork by many prestigious arts organisations including, Art On Paper (USA), Lazarides(UK), the National Gallery of Ireland(IE), the National Library of

Ireland(IE), Tandem Press(USA) and Graphic Print Studio(IE).



Kari Cahill is a visual artist working out of The Model, Sligo. Her practice is grounded in an
exploration of ‘landscape’ through colour and texture. Visually she created bold visceral works
that stretch between two and three dimensions. She creates ‘Bio Colour’ from wild foraged
materials and discarded urban remnants. This process creates a tangible connection to the
natural environment and highlights a more sustainable approach to making. Kari’s work is often
site-responsive and her large-scale works are created and exhibited in remote, wild locations,
inviting audiences to experience the works in situ.
Kari is the Co-Director of Lay of the Land, and was a co-founder of Basic Space. Kari has
participated in residencies in India (Space 118, Bombay 2016) and Brazil (Na
Casa,Florianopolis 2019). She has presented work at IMMA and TBG+S and is a member of the
Graphic Studio, Dublin. Her projects have been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian,
The Irish Times, Cassandra Voices, and Bloomers Magazine.




Kate O'Neill - The visual loop

Kate has spent over 15 years working across the creative industries in both the UK
& Ireland, supporting and encouraging artists through talks, workshops, mentorships,
portfolio reviews and curated projects. Founder of The Visual Loop – a platform
initiated to connect visual artists and local businesses – Kate also works with
companies like The Photographers Gallery London, Metro Imaging, Brighton
Photofringe and Gallery of Photography Ireland via professional development talks
and workshops.



Niamh McCabe - Spacey Studio and Nimcake.
Niamh McCabe is the Creative Director of Spacey Studio and Nimcake. Niamh designs with the
aim to bring a little more joy into the world through creating playful spaces and objects. She
believes colours and patterns, in soft, organic, flowing shapes, enhance our mood and the use
of bright colours help lift our spirits, help us to feel creative and more alert. This belief system is
apparent through the cross-discipline of Niamh’s work.
Niamh began the interior design studio, Spacey in July 2017 – where they focus on joyful,
functional, artistic design for tech companies, small businesses and homes. The Nimcake brand
launched during the lockdown, after years of planning. Nimcake handmakes and designs
sustainable, reusable masks. The fabric used is a custom design of Niamh’s hand-painted
patterns, digitally printed with eco-friendly dyes onto 100% cotton.
Niamh graduated from Vis Comm IADT in 2015, and has continued on her creative endeavours
through a multidisciplinary approach to growing and learning.

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Lisa Marconi - Dust Design 
Lisa has worked in visual arts all her life. She started her career in TV, in her hometown of
London, working her way up to documentary director for broadcasters like National Geographic.
When she moved to Dublin, she retrained as an Interior Designer establishing the much-loved
interiors store and Interior Design studio, Dust, with her friend, Sarah Drumm.
They worked for five happy years sourcing unique and beautiful pieces and becoming known for
creating striking, colourful designs in the projects they took on.
Now Lisa is taking everything she’s learnt running this business and taking it into the world of
tech. She is in the process of launching a digital Interior Design platform – Design Led - that will
use advanced 3D modelling to make beautiful, personalised interior design available at a touch.
It’s interior design for the post-Covid world. She has recently been accepted onto the 6-month
accelerator run by Enterprise Ireland, so Dust will be closing as she explores this opportunity.

Cathy Angelini - Flamingo Interior Design.
Cathy Angelini is the founder of Flamingo Interior Design. With a degree in Interior Architecture
in her back pocket, she took the plunge and started her own interior design and interior
architecture business in 2016. Over the past four years she has worked on both residential and
commercial design projects. She is passionate about creating unique spaces that are
considerate to the user and the history of the space. She believes that no design is limited by
budget and every design needs an element of bravery.


Bríd O' Donovan

Graduating from Sculpture and Combined Media at the Limerick School of Art and Design in
2011, Bríd quickly fled back to her native Cork (!) and began documenting the music scene
there for the next four years. Through shooting bands on stage and off stage, she discovered
her love and passion for photography, and decided to move to Dublin in 2016 to pursue it full
time. Since then Bríd has gone on to shoot two cookbooks for Penguin RandomHouse,
photograph musical heroes of hers such as Bon Iver and The National, and have the pleasure
of taking portraits of prominent figures in the Irish writing scene such as Sinead Gleeson, Tramp
Press, Doireann Ní Ghriofa, Lisa McInerney, and Sarah Maria Griffin. Bríd's photographic
portfolio covers food, portraiture, lifestyle, travel, and performance. Her contemporary style
incorporates a natural, and understated aesthetic.

William Murray - Currabinny

William Murray & James Kavanagh gave birth to Currabinny after a discussion on how they could turn their unwavering obsession (food) into a career. William studied & grew his love of food at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Co. Cork - which is headed up Darina Allen & Rory O’Connell. In Ballymaloe, William nurtured his love of dishes that are unashamedly created with lots of real butter, Maldon Salt & seasonal, fresh vegetables. James comes from the other side of the food world; marketing. Having worked for two of his favourite Irish brands; Kerrygold & Barry’s Tea, he has learned what goes into making a beautiful product. Witnessing the passion & quality that goes into making a Barry’s teabag, and how the perfect grass has to exist in order for Kerrygold Butter to be as delicious as it is, has strongly influenced his food ethos.




Shane O' Driscoll
Shane O Driscoll is an Irish printmaker and visual artist that practices mainly in screen printing.
He studied Visual Communications and is a member of Cork Printmakers. 
Shane has curated and co-directed art exhibitions throughout Ireland and in New York as part of ‘For The Love Of’, a series of exhibitions that promote the arts.
He has exhibited his work internationally and throughout Ireland. Shane's work is in the
permanent collection of The National Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, Glucksman UCC and UCD.
He has also displayed work in The Irish Print Museum and has a number of works in the O.P.W.


Simon Roche - Bureau
Simon is a design director in US educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, working on curriculum books and heavily involved in the transition to teaching digitally. He has also worked on branding, mapping and publication design for many cultural institutions under the studio name Bureau. Bureau is a bespoke graphic design service for publication, editorial and cultural/music-related projects as well as for branding projects ranging from the international to breaking-ground new businesses. Simon has worked in many fields in the last 20+ years as a designer, and produced work for many international clients as well as Irish businesses – focussing on cultural work, branding and editorial design. In 2008 he won the Periodical Publishers Association of Ireland award for best Irish Designer, for his work with State Magazine. He lives and works in Dublin.

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Robin Foley - Hurrah Hurrah

Robin Foley is the creative director behind Hurrah Hurrah, a creative studio based in Cork City.
At Hurrah Hurrah, Robin leads a team of creatives and collaborates with hard-working and
innovative clients. He has over 12 years’ experience in creative direction and brand identity
design which spans across telecommunications, FMCG, cultural, government, tech and SaaS
companies. The studio’s focus is on partnering with companies to define strategy, design
systems and produce content to underline their values. Notable projects include
the rebrand, Meitheal Architects (2019 archive, 100 selection), Cork City Council
Tourism Poster Project, UCC StudentHub wayfinding, Nano Nagle Place, Sirius Arts Centre and
Open House Cork. Hurrah Hurrah is featured on the Archive 100 and IDI. 
Robin also works on a self-initiated creative projects. Previous projects in the city include pop*
design café (zine/bookstore) and 88 North Main St creative co-working collective.

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Frank Monahan - Architecture at the edge

Frank Monahan B Des. BA (Hons) Arch, Dip Arch.
Frank is an Irish designer, educator and cultural producer with an interest in film,
architecture & the arts. His professional practice includes the design of buildings & set
design for film & television. He studied Architecture at London Metropolitan University,
graduating in 2012. With a long-term interest in the critical potential of design, he
established ‘Architecture at the Edge’ Festival in 2017. In collaboration with Unit 17 at
the Bartlett School of Architecture, he produced an outdoor installation ‘Ghost Chapel’
for the Galway International Arts Festival in 2018. He is currently a lecturer in
Production Design at the Centre for Creative Arts &Media, GMIT, Galway.

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Rae Moore – Atelier Rae
Atelier Rae is the architecture and design studio led by award-winning architect and artist Rae
Moore. Rae has worked with several award-winning architecture studios across Europe,
including Clancy Moore Architects (Dublin), Guidotti Architetti (Switzerland), David Kohn
Architects (London) and Carmody Groarke (London). She has vast experience as Project
Architect, delivering a broad range of work from private galleries and homes to multi-million-
pound mixed-use developments, urban master plans, and a number of cultural and education
Rae studied architecture at DIT Dublin School of Architecture for three years, finishing top of her
class in 2008. In 2009 she received a scholarship to enrol in the Masters course at the
Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, Switzerland, where she graduated in 2011. In
2013, she became the youngest-ever member of the RIAI’s professional register for
architects. Rae has been teaching at the UCD School of Architecture since 2016 and has been
a visiting critic at the DIT Dublin School of Architecture since 2009.

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Alan Macilwraith – Jack Coughlan Architects

Alan Macilwraith is an Architect with Jack Coughlan Architects and has been to the fore of many of the practice’s recent projects: Nano Nagle Place, Cork School of Architecture, Spike Island, Camden Fort Meagher, Baltimore Harbour Facility and Michael Collins House, Clonakilty.

Active in the life of Cork City through involvement with Open House Cork, CORKUMNAVIGATION with Meitheal Mara and as Designer of The Choice Machine Pavilion at Design Pop 2019. Broadening the boundaries from Cork with Young Urbanists and the Academy of Urbanism.

Currently working on Wild Atlantic Glamping, Bere Island, a family project set in a location fundamental to him.

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Irish Whiskey = A Blend of Design, Craft & Culture.

Jane Maher 

Global Brand Manager – Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey

Jane fell into the Irish whiskey business having graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BA in History of Art & Architecture. At the time Irish whiskey was experiencing a Renaissance of sorts and there was a hugely interesting story to tell that stretched beyond her perceptions of a dusty old bottle. Ireland’s precious golden liquid is the manifestation of 100’s of years of great design, science and craft.

Jane went on to spend 8 years based in Los Angeles, San Francisco & Dublin telling the story of Irish whiskey and building the Tullamore D.E.W. business across the globe reaching 1.4 million cases in 2019. Today, as Global Brand Manager she is responsible for the developing the design principles that shape how the brand shows up in the world – from its visual identity inspired by the Irish landscape, to the bottle design that embodies the character of the whiskey, to the whiskey innovation prospects of the distillery. 


A panel discussion with all the pavilion designers and collaborators, talking about the design intentions, learnings and concepts behind the pavilions.