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A conference exploring the expression of collective and national identities in Ireland, through the lens of design and craft.

Taking place on 4–5 November 2016, at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, this event is part of the 2016 centenary programme and a partnership project between the National Museum of Ireland and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.
9.00-9.30am Registration
9.30am Welcome Remarks

Raghnall Ó Floinn, Director, National Museum of Ireland; Karen Hennessy, CEO, Design and Crafts Council of Ireland

9.45am Panel 1: Remembering 1916

How design and craft addressed and reflected issues of cultural nationalism and identity.



11.10am Panel 2: The role of the state

How national museums reflect identities through material culture and official collections

12.10pm Keynote Address

‘La maladie de porcelaine: Travels with the Fonthill Vase.’


Lunch and book signing by Edmund de Waal

2.30pm Panel 3: Designing the future

How contemporary designers and craftspeople in Ireland regard issues of national identities and the role that global influences may play, now and into the future.



4.00pm The Shuttle Hive: A Century of Rising Threads
4.45pm Conference Rapporteur: Concluding Remarks - day 1
5.45pm–7.30pm Reception and exhibition opening

The Shuttle Hive: A Century of Rising Threads

9.00-9.25am Registration
9.25am Keynote Address

‘Design, Cultural Practice and Identity in Everyday Life.’

10.15am New Research Papers: Part 1

A selection of new papers from researchers, practitioners and graduates that address various themes within the conference.

Dr. Claudia Kinmonth – The Sligo Chair revisited: Ancestry & Evolution, an interdisciplinary approach.

Dr. Sorcha O’Brien – Shining, Clean Machines: The Promotion of Vacuum Cleaners in 1950s  and 1960s Ireland.

Rachel Botha – Mother Ireland’s Facelift.

Tom Spalding – Changing Places: Name Changes and Placenames in Cork and other cities.

11.30am Break
11.50am Panel 4: Objects and the meaning of things

How cultural diversity, globalisation and the appropriation of cultural signs, has affected/influenced national and collective identities.

12.50pm New Research Papers: Part 2

A selection of new papers from researchers, practitioners and graduates that address various themes within the conference.

Mary Ann Bolger – “Ritual strangulation with regurgitated interlacing:” reimagining the Celtic in modern Irish design.

David Smith – Embracing Cliché: The influence of Kerbstone 52 in the visual identity of Year of Irish Design 2015 – a project study.

Bernard Timmins – Historical-creativity inspiring the Co-Creation of Present and Future Design.

Dr. P.J. White – Irish Designers as Future Change Agents.

2.00pm Conference Rapporteur: Concluding Remarks
2.30pm Conference Conclusion

Our line-up of leading design historians, practitioners and academics

A ticket gives you access to all conference events.

Concession rate available for students, unwaged and senior citizens.