At the end of May, a group of Estonian designers visited the capital of Ireland, Dublin where they visited local design agencies and schools offering design education.
City, which lives on the banks of the river Liffey
Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath in Irish) is the capital of Ireland, located on the east coast of Ireland at the mouth of the River Liffey. The city was founded by the Vikings in 840, and the current population is estimated at just over half a million. The River Liffey is a true symbol of the city and there is a lot of life on the banks of the river and the surrounding streets. The name Dublin comes from the Irish expression “Dubh City” (dubh → black / dark and city → body of water). In Celtic, the name changed slightly, and when the French-speaking Normans conquered Ireland, the city was renamed Develyn or Dublin. It is also said that Dublin has come from the Icelandic djúp bird, which means a deep puddle.
Ireland has always wanted to be independent, but like Estonia, it has been under the influence of the so-called big neighbor. History has also shown a number of wars, all of which have left a fairly deep imprint on the Irish, their culture and their architecture. Until the end of World War II, Dublin was in a bad state and, almost all the greatness of the city was gone, streets were empty, dirty and dilapidated urban space. Major investment in the city did not begin until 1997, when funds were sought to rebuild the capital with the help of public and private investors.
There are quite a few similarities with both Dublin and the Irish in general. The historical side already mentioned above, where wars have also been fought for independence and, of course, the existence of a large neighbor, which unfortunately no one can choose.
As Ireland had been under English rule for long time, they could not afford to make much progress in economical development. The Dublin backlog, already mentioned above, has widened far beyond Ireland. There was any decent industry, so the focus went more on the development of services. One of the big selling items is definitely Guinness beer, who’s creamy dark draught has probably been tried by every beer lover. In addition, there are many small breweries in Ireland, which has generally become a trend in Europe in recent years.
Favorable economic and tax policies have also given a major boost to the Irish economy, which is why many global technology companies (Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others) are setting up in Ireland. Their share of the national economy and local employment is large, but it also creates a wage rally compared to other areas and, in a sense, the movement of talent to big companies.
Visited agencies and schools
Red Dog has been in Ireland for almost thirty years and has a nice portfolio that is closely associated with local customers or international brands operating in the Irish market.
Their work has a very European dimension and emphasizes simplicity and performance – as they say, a visual that helps customers do business.
A versatile digital agency, whose awards include prizes and nominations for CSS Design Awards, The Webby Awards, FWA, AWWWARDS and many other competitions. Wondr seems small in nature, as the Dublin headquarters does not show the full potential of the company’s capabilities, but with its international reach and capabilities, they have been named one of the top 10 most capable digital offices in the world.
Located in a cozy four-story studio downtown, Simon Richards and Celine Dee have a successful strategic design office.
There are also a number of awards and nominations on their shelves that reflect the quality and thoughtfulness of their work. In addition, they have had time to fight covid with the creation of the Creatives Against Covid 19 initiative, which, with the help of creative people, raised money to fight a Covid19.
National College of Art and Design
NCAD (National College of Art and Design) with a pleasant poem status and standing for a very wide range of creative work in Ireland. In addition to digital, product and fashion design, the school also teaches creative trends typical of Ireland in the classical sense, such as glass blowing, metalwork, etc.
Whenever possible, school encourages the integration of disciplines and cooperation between students. In terms of educational form, the school is mixture of industrial school and college and is well located to play the role of a creative centre in Dublin city centre.
Although Dolmen defines itself as a design studio, they are more focused on engineering. Of course, design plays a big role in their work, but as they say, their activities are made up of the interaction of design and technology. Their most famous client in the portfolio is the local giant Guinness, for whom they have made various solutions for both bars and private consumers.
Also, they have a large proportion of clients in the medical sector, which was also quite popular on the list of other Dublin offices we visited.
Institute of Art Design + Technology
The other school we visited was the IADT (Institute of Art Design + Technology). Like NCAD, they offer design education, but focus more on graphic design, moving graphics, and film in general.
Red Dog, Dolmen, Richards Dee, IADT, NCAD, WONDR, 100 Archive Ireland ja erakogu.