Clonmel festival spread the message of innovation through design

Clonmel festival spread the message of innovation through design

Installations were created in empty shop premises during the Night Lights Art and Design Trail during DesignFest in Clonmel.

The curtain came down recently on the second successful edition of DesignFest Clonmel, a collaborative initiative between the Limerick Institute of Technology's Clonmel campus and Tipperary County Council, with additional support from the Tipperary Local Enterprise Office and their European Regional Development Fund.

The concept behind DesignFest was to look behind the scenes of today’s broad design world, offering local businesses, industry, designers and the public the chance to meet some key thinkers and influencers in this fast-changing industry. 

DesignFest was all about exploring, inspiring, learning and creating opportunities for local businesses, industry, designers and the public to reflect, share and meet.

Over six action-packed days businesses and the local community were presented with works from the cutting edge of where media, arts and digital design connect with a special emphasis on innovation for enterprise, employment and education. 

‘Design Thinking’ was at the very core of this year’s festival and the theme of ‘innovation through design’ ran through the majority of events.

The week commenced with a superb launch at Baker's Bar, followed by an intimate screening of Design Disruptors by InVision, followed by a lively public discussion.

Other highlights included a vibrant programme for children, which was filled to capacity and offered hands-on learning and creative spaces for over 100 young people.

The Night Lights Art and Design Trail on Saturday night attracted over 300 audience members who enjoyed Amergin by Dónal Ó Céilleachair at the Main Guard, a delicate glass installation by Deirdre Feeney in the Town Hall lobby and four of the Switch projects in empty premises along Parnell Street. 

An interactive video and sound installation, which incorporated a large community drawing at Channon's Forge, went down a treat with younger and older people warming themselves up with hot apple juice, an open fire and the atmospheric setting.

Four additional videos in working shop premises completed the trail and could be viewed along the route.

Design Thinking as a new and unfamiliar concept has yet to capture the imagination of the local business community. Several public workshops proved popular with Transition Year students, who under the guidance of Sheelagh Carew from IBM really engaged with the concept and discovered new tools to use with their project works.

The ambitious programme was rewarded with a great amount of positive feedback from the public and business community who participated in the Design Thinking events, talks and workshops, which culminated in a Design Symposium at the LIT Clonmel Campus.

The steering committee of DesignFest Clonmel thank all those who attended events throughout the week; the volunteers, stewards, speakers and artists, without whom this festival could not have taken place; as well as members of the business community who supported the Switch and Night Lights Trail Project with special screenings in their premises.