Design export opportunities undervalued, says IDI president

Head of the Institute of Designers in Ireland calls for design to be included in Leaving Cert

Former IDI president Marc O’Riain and new head George Boyle

Former IDI president Marc O’Riain and new head George Boyle


Design is critical to Ireland’s economic future and should be offered as a Leaving Cert subject, the new president of the Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI), George Boyle has said.

Ms Boyle, an architect and founder of the Fumbally Exchange, a not-for-profit organisation that offers a low-cost base and collaboration opportunities for creative businesses, said the design sector is not generally considered as a high-performing industry in Ireland even though exports surpass that of Britain.

“There’s a common perception is that design activity in Ireland is modest, low-key and small scale. In January 2016, however, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation published the Policy Framework for Design in Enterprise in Ireland, which states that exports from the Irish design sector exceeded €37 billion in 2013, worth a double take against a comparable €12 billion from the UK for their design sector in the same period,” said Ms Boyle.

“The appetite in the design community to build on this astonishing output is boundless. I believe Ireland has more creative, cultural, communications and community capital than most other nations. It amounts to unlimited, all-island potential,” she added.

Ms Boyle said she hoped to use her term as president of the IDI to encourage collaboration among designers.

“We need to bring the community together, speaking with one voice. We must make clear what is and what isn’t our business - although every business involves design - so we can speak to the world with enhanced credibility,” she said.