Irish designers showcased in new Dublin Airport exhibition

300 photographs by Peter Rowen show Ireland’s top design and craft talent at work

Visitors to Ireland will be given a window into the working world of dozens of Irish designers as they pass through Dublin Airport as a new photography exhibition is installed this weekend.

Twenty-four of Ireland's most celebrated design and craft practitioners feature in the Design Island series of 300 photographs, taken while they are at work in their studios around the country by award-winning photographer Peter Rowen.

The photographs, will be displayed in both terminals, will replace Kevin Abosch’s Faces of Ireland portraits, which have been hanging at the airport since 2011.

Designers featured in the pictures, which measure 1.2m by 1.2m, include furniture designer Joseph Walsh, architects O'Donnell + Tuomey, animators Brown Bag Films, industrial designers Notion, engineering group Arup and fashion designer Helen Steele.


The exhibition forms part of Irish Design 2015, a year-long initiative to showcase Irish design and craft around the world.

Brian McGee, head of market development at the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, said the exhibition was a promotional opportunity for each of the designers photographed, but the "strategy is bigger than that".

Dublin Airport is such an important gateway for people coming in and out of Ireland,” he said.

“Terminal 2 has a very good client, there is a lot of money passing through it so I would hope it would create opportunities for these designers.

“There is a growing awareness and appreciation of that talent that we have here in Ireland, and we are hoping this exhibition will be a catalyst to create more opportunity in the future for Irish design overall.”

Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison said more than 21 million passengers would walk past the portraits between now and the end of next year.

The portraits are already on display in the arrivals hall in Terminal 2, and will be mounted in the departures area on Monday, with installation in Terminal 1 following later in the week. They will remain there until the end of next year.

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny, founding editor of Irish Times Abroad, a section for Irish-connected people around the world, is Editor of the Irish Times Magazine