For the second year running World Industrial Design Day was celebrated on 29th June 2011 in the Dublin Institute of Technology, DIT. As in 2010, the day involved design students and tutors from design colleges in Dublin coming together to discuss problems and use design to suggest solutions. The day was sponsored by Dublin City Council and formed part of DIT’s G6 series of design related events.
The day followed closely on from the announcement of Dublin’s shortlisting as World Design Capital 2014. As part of Dublin’s submission, entitled Pivot Dublin there are a number of projected seed projects:
Connecting Cities, Making Cities Lighter, Making Cities Flow and Making Cities Smile
The students first considered all four seed topics in relation to Icsid’s theme for World Industrial Design Day: Industrial Design, How does it improve your life?
After initial probing of all four of the seed topics the students focused on Connecting Cities and Making Cities Smile. Making a simple connection of getting people to connect outside and have fun they came up with the concept of ‘Shrooms. As the pictures suggest ‘Shrooms are based on mushroom like structures erected in open spaces throughout the City. The mushrooms create outdoor rooms.
One of the designers, Owen Quinn speaking about the ‘Shrooms said: “The main idea was to bring people together. We wanted to create not just sitting areas but activity areas that were outside and sheltered from the rain. By using multiple canopies that incorporated lighting, seating, flower beds, play areas etc we could change the format of each canopy depending on location, whether it be in a park, along by the quay or road.
This simple idea would not be expensive, but would add so much to our lives. The ‘Shrooms could serve as meeting points for friends, family and loved ones, farmers markets could take place around them, a central stage could act as point for outdoor concerts, practice areas for up and coming bands, a dance stage, a yoga exercise area.. We could keep ourselves healthy, both physically and mentally while not being pushed into an indoors community center.”
The idea is both simple and realizable. It is hoped that the ‘Shrooms could be the very first seed project of Dublin’s World Design Capital bid. They are a simple idea that would genuinely improve people’s lives’ the theme of the day.
Speaking about the selected design Industrial Designer and DIT tutor John Walsh said “I thought that the chosen project was really interesting and one that is particularly relevant to Dublin at the moment. Urban sprawl was a feature of our building boom, perhaps because historically in Ireland we have had a large rural population, and people perceive cities to be inhospitable places. But the design of good quality and interesting urban spaces can greatly enhance the quality of life for city dwellers. I particularly like the ‘Shroom idea as acknowledges our climate, providing not only a focus point for activities, but shelter too.”
Speaking about World Industrial Design Day, John O’Connor Head of the School of Art, Design and Printing at DIT said “This annual workshop is a wonderful opportunity for professionals and students to work together for a short period with intensive energy. The outcome is not solely the ideas for interesting projects but also the beginning of new collaborative networks and professional friendships that are necessary for ongoing development.”
A feature of World Industrial Design Day is bringing together students from different design disciplines to work together. Interior and Furniture Designer Orla Reynolds and Industrial Designer Mark Cosgrave met for the first time on the day and enjoyed it so much that they entered the REMake Chair Extravaganza in Moxie students where their task was to reimagine unloved pieces of furniture. They created the See Saw Loveseat….and they won.