Voting is live for the inaugural Image Interiors & Living Design Awards and is closing this Wednesday the 19th of October. Need a little more information? All the nominees are introduced here and, in the eighth part of the series, here’s a look closer at the Best Collaboration nominees…
Denis Kenny and Fiona Gilboy, founders of Ceadogán, have been working with designers and artists for the past 20 years to create a wide variety of bespoke rugs. Fiona says that collaboration has been both interesting and challenging. “The dynamic that is created when a designer meets a maker can be very exciting and frequently leads to innovation.”
Meanwhile, ceramicist Andrew Ludick is highly regarded for his handmade designs, and is known for brightly coloured adornment of pattern. Fiona says of the collaboration, “People react very positively and instinctively to the Ludick pieces. They can act as optimistic statements in any context, used as wall hangings or on the floor.”
For every collaboration there is a different approach and Fiona speaks of her admiration for Andrew’s work. “I had admired Andrew’s ceramics for years and felt that they would translate well to the gun-tufted medium of rug making.” Fiona approached Andrew, and he was enthusiastic about collaborating. “We felt that the very distinctive visual language he uses and his equally distinctive colour palette translated incredibly to the much larger scale and different texture of his rug creation.”
Niamh Barry, founder of Seven Wood, says that with all of the negatives in the world, she wanted her business to focus on products that have a positive effect. It was then through a meeting set up by Gary Grant of Imbibe Coffee that Niamh Barry and Cillian Ó Súilleabháin were introduced, and their collaboration for the parquet coffee table began.
Niamh already had an established vision before meeting Cillian – the table was to incorporate pre-used used flooring in the design. While Cillian designs and makes minimal and geometric furniture, he thought it was “such a novel idea with great potential”.
For Cillian, working with salvaged materials within his design principles was a challenge and collaborating brought out different skill requirements. “Designing collaboratively can be immensely rewarding if approached with openness and respect. You need to be receptive to the ideas of other and not let ego or pique interfere.”
Mourne Textiles is a family business that specialises in the craft of hand-woven textiles in Donegal. Mario Sierra, recently reopened the workshop that was the backdrop to his childhood with his mother, Karen Hay-Edie, having first opened by his grandmother, Gerd Hay-Edie, in 1954. In Dublin, Design by Notion had originally created The Dowel Chair and working with Mourne Textiles have evolved it into The Frame chair.
Mario explains the collaboration process with Notion. “We had a few meetings and as the time frame was quite short, as we didn’t have a lot of time before production began. Notion showed me the piece of furniture, then we looked at the designs and looked at mainly the colour.”
The core element of the collaboration is the exploration of handmade and machine-made and how these combine. The chair seat and legs are made of wood and aluminium all shaped by a machine, and the the Mourne Textiles were all handwoven. The collaborative design has been exhibited globally in Dublin, New York, London, Eindhoven and Milan.
J.Hill’s Standard, maker of contemporary cut crystal, and Studio Aad, a business that provides creative thinking for practical purposes, joined forces to create rain vases. They were originally exhibited and sold as part of ID2015’s The Souvenirs Project, which developed a collection to challenge the perceived ideas of Ireland, support designers and to showcase contemporary Irish design.
Anike Tyrell (Creative Director of J. Hill Standard) and Scott Burnett (Creative Director of Studio Aad) were both asked to be involved in the Souvenir Project by Jonathan Legge of Makers & Brothers. From there, he organised the collaboration between the two businesses. Anike explains that the idea behind the creating of the rain vases. “It grew from our native obsession with rain, its many manifestations and our many colourful words in both Irish and English to capture its vagaries! We have an intimate relationship with it and it has an entire vocabulary of its own.”
Scott explains that the rain project was very different to anything Studio Aad had worked on before.“For the most part we’re helping people make things happen, rather than making things.” J.Hill’s had a strong idea and Studio Aad was there to help clarify and explore the initial concept. The glass cutters then worked to translate this process upon the finished vases. “In general the process was much more loose and organic than we’re used to but I think that’s what makes the vases so beautiful.”
To vote for your favourite nominee in each category, click here.