There’s a lot more than the luck of the Irish behind this printmaking duo’s success…
We caught up with Ronan Dillon and Peter O’Gara of Dublin design company Me&Him&You, currently exhibiting their city-print series at Heal’s, London, as part of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland’s Design Ireland show. The Irish design duo’s iconic building elevations are attractive and minimal – with enough understated elegance to fit into contemporary and traditional spaces alike – and featured cityscapes vary from New York to Barcelona, Berlin, Auckland, Copenhagen, Chicago, Seattle, Singapore, and of course Dublin…
What’s it been like preparing for Design Island at Heal’s? It’s been great; we met the Heal’s buying team when they came to Dublin. We then printed, packed and sent stock to the UK with some equipment for our silk screenprinting demonstration, which take place live in their window on London’s Tottenham Court Road.
What inspired you to create a cityscape collection? We set out with the challenge to create a single image that could summarise our feelings for Dublin, where we live and work. After reworking the formula for other cities, we began to get requests from all over the world to continue the series. We are now at 23 cities and counting!
Do you think Irish designers have managed to carve out a distinctive niche for themselves in the international design scene? Yes, a lot of Irish designers are making waves overseas. Certainly, DCCoI and Irish Design 2015 have been important in helping designers getting exposure.
As Irish designers, how easy/difficult has it been for you to break into the industry? We don’t think it is easier or harder to make it as an Irish designer. Maybe living an a beautiful country can inspire you! The internet has made the world so small that ideas and designs can become global almost immediately.
How did you go about making the screenprints for DCCoI? Was it a challenge? Our prints are hand-pulled silk screenprints. Screenprinting is an age-old process that dates back to the Song dynasty in China: 1,000AD. It can be a tricky process but it’s fun too – and nice to be away from the computers.
Have you any favourite trends or designers? Some of our favourites include Stuart Cairns’ objects and utensils, Hennessy & Byrne’s Connemara cheeseboard, Mourne Textiles’ tweed and J.Hill’s Standard glassware.
Do you see a shift in interior design with regard to people having more graphic pieces in the home? Absolutely. Where in previous eras, interior design has been about embellishment and heavily decorated rooms, the advent of a minimal aesthetic, stark lines and the ‘eclectic’ shabby chic means that people are paring back their homes to complement some signature pieces, minimal furnishings and striking graphic prints, which become featured ‘centrepieces’ in a room.
Do you have any tips for people investing in graphic pieces? Splurge or be cautious? Support the arts. Buy what you love.