Fixing the Irish Creative, Design and Applied Arts Sector

[The following is an extract from the report “Dublin: World Design Capital – Is the Irish Creative, Design and Applied Arts Sector fit for purpose?”]

In order to identify and rectify the negative issues that have curtailed the development of a strong creative sector, some of which are outlined in this document, it is essential that a body is established that will act purposefully and swiftly to bring about positive change for the Creative Industry, will deliver advantages to the Irish Economy (particularly the Innovation/Smart Economy) and will create considerable benefits for Irish Society at large.

I believe that the future development of the Creative Industry in Ireland relies entirely on:

  • its ability to speak with a single, strong and authoritative voice,
  • its ability to achieve sufficient scale to be heard and to demand a response
  • developing the ability to create a strong network on the international stage and make international interaction a matter of routine – whether such interactions are information gathering-and-sharing activities; bidding for tender and contracts including those where a consortium of Irish Creative Companies/service providers is necessary; arranging ‘graduate internships swaps’ with overseas Creative Companies in order that we bring Graduates ‘up-tospeed’ with international standards and processes quickly; taking part in international juries and entering creative awards; participating in international events / workshops / seminars relating to Creative Industries – particularly on policy issues that will affect our industry (and wherever possible bring such events to Ireland)
  • the willingness and ability of members of the Irish Creative Industry to seek and achieve election to boards of International Bodies where the interests of the Irish Creative Community can be projected and protected
  • our willingness to work with the education sector to improve the standards achieved by Graduates and to improve their employment prospects by ensuring that the focus is on channelling education output towards Creative Industry areas where skilled professionals are needed (and the willingness of the Education Sector to interact openly with the ultimate employers of graduates from their institutions)
  • form partnerships / working arrangements with overseas Creative service providers in order to begin creating scale and swapping skills and know-how on international markets
  • get close to the Business Sector and take an active, central role in ‘delivering’ Innovation / building the Innovation Economy.

There are many examples of stronger, more open minded and more open-to-change creative industries overseas, that make a considerable input into Innovation, Economic Development and the creation of better living conditions and systems for their Societies than is the case here in Ireland.

It is essential that we, the Creative Industries, working together with the Business and Innovation Sector and the Culture & Arts Community begin the process of creating a rennaissence of the Creative Industries in Ireland. This cannot be achieved without financial input from the state. We must be relentless in our pursuit of this essential support.

Such financial support is currently available to the Arts Council, The Heritage Council, the Film board, Crafts Council, the Libraries Council, the National Cultural Institutions, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Culture Ireland and other bodies in Ireland and, of course, while it is the norm internationally with regard to support of the creative industries, the creative sector in Ireland is unsupported.

Dublin: World Design Capital -see page 39


  1. john says:

    Garrett, Did you get anywhere with getting a “body established” to rep. the irish design companies?

  2. admin says:

    Hi John, yes that’s a project that is developing well and after an interesting meeting yesterday between senior representatives from the creative/design organisations progress is good. have you a specific interest?