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Future Makers Fund Calling all Emerging Limerick Designers and Makers

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) Future Makers Awards & Supports programme is now accepting online applications for 2017. With a prize fund totalling €24,500 for 2017, Future Makers Awards & Supports is one of the largest prize-funded award programmes in Europe for students and emerging makers, rewarding the next generation of Irish creatives and helping them to develop a career in the craft and design industry.  

Entry to this exciting programme is free and the closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 21st April 2017. This year, entries will be assessed by a judging panel that includes internationally renowned designer-maker Michael Eden and celebrated stylist Aisling Farinella and will be chaired by DCCoI’s Head of Education, Training and Development, John Tynan. 

Pictured is model Teo wearing Fiona Mulholland’s Glow choker. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

Established in 2009, Future Makers Awards & Supports is one of many DCCoI initiatives supporting and investing in a new generation of talent in the craft and design sector. Divided into student and emerging practitioner categories and covering a broad range of disciplines, the Future Makers programme recognises and rewards vision, innovation and excellence in both making and the creative process among students and recent graduates. 


Previous winners and recipients of Future Makers Awards & Supports have progressed to establish careers across a breadth of design specialities in the creative sector, with former winners including fashion designers Natalie B. Coleman, Sorcha O’Raghallaigh and Honor Fitzsimons, leather artist Úna Burke, design studio Superfolk and furniture designer Cillian Ó Súilleabháin. 

Jeweller Lorna Boyle, who was awarded Residencies/Training Support in 2015 and won the Future Makers Student Innovation Award in 2014, says: “Future Makers was paramount in my launching a career as a designer. It not only raised my profile, opening doors to take part in countless events, exhibitions and fairs, but it also gave me the confidence to do so.” Ceramic Designer Anthony Horrigan, who won Student Innovation Award in 2013, says: “Winning a Future Makers award can be beneficial financially, but more importantly it legitimises your work and garners great publicity and connections that promote your work and talent.” 

New to the Future Makers competition for 2017 is the NFETL (National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) DELTA Award Design Piece commission, worth €1,500, in association with Ireland’s Higher Education organisations. The commission for the design of the award is a joint initiative of the DCCoI with the NFETL. This competition is for the design of the prestigious DELTA (Disciplinary Excellence in Learning Teaching and Assessment) Award, 25 of which will be presented at an awards ceremony in Dublin Castle in December 2017 to higher education staff who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to teaching excellence to improve student learning. The selection panel for this award will consist of representatives of the NFETL and DCCoI, and independent designers/experts. 

 All Future Makers Awards & Supports Categories for 2017 

Open to all: 

  • DELTA Award Design Piece commission in association with Ireland’s Higher Education organisations: €1,500

  Students Category: 

  • Future Makers Student Award: €2,000
  • Innovation Award: €1,000
  • Design Award: €1,000
  • Fixperts Creative Award: €500
  • Residencies/Training Supports: €1,000 x2
  • Materials Supports: €500 x 6
  • Exhibition Support: €500 x 2

Full details are available here.

 Recent Graduates/Emerging Practitioners Category: 

  • Future Makers Emerging Practitioner Award: €3,000
  • Innovation Award: €1,500
  • Design Award: €1,000
  • Imagined Futures Award: €1,000
  • Residencies/Training Support: €1,000 x2
  • Exhibition/Trade Fair Support: €1,000 x 2
  • Studio Support: €1,000 x 2

Full details are available here. 

Every application for Future Makers will be automatically considered and assessed for all of the award options under the relevant student or recent graduate/emerging practitioner category. Assessment will be based on the strength of an applicant’s written proposal and their creative work. Applicants may also apply for one support option that suits their career development plans. 

The judging panel will create a shortlist based on the information and images of work provided in the first round of online applications. Shortlisted applicants will be notified in early May and asked to submit up to 3 pieces of work in mid-May for final assessment in all categories. The winners and recipients of the 2017 Future Makers Awards & Supports programme will be announced at a presentation ceremony in Dublin in June. 

Full details on the programme can be found here.

All applications must be submitted by Friday, April 21, online here.

Here you can read more about past Future Makers Awards.


Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.