Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

Future Makers Awards and Supports 2018 now open for entries

Future Makers fund of €23,500 recognises and supports emerging Irish designers and makers

News Reporter


News Reporter

Future Makers Awards and Supports 2018 now open for entries

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) Future Makers Awards & Supports programme for 2018 has opened and is now accepting online applications. With a prize fund totalling €23,500 this year, Future Makers Awards & Supports is one of Europe’s largest prize-funded award programmes for students and emerging makers, rewarding the next generation of Irish creatives and assisting them as they develop a career in the design and craft industry. 

Entry to this exciting programme is free and the closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, April 13. Entries will be assessed by a judging panel comprising Claudia Casali, Director of International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, Italy and Philip Hamilton, Creative Director of Perch, Dublin. The panel will be chaired by DCCoI’s Education Manager, Fiona Byrne.

Future Makers Awards & Supports was established in 2009 and is one of several DCCoI initiatives supporting and investing in a new generation of talent in the design and craft sector. Divided into student and recent graduate/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.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, said: “We are committed to supporting and nurturing emerging designers and makers so that they can hone their skills, raise the profile of their work and establish careers in their chosen field. Our Future Makers Awards & Supports programme is one of several Design & Crafts Council of Ireland initiatives aimed at assisting and encouraging the next generation of designers and makers in order to create a pipeline of fresh talent and grow Ireland’s vibrant design and craft sector.”

Previous winners and recipients of Future Makers Awards & Supports have established and developed careers across a wide breadth of design specialties in the creative sector. Former winners include fashion designers Pearl Reddington, Natalie B. Coleman, and Sorcha O’Raghallaigh; jeweller Pierce Healy; leather artist Úna Burke; design studio Superfolk; and furniture designers Cillian Ó Súilleabháin and Alan Meredith.

In a new development for the craft sector, the recently restructured RDS Craft Awards ( will be open to winners of DCCoI Future Makers Awards & Supports in the preceding year e.g. Future Makers 2018 winners can apply for the 2019 RDS Craft Awards. Five bursaries of €10,000 each will be awarded for the development of business and craft skills to those pursuing a professional career in the sector. The award can be spent on further education and training, research, development of new work, mentoring, purchase of equipment, studio improvements, website and residencies. See for information.

In addition to the above, students and emerging makers are once again invited to apply for a commission to design and make an award piece for the NFETL Learning Impact Awards that will be presented in Dublin Castle later this year. Following the launch of the NFETL (National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) Awards design competition in last year’s Future Makers Awards & Supports Programme, the 2018 competition, again a joint NFETL and DCCoI initiative, is open to college students and emerging makers (within three years of having left college). Those interested in applying should note their interest through this year’s Future Makers application process. The selection panel will consist of representatives of the NFETL and DCCoI as well as independent designers/experts. 

All Future Makers Awards & Supports  Categories for 2018:

Students Category:

Future Makers Student Award: €2,500
Innovation Award: €1,000
Design Award: €1,000
Craft Skills Award: €1000
Materials Support: €500 x 4
Travel & Training Support: €500 x 2
Professional Development Support: €500 x 2

Recent Graduates/Emerging Practitioners Category:

Future Makers Emerging Maker Award: €3,500
Innovation Award: €1,500
Design Award: €1,500
Craft Skills Award: €1,500
Studio Support: €1,000 x 2
Residencies/Training Support: €1,000 x 2
Exhibition Support: €1,000 x 2