Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ReMake Design Challenge

Last Saturday, in support of Dublin making a bid for the 2014 Design Capital of the world, Remake Design Ireland hosted a "Chair Extravaganza" one day challenge that saw 50 designers descend upon 100 old and unwanted chairs in order to create one of a kind up-cycled pieces from the salvaged parts.  (More info here)

I had only found out about the ReMake Design Challenge a mere 3 days before the event and initially was going to turn it down. A mixture of self doubt and fear had almost convinced me that I could never do something like this (the thought of having to build a chair terrified me!) before I got a grip, shook off the gremlins and  mustered enough courage to sign up. 
Before the chaos started 

I was paired with another young designer, Conor Duff, the morning of and could not have been happier with the arrangement. Even though we had only met that day, Conor and I instantly hit it off and discovered that we had similar tastes and design aesthetics. Our strengths complimented one another and together we ended up creating 2 chairs in the time allocated with only minimal blood loss.

The day of the event flew by in a blur of sanding, painting and upholstering. An atmosphere of camaraderie filled the exhibition hall as fellow designers supported one another with suggestions, tricks and tools. 
I love my orbital sander
I was so honored to have been a part of this collective and am immensely proud to have helped create two beautiful  pieces in such a short span of time. 
Sitting pretty: exhausted but content
It's the details that count: a view from the rear 
I have been looking for something like this to participate in for ages, to find a group of creative peers. When I started out on this path of creating a creative business focusing on up-cycling furniture, I knew only what I had taught myself, which is to say: not much. I've never worked with wood, I'm not an industrial designer and I'm clumsy with tools. All I have is a passion that has grown in me over the past year. For so long I've wanted to call myself a "designer" and yet, when I first saw the email for this challenge, do you know what my first thought was? "I'm no designer. If I do this, everyone will see me for the fraud I am!"

Despite that doubt, deep down was a small whisper nudging me to enter. 

At the end of the day when the winners were announced, I was completely and utterly shocked to hear that Conor and I nabbed one of the top overall design awards. Our chair will be sold at one of Dublin's newest design outlets, Industry after being featured in two exhibitions and this year's Fringe Festival
Conor and I showing off the goods

I still can't believe we won. This whole experience has been a lesson in facing fears, taking risks and believing in yourself. For the first time I fully embraced this dream of mine and you know what? It's like I got a giant bear hug from the Universe in return. 
Our winning design
All of the winning designs

{All photos via ReMake Design Ireland and my iphone}


  1. oh YEAH! I'm going to put you in touch with Phillip Kennedy, someone who writes for TFIB with me who lives in Dublin!

  2. Yay for you! BRILLIANT. Loved the whole 'facing the fears' bit - got some of that going on over here and it's nice to have a little reminder of why it's worth doing! Have a fab time in Amsterdam - look forward to hearing all about it when you get back. xxx


Thanks for showing some love :)

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