Call for Applications for 3 Design/Craft Residencies in the South East of Ireland

Posted 14.05.18

Open Call for 3 Design/Craft Residencies in the South East of Ireland Led by Workhouse Union and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

Closing date: 25 May 2018

Residency Opportunity: 13–29 July 2018

Workhouse Union and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland are pleased to announce the upcoming Bring Your Own Chair Residency 2018. We invite applications from craftspeople, designers and makers to encourage cross-disciplinary activity between Europe and Ireland.

Bring Your Own Chair is an art project taking place in rural towns and villages across counties Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford throughout the spring and summer of 2018. As part of the programme three craft makers and/or designers will undertake two week-residencies in July 2018 within the specific context of a rural town, engaging with the vernacular craft and design history of the locale. Workhouse Union are seeking proposals from designers/craft makers who wish to explore the possibilities of socially engaged practice within the context of Bring Your Own Chair. We are particularly interested in potential of co-operation, craft and industry to sustain rural economies.

The selected designers/craft makers will spend 5 nights with a host craftsperson/designer in a rural town and another 9 days in Callan at Workhouse Union. During the first 5 days support will be provided to engage with local craft traditions and contemporary makers and designers. The second week will give the three residency participants an opportunity to engage with the project team and each other. The participants will have access to local facilities as well as a research studio and library at Workhouse Union.

Bring Your Own Chair will bring together craft makers and designers working in various disciplines – creating an environment where each individual is pushed to expand their own practice in a relatively short amount of time. Hosts and practitioners will be encouraged to work together and share skills and knowledge.

Duration: 2 weeks

This is a developmental research residency delivered by Workhouse Union in conjunction with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.

The residency opportunity will include:

  • Craft maker/Designer fee of €1,000
  • Subsistence allowance of €300
  • Return travel costs to a maximum value of €300
  • Support and facilitation to engage with locally based makers, artists and various community networks


To apply please submit a written proposal (two A4 pages max). Your proposal should include:

  • A short description of your current work practice
  • Brief details (if any) about any previous projects that you have worked on that include community based and/or socially based practice
  • Why you are interested in this residency and how it would contribute to your development as a socially engaged designer/craftsperson

Please send applications marked ‘Bring Your Own Chair’ by email to by 17:00 on 25 May 2018. In addition to the above information please include:

  • An up to date CV and/or Biography
  • A PDF with a maximum of 5 examples of recent projects, with images, relevant links, captions and short descriptions.

Applicants will be notified by the end of May 2018.


As the heart of small towns in Ireland face decline, Bring Your Own Chair looks to share collective experiences using public space for community gatherings and actions. Lead artist Michelle Browne will facilitate the activation of public space through co-authored spatial gatherings creating a portrait of the rural South-East.


The South-East region is a developing hub for design in Ireland and Kilkenny City is home to the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. In the late 1960’s, Kilkenny Design Workshops (KDW), were set up as a

government-funded research and development centre of excellence for design (and design advocacy, research and promotion).


Workhouse Union (based in Callan, Co. Kilkenny) works with artists, designers, architects and crafts-people to develop projects examining housing, civic infrastructure and the commons, engaging people with the spaces and places we live in.

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, stimulating innovation, championing design thinking and informing Government policy. DCCoI’s activities are funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has 64 member organisations and over 2,500 registered clients.


The project is produced by Workhouse Union with residencies in partnership with Design and Craft Council of Ireland. Bring Your Own Chair is funded by the Arts Council Ireland Making Great Art Work - Open Call Award and with further support from Create Ireland/Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Waterford Council, Kilkenny Arts Office, County Wexford and Kilkenny LEADER Partnership and Waterford Úradás na Gaeltachta.

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