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Tel:  056 7796134 | Email: futuremakers@dccoi.ie



Frances McDonald provides consultancy and support services in contemporary craft and design. Working with state agencies and academic institutions, galleries and practitioners, she has worked on numerous exhibitions and events. These have included the 2017 Mise Éire conference for the Design & Crafts Council Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland;  Liminal – Irish Design at the Threshold, New York, Eindhoven & Dublin for Irish Design 2015; The International Academy of Ceramics Dublin 2014 for the Design & Crafts Council Ireland.

She writes on contemporary craft and has contributed to the Irish Arts Review; Ceramic Review; Neues Glas: Art & Architecture; Ceramics Art & Perception and CFile.org. Frances McDonald has a Degree in Design Communications from Limerick School of Art & Design and an MA in Design History & Material Culture from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.


Paula McCoy is homeware buyer for Arnott's. 

Paula is a fine art graduate of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Paula has been a buyer for Arnott's the past 20 years. In 2011 she was part of the creation of the Irish Crafts Collection at Arnott's.  The collection brings together 23 Irish designers under one umbrella brand. Developed in conjunction with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), the idea was to give small Irish craftmakers the opportunity to become listed in a department store, a process that Paula says is often prohibitive for small makers working on their own.

She has been a member of the DCCoI mentoring panels for Design Ireland and FUSE clinics.  


Brian Kennedy is an independent curator working predominantly in the area of craft and applied art. Kennedy works with state agencies, museum, galleries and private collectors to develop stratgies, organise exhibition and build collections within the craft and applied art areas.

In 2014 he curated the critically acclaimed exhibition "Vase Vessel Void" for the Oliver Sears Gallery and in 2015/16 "In Residence I & II" for the same gallery in London. 2016 also saw him return to the National Design & Craft Gallery of Ireland with " VASE, Function Reviewed" a major survey exhibition of international contemporary ceramics. In October 2016 Kennedy was appointed Creative Director for the Tresor - Contemporary Craft Fair, Basel, Switzerland, which opened in September 2017.


Alison Conneely is an award winning designer & creative director. Her eponymous brand is stocked in the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland. She is currently working on a design project with the United Nations launching in 2019.


In 2017 Alison worked with artist Jessie Jones and designer Risin Gartland on Jones’s film Tremble Tremble, representing Ireland at the 57th Venice Biennale. In 2016 Alison was chosen as Irish design representative by the National of Museum of Ireland for the 1916 centenary commemorations. Her show 'The Shuttle Hive: A Century of Rising Threads', a commemorative design collection, explored through the lens of the modernist movement, the agency of revolt and myth, as identity paradigm for Irish women. 


Alison was awarded the coveted Future Makers Award by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. She also works as a stylist, costume designer and consultant on various creative and commercial projects.