design_ business _ innovation in dublin

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  design, business &
innovation in dublin
the link between design and innovation

Design is the development of ideas through action, a bridge between cre-
ativity and innovation and this is now recognised across the mainstream of
development. To quote Bruce Nussbaum of Business Week writing in 2005
about emerging trends in business: “When people talked about innovation
in the ‘90s, they really meant technology. When people talk about innova-
tion in this decade, they really mean design.”
   Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, speaking on her inauguration as EU Commis-
sioner for Innovation in 2010 commented that “Europe has a large and ex-
cellent knowledge base. It is the largest producer of scientific publications.
But we are not good enough at transforming our inventions into commer-
cial successes. For example, the mp3 standard for compressing audio data
was invented in Europe, but commercialised in America – as was Apple’s
iPod.” Connecting new research or inventions to markets is one of the ob-
vious places to find design in innovation: understanding cultures and life-
styles and weaving new technologies into them as designed products and
   But the design of products is only one role design plays in innovation. De-
sign is about more than aesthetics, style or making a statement. Design is a
process, an approach to that can be used to create change in many contexts
– from the design of medical services to urban regeneration strategies. This
design process starts from the user’s perspective and products, services and
systems that correspond better with users needs are more effective, useful
and profitable.
   The following pages, which formed part of Dublin’s bid for World Design
Capital 2014, show some of the parts design is playing in business and in-
novation in Dublin: how organisations are innovating using design meth-
ods, the business of design in Dublin’s economy and the key areas of design
which are giving Dublin a competitive edge in international innovation.
key design industries and their impact on us…

Permeable boundaries in new technologies and media offer designers
opportunities to work in a range of industries and projects from
medical devices and animation, to on-line video games. Collabora-
tion between design disciplines and industry is now intrinsically
linked to the innovative drivers of our city, and to its larger social,
cultural and economic development. Irish designers have a great
focus on user-centred design; they know that design is about having
fun through learning, and just having fun; about finding new ways
of living in our city; about the touch of beautifully crafted materials
and objects and about sustainability and the environment, here and
around the world.
     We are an open economy where our design industries create and
influence overlapping relationships between, government strategic
policy and our responsive education sector.
     Design thinking connects between so many sectors. It is a part
of who we are, a part of how we define ourselves.
                      animation                                                        level educational and training infrastructure for anima-
                      The magic at the heart of animation is story telling. The        tion, in Ballyfermot College and IADT in Dún Laoghaire,
                      Irish animation industry has thrived in the very area that       has consistently turned out award-winning animators,
                      is fed undoubtedly by Ireland’s ancient tradition of oral        and has contributed greatly to the strength and depth of
                      storytelling in Ireland, which goes back millennia. More         quality in this industry.
                      recently, the spark that illuminated our animation skills             Animation is a global industry where Ireland punches
                      was undoubtedly the decision of Sullivan Bluth, Muraka-          far above its weight. Our success in animation, and the
                      mi – Wolf Swenson and Emerald City to base themselves            cultural, social and economic profile we now have in this
                      in Dublin during the recession of the 1980’s. The impact         industry, is a tremendous source of pride for our city and
                      of this cannot be overstated; it created more than just          a wonderful inspiration to the next generation of Irish
                      employment, it created a space in which the animation            animators.
                      industry could become part of people’s everyday lives.
                      In 2010, three Dublin animation graduates were nomi-
                      nated for Oscars; Dublin based Nicky Phelan of Brown             gaming
                      Bag Films, Tomm Moore of Cartoon Saloon, along with              Dublin has become a centre for the games industry. The
                      Richard Baneham who won the Best Visual Effects Oscar            worldwide success of Emmy-award winning firms like
                      for his work on Avatar. International animation successes        Havok, and the Digital Hub (a government sponsored
                      such as the ‘The Secret Of Kells’, ‘Roy’, ‘Picme’, ‘Octonauts’   initiative to promote digital media industries, which has
                      and ‘Granny O’Grimm’ are all Irish produced, designed            used outreach programmes to make a hugely positive
                      and written.                                                     impact on the community of its inner-city location) has
                           Award winning studios currently leading the way also        led to a cluster effect. Gaming is an industry where multi-
                      include Kavaleer Productions, Monster Animation, Jam             national partnerships loom large, and where humour,
                      Media, Boulder Media and Caboom. Dublin’s strong third           unpredictability and irreverence are assets.
                                                                                           Havok started out in Dublin in 1998, and is considered
                                                                                       to be a world-beater in the design of interactive software

Guitar Hero 3 Havok                       Irish School of Animation
                            Inga Reed Craft Council of Ireland

                                                                                                  Enignum ii Joseph Walsh Furniture, Photo by Andrew Bradley

for digital media creators in the games and movie indus-         craft
tries. Havok technology is being used in nearly 270 of           Irish craft may be deeply rooted to our past but, as with
the world’s best-known games titles, with a further 130          fashion design, many of our young designers are also
in development. Havok-designed products are also used            firmly looking to the future. A vibrant export business,
to drive special effects in movies such as the Matrix and        it is part of the preservation of our cultural heritage go-
Harry Potter. Drawn by the success of indigenous firms           ing back thousands of years. The Irish craft industry is
like Havok, Vivendi, Microsoft Games, Activision and EA          flourishing with the help of The Crafts Council of Ireland,
Games have all set up in Dublin.                                 government agencies and a growing appreciation of the
     This is yet another design area in which our standing       work of our talented designers by buyers worldwide.
is very high, because in the past five years, quietly, Dublin         The major craft sectors are in pottery, glass, jewellery,
has become one of the largest online gaming hubs in the          textiles (particularly knitwear) and furniture. Irish craft
world. Online gaming is $15bn industry worldwide with            businesses are characteristically small in scale, however
500 million players and growing. The biggest console pub-        the industry is a significant employer, while also provid-
lisher, the biggest massively multiplayer online (MMO)           ing viable, sustainable enterprises. One of these is Shuttle
game publisher, the biggest social game developer and the        Knit, a small knitting and weaving firm. Unique because
biggest gaming platform company all have a significant           they don’t use patterns, they produce a range of ladies
design presence here: in fact, 60% of the top 20 games on        knitwear, accessories and handmade woven throws. A
Facebook have been created by companies, like Zynga              second is Superfolk, the nomadic design studio of NCAD
and Popcap, which are active in Ireland. These big indus-        graduate Gearóid Muldowney. Superfolk’s heart is in the
try players bring significant revenue and resources to           craft of production, whether that be hand-made or indus-
the local economy and culture of technology and digital          trial, and the studio aspires to strike a balance between
innovation.                                                      craft and design.
                    New furniture designers making waves internationally            fashion
                    include self-taught designer Joseph Walsh who fuses art         Irish fashion is a small but high-profile and lively indus-
                    and craft, to create remarkable pieces from native Irish        try; it is about high-end quality and points of difference
                    hardwoods such as olive, ash, elm, walnut, and sycamore.        and is not associated with mass manufacturing. Fashion
                    Another designer garnering international attention is           design in Ireland is very much associated with craft and
                    Sasha Sykes, who creates bespoke furniture. She draws           the strong links between the material, the maker and the
                    her inspiration from traditional materials and crafts and,      designer. Irish tweed, fine linen, knitwear, crochet and
                    working with acrylics and resins, she exposes the textures      lace have played key roles in the evolution of an identifi-
                    and forms of straws, leaves, twigs, timber, mosses and          ably Irish style. Indeed designer John Rocha, originally
                    lichens.                                                        from Hong Kong, is famous for his use of silk with fine
                         So much of Irish craft and furniture design created        Irish linen.
                    objects which are a tribute to Irelands heritage and, are, in        Irish fashion has evolved from the pioneering Sybil
                    a playful way, referring to an Irish way of life; one which     Connolly and Neilli Mulcahy, whose adaptations of Irish
                    is rooted in the land, its animals and in its weather. These    vernacular materials in the 1960’s made Dublin a rec-
                    conditions helped forge Ireland’s historical identity, yet      ognised centre for couture, to today’s designers such as
                    Ireland can no longer be defined by these out-of-date con-      Lainey Keogh, with her quirky Irish knitwear; Philip
                    cepts, and so Ireland’s current generation of craftspeople      Treacy’s fantastical hats; and Pauric Sweeny’s ‘must have’
                    are using their skills to search for a new cultural language.   handbags. Clothes designer Louise Kennedy also works
                    They are telling new stories, to the acclaim of new interna-    in crystal and interior design. Paul Costelloe designs
                    tional audiences.                                               clothes, homewares and jewellery. Orla Kiely is famous
                                                                                    for her bags, works in lifestyle design and fragrances, and
                                                                                    has collaborated with Citroën to design a limited-edition
                                                                                    car. Indeed six established Irish designers - Rocha, Keogh,
                                                                                    Costelloe, Treacy, Kennedy and Kiely - have all featured on
                                                                                    Irish postage stamps.
                                                                                         The newest wave of fashion designers includes Úna
                                                                                    Burke whose extraordinary leather creations have been
                                                                                    in demand by enthusiastic stylists, fashion agents and
                                                                                    photographers including Lady Gaga, who requested eight
                                                                                    pieces from Úna for her global Monster Ball tour – a com-
                                                                                    mission guaranteed to garner hundreds of column inches
                                                                                    in the international fashion media. The popularity of fash-
                                                                                    ion courses in third level institutions alone demonstrates
                                                                                    our pride and fascination with fashion and its impact
                                                                                    on society. Fashion in Ireland is always forward-looking,
                                                                                    always eager to turn tradition on its head, even when it
                                                                                    is taking inspiration from traditional materials. With its
                                                                                    emphasis on craft and quality, it creates a domestic mar-
                                                                                    ket for traditional raw materials such as wool and lace.

Piece 4 Úna Burke
‘By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn’,
a Latin proverb that could easily sum up the Irish experi-
ence in this new strand of digital based education. Ireland
has been a home to e-Learning advancement since the
1980’s. Ireland has an international reputation for its high
levels of education. Our national culture of respect for
education and lifelong learning was evident in our early
understanding of the potential for e-learning.
     A catalyst for this industry and one of the early com-
mercial successes was CBT Systems (later called Smart-
Force), founded in Dublin in 1984. SmartForce went on
to become the leading e-learning provider in the world.
The company began trading on the NASDAQ in 1995 and
by the time the company merged with Nashua, NH based
Skill Soft in 2002, it had annual revenues of over $200 mil-
lion. Since that initial foray, Ireland has spawned dozens
of e-Learning companies, many of whom are now leaders
in their own respective areas of expertise and ongoing                      Interactive Book of Kells D&AD Global Design Award, XCommunications
pioneers of some of the most out-of-left field ideas. These
world leaders include: ThirdForce, an established provider
of e-learning to over two million learners in education,
government, healthcare, hospitality and commercial
organisations worldwide; and Interactive Services, a com-
pany that designs for Fortune 500 companies.
     The e-Learning industry representative body, the Irish
Learning Alliance, advocates a business model that com-
bines entrepreneurship and partnership with research
institutions and state organisations.

                                                               Muzu TV website Frontend
                                                                                                           Architecture is important to Dubliners. In recent years
                                                                                                           some exceptional and iconic new urban landmarks have
                                                                                                           transformed our landscape: from the Altro Vetro Building
                                                                                                           to Daniel Liebskind’s dramatic new Grand Canal Theatre
                                                                                                           at Grand Canal Dock; and from Calatrava’s elegant Samuel
                                                                                                           Beckett Bridge on the Liffey, to the curvaceous and shim-
                                                                                                           mering Aviva Stadium and the new Terminal 2 at Dublin
                                                                                                           Airport. Despite the economic downturn and the decline
                                                                                                           of the architectural sector locally, four recent Dublin
                                                                                                           buildings have also secured places on the prestigious
                                                                                                           shortlist of the World Architecture Awards: the Aviva,
                                                                                                           the Grand Canal Theatre, the Long Room Hub and Tim-
                                                                                                           beryard social housing – an award previously bestowed
                                                                                                           on Dublin-based Grafton Architects for their acclaimed
                                                                                                           Università Bocconi in Milan. The international profile
                                                                                                           of Irish architects and architecture is certainly high.
                                                                                                                Dublin has seen both urban renewal and suburban
                                                                                                           expansion over the past 15 years and Irish architects
                                                                                                           have been to the forefront of this recent dramatic change.
                                                                                                           The reputation for Dublin as a city of new and wonderful
                                                                                                           buildings, with many proven and talented designers
                                                                                                           has never been more deserved. From improvements
                                                                                                           in the quality of housing, to the regeneration of commu-
                                                                                                           nities; and from the positive economic impact felt dur-
                                                                                                           ing the years of construction to the revitalising of public
                                                                                                           areas, the impact of this renewal and expansion cannot
                                                                                                           be overstated.

Mews houses Waterloo Lane, Grafton Architects   Church of St Moore and St Thomas Clancy Moore Architects
industrial design                                            a range of highly successful products from cameras, secu-
Industrial design is a focused industry in Ireland. The      rity devices and large gaming cabinets. Industrial design is
most well known product designers are a local based com-     one area of design that is with all of us, all day, every day.
pany, Design Partners. They are a multi-award winning        Is in an inherent part of our culture and society.
practice with an excellent reputation internationally for
designing keyboards, smartphones and gaming headsets
that are acclaimed both in design and commercial terms.      medical technology
Their design approach is to collaborate closely with their   Ireland’s medical technology sector is booming, and we
clients. Not only do they design, engineer and prototype;    are now the second largest exporter of medical products in
they also build emotion understanding and empathy for        Europe. Around 160 companies are involved in designing,
their designs. They have featured in Time Magazine Top       developing, and manufacturing here, with over 90 of the
10 Gadgets 2010 for their Logitech Revue, the first Google   companies being indigenous. Product designs range from
TV device, and have recently won 5 awards at the 2011        precision metal implants including pacemakers, to mi-
International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in             croelectronic devices, orthopaedic implants, diagnostics,
Las Vegas.                                                   contact lenses and stents. Companies in Ireland includ-
     Dublin also has many small firms who are special-       ing Medronic and Teleflex, export €6.8b worth of medical
ists in the various disciplines of product design. Eighty-   technology product annually and employ the highest
6Design excel in medical product design. Shane Holland       number of people working in the industry in any country
is a leading luminary in the design of lighting and fur-     in Europe, per head of population. Exports of medical
niture. The Kilkenny Design Consultancy has designed         devices now represent 8% of Ireland’s total merchandise
everything from cookers to street furniture, from medical    exports; and growth prospects globally remain good.
devices to coffee machines, and Boxclever have designed

       Chair Mcor Technologies
                             The medical technology industry involves intensive col-
                             laboration between a broad range of partners, including
                             research institutions, clinicians, manufacturing com-
                             panies and government agencies. With expert in-house
                             teams such as the RCSI-CIST in Dublin helping to support
                             the innovation, testing, licensing and marketing of new
                             surgical devices and technology and advising on prototype
                             construction. The economic success of this industry has
                             direct two-way links with education because the high
                             standards of our education system (and our history of suc-
                             cess in related industries such as pharmaceuticals) mean
                             that a potential workforce to grow this sector exists. In
                             turn, the growth of the sector encourages students.

                             The recent construction boom in Ireland saw many high-
                             end engineering achievements, with the construction of
                             some of the city’s most innovative architecture and infra-
                             structure, such as the Samuel Beckett Bridge (Engineering
                             Ireland Excellence Award 2010), the Port Tunnel and the
                             Dublin Docklands development. From successful branch-
                             es of international engineering companies (ARUP Ireland,
                             White Young Green Ireland, Mott MacDonald Ireland) to
                             major Irish Dublin-based firms (O’Connor Sutton Cronin,
                             Tobin Consulting Engineers, Delap & Waller, Roughan &
                             O’Donovan), structural, civil and environmental engi-
                             neers represent a key design industry in the city. From
                             a bridge that helps get commuters home earlier in the
                             evenings to a tunnel that takes lorry traffic out of the city
                             centre, the impact of all these major engineering projects
                             on day-to-day city life is undeniable. Many of these top
                             firms are now working on current design and engineering
                             challenges in the city such as energy, waste management,
                             flood control and environmental management.
                                  Software engineering has also been a strong sector
                             in the Irish economy over the course of the past 15 years.
                             During this time, Dublin has become known for its ver-
                             satile and creative software engineering. Currently home
                             to more than seven European headquarters of the most
                             successful IT companies, including Google, Microsoft,
                             IBM, Intel, Facebook and LinkedIn, Dublin is considered
                             as ‘the’ European hub for software engineering.

Aviva Stadium ME Engineers
Also many technologies developed by Dublin-based web           service design
engineers have been integrated into the global websites of     Better services and better service delivery have such a
the Hostelword reservation system, Cartrawler next gen-        positive impact on day-to-day living and our social and
eration car rental distribution system, NewBay digital life-   cultural interaction with each other. With the majority
style solutions, and Changing World personalised digital       of these export-oriented services businesses are the core of
services solution. Dublin based Contrast Web Design are        the Irish economy. In addition, our large public sector and
developing inventive and refreshing phone applications,        third sector organisations have at their heart the delivery
while iQ Content are currently working on accessibility        of quality services both at home and abroad.
and creating better websites for everyone.                          Like many Western Economies, this shift towards
                                                               services means new sets of skills must be developed. As an
                                                               emerging discipline globally, Service Design aims to apply
renewable energy technologies                                  a design methods and thinking to the development of
Ireland’s ultimate goal, articulated by the Irish Govern-      new services, providing better, more holistic experiences.
ment and by agencies such as Sustainable Energy Associa-       Irish based designers are part of this global conversation,
tion of Ireland (SEAI) is to become self sufficient in, and    through their professional networks, conferences and
a net exporter of, energy. Our strategic plan sees a future    international work.
of strong export-led growth in the design of sustainable            Irish companies such as Servitize whose focus is on
energy products and services. In the short term, Ireland’s     ‘moving the customer to the centre of your business’ ap-
focus is mainly on wind technology, a main driver behind       plies a design thinking approach to service development
a plan to have 40% of power generation from renewable          by working their clients through the “Servitize Service
energy by 2020. While windmills in the Irish landscape         Design Ladder” as a process for exploring their customer
are seen as the most obvious expression of that intent, in     needs and designing innovative new services. Raymond
tandem a vast range of small and large companies have          Turner Associates is a Dublin based design leadership
been making strides with their designs in progressive,         consultancy. Turner has worked with British Aviation
research driven energy technology.                             Authority (BAA), the world’s largest private airport
     While the sector is small in scale, it is already mak-    company. His recent work on the £2.5 billion Terminal 5,
ing an impact outside of Ireland. The US energy secretary      ensures that BAA’s investment in design was aligned to
recently signed a grant agreement with Wavebob, a com-         its corporate mission of being the most successful airport
pany working on wave energy converters, to support the         company in the world.
development of a commercial-scale wave energy demon-                Dublin based designer Ré Dubhthaigh is a Design
stration project in US waters. Bord Gáis one of Ireland’s      Associate on the UK Design Council’s Public Services
electricity companies is in advanced negotiations to take a    by Design programme, working with public sector
stake in Openhydro, a Dublin-based tidal energy company        organisations to radically innovate new services in light
whose Open-Centre Turbine is designed to be deployed           of economic and social pressures. This programme is a
directly on the seabed. While SolarPrint, develops pho-        recognised global leader for using service design in the
tovoltaic energy technologies, designed to convert light       public sector. Dublin City Council have recently set up the
from any source into energy. SolarPrint’s technology has       Studio, an internal team of design experts with the remit
been devised to work in the same way that a plant con-         to improve service delivery and embed a service design
verts light to energy using photosynthesis.                    culture inside the council. While the national enterprise
     All of our futures are dependent on technology and        agency, Enterprise Ireland, is currently in the process of
design innovators coming up with solutions to help us          establishing a services division, and are keenly aware of
harness alternatives to current energy sources. Irish          the role design can play in developing new services and
designers are playing an increasingly active part in this.     opening up new markets for Irish businesses.
                       the business of design

                       design statistics The creative industries are “those industries which
                       have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which
                       have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation
                       and exploitation of intellectual property”1. By this definition, Dublin
                       - a city of approximately 1,000,000 citizens - has a significant number
                       of people working in the creative industries.
                            Dublin has some 77,000 people employed in design-related in-
                       dustries (based on 2006 figures, which are the most recent available).
                       That is 59% of the national total, illustrating that Dublin acts as
                       Ireland’s creative core. Dublin’s employment in the creative indus-
                       tries in 2006 was over 12% of total employment. The Gross Value
                       Added of the creative industries in the Dublin area is estimated at
                       €3.25 billion.

Industry                                                                             Greater Dublin Area    National Total   GDA as a % of National
Advertising                                                                                         3,736            5,173                     72%
Architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancy                         10,718          21,106                      51%
Manufacture of textiles                                                                             1,355            3,921                     35%
Manufacture of clothes; dressing and dyeing of fur                                                  1,237           2,854                     43%
Tanning and dressing of leather; manufacture of luggage, handbags                                      88             328                      27%
Motion picture and video activities                                                                 1,462           2,202                     66%
Other entertainment activities                                                                      3,168            6,156                     51%
Other recreational activities                                                                       2,597           5,257                     49%
Publishing, printing and reproduction of recorded media                                           10,366           16,661                     62%
News agency activities                                                                                262             392                      67%
Computer and related activities                                                                   23,562          36,656                      64%
Radio and television activities                                                                    3,580            5,070                      71%
Miscellaneous business nec                                                                        14,895          25,050                      59%
Total Creative Industries                                                                        77,026          130,826                      59%
Total All Industries                                                                           800,240         1,930,042
Creative EMP as % of All Industries                                                                  10%               7%

From Defining and Valuing Dublin’s Creative Industries 2010 2

                           The UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (1998)
                           Based on Census POWCAR dataset, Census 2006,
           design and jobs

           Ireland had seen exceptional growth in employment up until the
           global economic downturn, which began in 2008. This employment
           growth was particularly evident in the creative industries. In 2006
           Dublin accounted for 59% of all those employed in the creative in-
           dustries. Nationally, industries such as architecture and engineering
           grew by as much as 65%, and advertising by as much as 26% with
           overall growth in the creative industries at 27.4%.

However, the economy has undergone considerable              With the promotion of design and innovation recognised
change since these figures were compiled. Creative indus-    as a means of recovery through national economic and re-
tries have been hit hard by the economic downturn. The       covery plans, the creative industries are expected to grow
hardest-hit design profession has been architecture, with    in the next number of years. The green shoots of revitali-
estimates suggesting that around 40% of architects lost      sation are already evident with the ERSI (Economic and
their jobs between January 2008 and March 2009. It can be    Social Research Institute Dublin, Ireland) announcement
assumed that many creative industries will have experi-      of skill shortages in the ICT and gaming sectors, which
enced reductions in employee numbers since 2008.             should result in further positive job growth in the forth-
    The reducing employment opportunities in the cre-        coming years.
ative industry sector have created an upsurge in informal
design activity. Designers are now creating products in a
number of highly inventive and cost-effective ways. They
are finding new routes to supplement changed incomes by
developing new skill sets in areas such as web and graphic
design, interior design and green technology.

                                                                Matthew Thompson Photo commissioned by Business to Arts
Profession                                                                      2000        2004     % Change
Advertising                                                                      2,241       2,831      26.33%
Architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancy    10,668       17,344      62.58%
Arts/antiques trade                                                          39,366        55,162       40.13%
Designer fashion                                                               10,815       5,819     -46.20%
Reproduction of recorded media                                                   5,815       5,103     -12.24%
Miscellaneous business activities                                                8,731     13,098      50.02%
Motion pictures and video activities                                            2,245       4,102       82.72%
Music and the visual and performing arts                                        3,042       6,367       109.3%
Publishing                                                                       4,183      4,539        8.51%
Software consultancy and supply                                                11,007      14,727        33.8%
Radio and TV                                                                         C           C
News agency activities                                                               C           C
Total                                                                        98,606      125,649
From Creative knowledge workers in the Dublin region 2009 1

Matthew Thompson Photo commissioned by Business to Arts
in dublin
                                 dublin’s creative voice                                       The belief was that by: unifying resources; working on
                                 creative dublin alliance                                      projects that solve our city region challenges through the
                                 In 2009, arising from an Economic Action Plan for Dublin      synergies created in the Alliance; and then delivering on
                                 identifying Strong Leadership as a priority, a network of     these projects, that the Creative Dublin Alliance can posi-
                                 leaders was created across the local authorities, universi-   tion Dublin as a creative, influential and new ‘successful’
                                 ties, economic development, business & finance sectors,       international city region.
                                 and the creative and cultural industries to form the Cre-
                                 ative Dublin Alliance.
                                      Early on in its formation, the Alliance benchmarked
                                 Dublin against other competitive cities in the global
                                 economy, as it is generally recognised that cities, not
                                 countries, compete against each other for investment, and
                                 Dublin is Ireland’s only internationally competitive city
                                 region. Successful cities attract talented, young, highly
                                 skilled workers; are centres of innovation and entrepre-
                                 neurship; and are competitive locations for global and
                                 regional headquarters. Dublin is indisputably competitive
                                 on all these fronts.

Dublin City The river Liffey and the bay, photo by Peter Barrow
                                   Dublin Docklands

Creative Dublin Alliance has also been actively involved in establishing
the following networking, collaborative and promotional creative
industry projects:

innovation dublin
An annual festival of events showcasing innovation and creativity across Dublin.

economic action plan
An Economic Action Plan for the Dublin City Region led by the four Dublin local authorities
on three fronts of Strong Leadership, Vibrant Place and Creative People.

designing dublin
A design-led initiative that engages individuals through collaboration
and entrepreneurship to find solutions to Dublin’s future challenges.

An initiative to align teaching and research programmes in universities
to assist in managing and planning for the future of Dublin.

innovation alliance
A Trinity-UCD project to develop Innovation as the third arm of the University sector,
along with Education and Research, with identified outputs in job creation and enterprise.
                                                                                              Temple Bar
branding the city region
A strategy to brand Dublin as an internationally competitive
and creative city that attracts investment and talent.

network mapping
A mapping project to identify and capture the formal and informal cross-agency and
cross-sectoral alliances and linkages that exist across key players in Dublin.

the 5th province dublin
To get Dubliners passionate about contributing to their city, via discussion forums,
events and project initiatives.
Power Wafer 7

                                partnerships to make a city better
                                ibm smarter cities

                                In cities across the planet, including Dublin, we see public
                                services operating in isolation with issues around co-or-
                                dination and collaboration across sectors such as hous-
                                ing, transportation, water, waste or public safety, having
                                proven difficult. By contrast, Smarter City services are
                                instrumented, interconnected, intelligent and interacting
                                    In 2010, Dublin City Council announced a collabora-
                                tion with IBM to make Dublin a Smarter City ‘Test bed’.
                                IBM’s first Smarter Cities Technology Centre will be built
                                in Dublin. This centre is now home to a highly skilled and
                                cross-disciplinary team that is helping cities around the
                                world better understand, interconnect and manage their
IBM Smarter Planet Exhibition   core operational systems such as transport, communica-
                                tion, water and energy. Smart Cities allow governing au-
                                thorities real-time information to make decisions. Experts
                                work and collaborate with city authorities, universities,
                                small and large businesses as well as experts from IBM
                                Research and the company’s Software Development Lab
                                in Ireland to research, develop and commercialise new
                                ways of making city systems more connected, sustainable
                                and intelligent.
Some of the current collaborations between Dublin City and IBM include:

Transport and traffic management systems that allow for the display of real-time information and the development
of an integrated ticketing system.
Smart water metering to address Dublin’s water issues around cost and supply.
Energy use optimisation systems.

This collaboration and repositioning of Dublin as a Smarter City embraces
the latest technology to stimulate economic activity, and meets the challenges
of a globally competitive city for the future.

                                       Picture Story Students and Cities

                                                                                      “ Researchers at the new Centre will investigate how advanced
                                                                                        analytics and visualisation techniques coupled with solutions
                                                                                        such as Cloud, stream, and high performance computing, can help
                                                                                        city authorities make optimal use of resources and so meet the
                                                                                        challenges of our increasingly urbanised world”

                                                                                        Dr. Katherine Frase, Vice President, Industry Solutions and Emerging Business at IBM Research
                                                                               positive change through design thinking
                                                                               design 21st century

                                                                               Design Twentyfirst Century is a not for profit educational
                                                                               foundation established by entrepreneurs Jean Byrne and
                                                                               Jim Dunne in 2006. They believe that new ways of learn-
                                                                               ing are needed to nurture a happier, healthier and more
                                                                               prosperous nation.
                                                                                   Design Twentyfirst Century has evolved a method of
                                                                               learning that uses design thinking processes and tools.
                                                                               They call this model Learning to Learn. It answers the
                                                                               need of how we can better equip our people – our greatest
                                                                               asset - with the skills to solve complicated problems in a
                                                                               much more socially inclusive and sustainable way.

Designing Dublin Street Conversation   Designing Dublin Clongriffin Workshop
There are five unique qualities to the Learning to Learn concept:

Allowing people to interact with cities as living laboratories: By matching real world projects
with multi-disciplinary, real world people.

Mixing individuals from the private and public: This model is based on multi-disciplinary teams
who work collectively by leveraging the diversity of their thinking. Teams are made up of volunteers
who work full time (who want to learn design thinking and who want to contribute to the city),
and seconded staff from the client (in this instance, that would be Dublin City Council).

Allowing processes to produce outcomes: By establishing a set of tools and methodologies based
on design thinking that outline a clear and directed, but still flexible, creative process that produces
innovative ideas and outcomes.

Embracing an ethos of possibility and “yes we can” attitude: By approaching challenges
creatively, with an open, optimistic and curious mindset, we create the space for sustainable
innovation to occur.

Fostering individual responsibility and ownership: By producing intelligent, well-informed
and committed people to act, not just observe.

To date, Design Twentyfirst Century has run two pilot projects where they
have applied their Learning to Learn concept:

Designing Dublin 1.0 – Finding the Hidden Potential of Place in Clongriffin.
Designing Dublin 2.0 – Love the City in Dublin’s City Centre.

Both have been supported by the Creative Dublin Alliance in collaboration
with Dublin City Council. Throughout both projects, the multi-disciplinary                                 Designing Dublin Positive Protest

teams involved have been tasked with collaborating with the people of the se-
lected areas to find solutions to the ‘real’ challenges faced by the Dublin City
Region. Teams conducted research, street engagements, ideated, iterated and
run prototypes… all with the aim of finding the best solutions that take into
account people’s needs and wishes.

Some of the outcomes from Designing Dublin 1.0 - Finding the Hidden
Potential of Place were:

500 people contributed to defining the project.
17 people joined the team.
1,700 ideas were produced.
18 concepts were sketched.
Five projects were developed.
300 residents engaged in the projects.
20 residents became project champions.
One developer engaged in the projects.
One team member started a new business.
One team member re-energised a start-up business through the new skills.
One team member started a PhD in citizenship engagement and social spaces.
Three team members returned to the public sector and challenged the system.
Five team members formed an innovation laboratory.
One business network was established.

                                                                                                           Designing Dublin Hug Dublin
current design strategies
In the challenge to deliver sustainable livelihood and liveability, every city
on the planet is coming under increasing pressure from two angles: Firstly,
natural Resources such as oil, fish, timber, minerals, are becoming more cost-
ly and more difficult to access; and secondly, dealing with waste is becoming
more costly, and has critical local and planetary impact. Dublin City Region
has sought to respond to these challenges through its Development Plans,
its most important policy documents, and to embed design within these
as a fundamental platform.
     The city’s approach has been to embrace a philosophy of urbanism,
which acknowledges complexity and adopts a holistic view of the city. The
six urban themes of: economy, culture, social, environment, movement and
urban form/spatial, constitute a framework to help manage and nurture this
complexity and the different issues and challenges that arise. The framework
can flip up to apply at a strategic regional level, or can flip down to drive the
process of plan making at a local level. The six urban themes can each express
a value system which helps articulate the shape of long term success, against
which current disconnects can be clearly identified.
     This urban philosophy of place making has traditionally informed mod-
els as diverse as Temple Bar in central Dublin, new urban quarters in Dock-
lands and Adamstown in South County Dublin.
     What is the true road to sustainability? In applying the six urban themes
the City would not necessarily be able to establish or measure whether real
progress was being made towards a sustainable future. The “Framework for
Sustainable Dublin” (FSD) incorporates “The Natural Step”, a rigorous and
proven systems approach which defines sustainability according to four
principles, and has a compelling methodology of use and application. The six
themes are therefore bookended with Sustainable Dublin at one end and Gov-
ernance at the other. Sustainable Governance means openness, transparency,
accountability and collaboration.
     The Dublin City Region is committed to producing the first regional sus-
tainability report in 2012 and all Dublin Local Authorities are participating in
                                                                                    Father Collins Park, Abelleyro + Romero Architects & MCO Projects, photo by Anthony Woods
a Sustainable Indicators Project geared to produce a baseline audit. In meet-
ing the many challenges of designing and making a sustainable city, there is
a critical need to harness the energy of the city community and engender a
widespread culture of collaboration. The creative role here for the Local Au-
thority is to be the “Architect of Conversations”.
     The Creative Dublin Alliance (CDA) brings together regional leaders with
a vision for a Creative Sustainable Dublin and its mantra is for Dublin to be
a trialling and prototyping city region. The CDA engages through projects
and research aimed at meeting the challenges of today and aspiring to make
the city of tomorrow from a replicable seedbed of innovation. Key projects
include: the first Regional Economic Action Plan which features three innova-
tion corridors linking the inner city to the region; (i) The Northern Corridor
to Fingal, the Airport and Swords (ii) The Western corridor from Heuston into
South County (iii) The Southern corridor from Trinity to UCD and Sandyford.
     Design is fundamental to these initiatives, which aim to engage with the
city and its inhabitants in new, considered and energising ways.

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