Furniture students win top accolades at Future Makers Awards 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014 Press Office
Press Release

Castlebar and Strandhill students recognised for their creativity and skills

Two students studying Furniture Design and Manufacture degrees in GMIT Letterfrack have been recognised for their excellence at this year’s Future Makers Awards and Suuports, a programme by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.

Student Michael Harris from Strandhill in Co Sligo, won the Domestic Product Design Award and received a Networking Support Award at the 2014 Future Makers Design Awards.  A €1,000 prize was presented for his winning digital writing desk which is made from solid ash, incorporating a vibrant orange acrylic work surface. The award recognises his skill in combining traditional timber joinery and modern manufacturing technology to produce a very distinctive, contemporary and functional desk design. 

Michael has just completed second year of a B.Sc. in Furniture Design and Manufacture in GMIT Letterfrack. 

Another student, Tom Sweeney from Castlebar in Co Mayo, also received a €500 Material Bursary Award in the competition.  He has just completed his studies in the B.Sc. (Honours) in Furniture Design & Manufacture in GMIT Letterfrack and this support will be a great step forward for his future career.

The two GMIT Letterfrack students are among 19 emerging designer-makers chosen by an international selection panel. With a total prize fund of over €24,000, the Future Makers Awards & Supports programme rewards the next generation of Irish creatives, helping them develop an exciting future in the craft and design industry.

Dermot O’Donovan, Head of GMIT Letterfrack, says “It’s a great accolade for the students to be recognised on the national stage and such an endorsement from the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland will give both Michael and Tom great impetus to further develop their designs and products.”

“The creativity and quality of their designs was commended by the judging panel and all us here at GMIT Letterfrack are delighted with their success.” 

Lecturer and mentor Anthony Clare, says: “To be shortlisted for a Future Makers Award and Support acknowledges inherent skills and making ability. To go on to succeed in each of these categories is a true testament to the actual design skill and technical ability of both these students.  There is no better way to illustrate the skill level attained and the very high quality output produced by students studying on programmes in GMIT Letterfrack than by succeeding in prestigious programmes such as this.”

GMIT Letterfrack is a designated National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design and Technology and offers honours degree programmes in Furniture Design, Furniture Technology and in Teacher Training for post-primary teachers of technology-based subjects. The quality and innovation of its programmes have made it an internationally recognised centre of excellence in its field.