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ATU Connemara project

GMIT Letterfrack student Dana Beier at work on her chair prototype. Image: Aoife Herriott Photography

The National Museum of Ireland - Country Life is delighted to showcase the work of emerging furniture designers as part of the exhibition Our Irish Chair: Tradition Revisited 

Second year students of the B.Sc. in Furniture Design and Manufacture programme at ATU Connemara (formerly GMIT - Letterfrack) were inspired by the National Museum of Ireland’s collection of Sligo/Tuam chairs. They reimagined this distinctive three-legged chair type and designed and created their own chairs for the modern Irish home.

Lecturer Seán Garvey, ATU Connemara, tells the story of the native Irish oak wood used by many of the students in in their heirloom furniture.  The timber came from Borris House in Co. Carlow where continuous cover forestry management is practiced.

Seán highlights the environmental benefits of this model. He also explains how sustainable local timber can help to reduce our carbon footprint by sequestering, or locking up, carbon for a long time to come.

Watch the film here

The students undertook this project during the academic year 2020/21 under difficult circumstances caused by the world pandemic. In the first phase of the project, each student developed and delivered a design concept and prototype piece of furniture. They then went on to make their own chairs.

Fifteen student designs are selected to be exhibited as part of the Our Irish Chair: Tradition Revisited exhibition project. 

The work of 7 students will be exhibited from October 2021 until September 2022 when the work of the other 8 students will be exhibited. 

  • Dana Beier

  • Barbara Doran

  • Darragh Hickey

  • Daniel Lang

  • Joseph McGuire

  • Neil O'Donoghue

  • Ann Marie Reilly

  • Matthew Sexton

  • Ricarda Bolle

  • Craig Brock

  • Daragh Murphy

  • Sean Ryan

  • Matthew Shakespeare

  • Micheál Kilcoyne

  • Vincent Lam


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