35686772_185405618789874_1395190787184001024_nSixteen students from Waterford Institute of Technology’s year 4 BA (Hons) Design and Visual Communication put forward entries for the Waterford Cultural Quarter Design Challenge Competition. The results of which were on display in an exhibition at WIT’s Granary campus in Waterford City where the public where invited to vote for their top three. The winner will be awarded the prize of €2,500 to make their design a reality to Waterford Cultural Quarter.

The exhibition was part of the Waterford Cultural Quarter Design challenge, which is a research, collaboration with WIT’s Creativity & Culture Research Group in the School of Humanities, main project partners Waterford City and County Council and Garter Lane Arts Centre, together with support from Local Enterprise Office, Institute of Designers in Ireland, Design and Craft Council of Ireland, Creative Ireland and local community groups and industries.

The Design Proposals put forward by the students fulfilled one of 6 briefs that addressed  specific challenges encountered by the groups and individuals living and working within the Waterford Cultural Quarter. These challenges were identified during a public consultation process of workshops held in the Cultural Quarter and include;

  • Environmental Design – Security
  • Wi-FI Design – Digital Hub
  • Sustainable Design – Circle Economy
  • Arts Education – Community Design Forum
  • Universal Design – Visual Artist
  • Enterprise – Urban Local Economy

Under these categories students designed possible places of community and enterprise located in the Cultural Quarter. Proposals from two students are outlined below.

Assembly by Aoife Mcgrath

Choosing ‘Sustainable Design – Circle Economy’ as her design category, WIT student Aoife McGrath’s proposal is entitled “Assembly” and details a design for a space where families and young people can relax and socialise. Assembly cropped“Assembly is a bright and cheerful place that aims to capture the festival feeling of celebration all year round.” Assembly is conceived as a square containing the related enterprise developments: ‘Dirty Dog'(a fun hotdog-based food truck), ‘Evergreen'(a sustainable Eco shop selling food and clothing) and ‘Open Space'(a farmer’s market).

Assembly- Aoife McGrath 1

Comh by Janice English

Comh‘Enterprise – Urban Local Economy’ was tackled by Aoife’s fellow student Janice English whose entry was entitled ‘Comh’ (derived from the gaeilge word ‘comhoibriu’ meaning collaboration). Spread out over various locations with a purpose built headquarters, The Comb Centre would offer guidance and educational opportunities to digital start-ups in Waterford. ” Providing access to the newest technology and training allows us to foster growth within the immediate and wider community equipping them with the necessary skills to prosper…”

Comh – Janice English

Next up for these students is their Annual Graduation Show on May 31st. This upcoming show will possibly be held at the Waterford College St Campus (details to be announced)and was partly funded by the students through fundraising events with a generous donation by the WIT Student Union.

For more information on the Waterford Cultural Quarter Design Challenge please go to:


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