Open Call for 3 Design/Craft Residency Hosts in the South East of Ireland Led by Workhouse Union and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

Closing date: 25 May 2018

Residency Host Opportunity: 13–29 July 2018

Expressions of interest are sought for 3 x craft makers/designers to host and collaborate with a European designer/craft practitioner for 5 days in July 2018.

Bring Your Own Chair is an art project taking place in rural towns and villages across counties Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford throughout the spring and summer of 2018. As part of the programme three craft makers and/or designers will undertake two week-residencies in July 2018 within the specific context of a rural town, engaging with the vernacular craft and design history of the locale. Workhouse Union are seeking proposals from designers/craft makers who wish to explore the possibilities of socially engaged practice within the context of Bring Your Own Chair. We are particularly interested in potential of co-operation, craft and industry to sustain rural economies.

The selected hosts will be active designers/craft makers currently based in in the South-East region of Ireland (Counties Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford). In the context of the project the organisers will endeavour to match participating craftspeople and designers with host creatives. The aim of this is to maximise potential for networking, discussion, learning, and sharing of skills and knowledge between practitioners in Ireland and Europe. It is hoped that participants will have the opportunity to expand their own practice.

Hosts will receive the following:

  • €500 Host Fee
  • €500 towards the provision of food and accommodation in a private room for the selected resident for 5 nights
  • Provide support where practical and in tandem with project organisers to engage with locally based makers, artists and various community networks.

Following the stay with hosts, the European craftspeople/designers will spend a second week in Callan. The second week will give the three residency participants an opportunity to engage with the project team and each other at Callan Workhouse Union. The hosts, if available are welcome to join in elements of the programme during this second week. Hosts and participants will have access to local facilities as well as a research studio and library at Workhouse Union.


To apply please submit a written proposal (two A4 pages max). Your proposal should include:

  • A short description of your current work practice
  • Brief details (if any) about any previous projects that you have worked on that include community based and/or socially based practice
  • Images/description of the proposed host residency space for the 5 days and details of local resources

Please send applications marked ‘Bring Your Own Chair’ by email to by 17:00 on 25 May 2018. Applicants will be notified by the end of May 2018.

This is a developmental research residency and hosting opportunity delivered by Workhouse Union in conjunction with the Design & Craft Council of Ireland and funded by the Arts Council.


As the heart of small towns in Ireland face decline, Bring Your Own Chair looks to share collective experiences using public space for community gatherings and actions. Lead artist Michelle Browne will facilitate the activation of public space through co-authored spatial gatherings creating a portrait of the rural South-East.


The South-East region is a developing hub for design in Ireland and Kilkenny City is home to the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. In the late 1960’s, Kilkenny Design Workshops (KDW), were set up as a

government-funded research and development centre of excellence for design (and design advocacy, research and promotion).


Workhouse Union (based in Callan, Co. Kilkenny) works with artists, designers, architects and crafts-people to develop projects examining housing, civic infrastructure and the commons, engaging people with the spaces and places we live in.

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, stimulating innovation, championing design thinking and informing Government policy. DCCoI’s activities are funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has 64 member organisations and over 2,500 registered clients.


The project is produced by Workhouse Union with residencies in partnership with Design and Craft Council of Ireland. Bring Your Own Chair is funded by the Arts Council Ireland Making Great Art Work – Open Call Award and with further support from Create Ireland/Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Waterford Council, Kilkenny Arts Office, County Wexford and Kilkenny LEADER Partnership and Waterford Úradás na Gaeltachta.

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