Press Launch - 18th June

Updated: Sep 23, 2018

As part of the challenge, the O'Connell Street area community is invited to submit details of challenges they face. A national team of judges will select 6-8 challenges to be matched to designers. The multi-disciplinary design teams will work with the community to develop design solution proposals. These proposals will be showcased during Design Week in November 2018 for public consultation and feedback. An exhibition period will allow a further period of time for public feedback and engagement with the wider community. Opportunity for a public vote will be considered as part of panel deliberations.

The Design Challenge has been developed by Waterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) Creativity and Culture Research Group (CCRG); Waterford Cultural Quarter; and Garter Lane Arts Centre. Speaking at the launch, Dr. Fiona Dowling from WIT CCRG and Lecturer in Design, said "We are delighted to announce the Design Challenge website launch and open call for Expressions of Interest." Joy Rooney from WIT CCRG and Lecturer in Design said “Our Design industry will be invited to work with community groups to develop a design proposal for a solution to the identified challenge which will also be beneficial to the whole community. These innovative proposals are aimed at encouraging and supporting creativity within the Cultural Quarter area”.

Katherine Collins from Waterford Cultural Quarter said “The Design Challenge team are calling on the “locals”, the residents, businesses and creative people to tell us what they find challenging and what opportunities are waiting to be explored in the O’Connell street area of Waterford City. Challenges might include a lack of signage on the street or difficulties for children to play close to home, and about opportunities such as empty spaces, the greenway and so on – the Design Challenge team wish to hear what people using the area would like to improve”.

Síle Penkert from Garter Lane Arts Centre said: “Bringing the Design Challenge through the doors of Garter Lane Arts Centre quite literally and physically in the heart of the Cultural Quarter feels right, here we have an opportunity to make ourselves known to our nearest neighbours and welcome newcomers, while together we look at the challenges that face us all in a new, exciting and developmental time in Waterford City”.

Emma Haran from Waterford Cultural Quarter said: "It’s recommended that you discuss your proposal with the project team. You can do this by email: or by dropping in to the Support Desk on 21 September and Workshop 2 on the 2nd of October, at Garter Lane Arts Centre."

Closing date for Expressions of Interest: 9th October 2018. For further information please visit our website:

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