Research Projects

Market Development Programme for Waste Resources and the Rediscovery Centre, the National College of Art and Design – Co-Design Research Projects

The Recycling Roadshow, Darragh Kirby

The Recycling Roadshow is a mobile educational recycling playground aimed at changing young people’s attitudes to waste by giving them a greater awareness and understanding of recycling through a fun, active and educational experience.  This project is a collaboration between the National College of Art and Design, the Rediscovery Centre Ballymun and RX3.

This project originated from the Discover Primary Science and Maths Centre at the Rediscovery Centre needing a play facility to complement the recycling education being provided by the centre.

Scrap Box, Kate Cronin

The aim of the project was to evaluate materials available for recycling, to design a new product based on these materials and to support local enterprise development by creating a community based manufacturing initiative. Through sustainable design practice this project will exploit the potential of waste resource with the long-term aim of creating new markets for recycled materials within Ireland. This is a joint venture between the Market Development Programme for Waste Resource (rx3), the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and the Rediscovery Centre (RDC).

This project explored how design can help to reduce the volume of biodegradable waste going to landfill by encouraging best practice among householders.


Sustainability Practices: Rachel O’Connel & Department of Fashion and Textiles

Craft workers in Nepal must respond to many challenges in developing sustainable income generation. As one of the poorest and most under developed countries in the world craft-producers must overcome issues such as poor water supply, pollution, energy blackouts, exploitation, access to education as well as market competition from neighboring countries like India and China.

Since 2005 staff in the textiles department have been involved in various projects with craft-workers in Nepal. Annie Dibble carried out extensive research into the production of fiber from the giant nettle “allo” plant that grows in abundance in the foothills of the Himalayas. This research led to a collaborative project with Rachel O’Connell who developed allo fabrics with a weaving mill in Kathmandu.

In 2009 Rachel O’Connell and Andrew Campbell further developed a connection with the Association of Craft Producers of Nepal (ACP) by organizing a study trip to Kathmandu. The aim was to develop an awareness of the cultural, ethical, economic and environmental issues that are so often faced by manufacturers of goods in developing countries as well as the wealth of skills and possibilities in the area of textiles and other craft disciplines. This trip led to a student design project in 2010. Textile students developed simple woven and printed fabric designs for ACP that met the demands of western fair trade suppliers with consideration for skills, costs, materials and equipment as well the environmental issues associated with the production of textile goods. Students Design solutions have since been put into production and form part of ACP’s new range of printed interior products.

Ongoing connections with ACP and other organisations in Nepal present many possibilities for research, design projects and work placements at post-graduate level. Underpinned by contemporary debates of sustainability of production methods, market destinations, materials used and products made, this is a developing research strand for the college that offers potential researcher’s participation in this interdisciplinary design programme.