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Here at WhyDesign, we are always working to find new ways of sharing our message. We were absolutely walking on air after the success of our third sell-out WhyDesign conference in March 2020, ready to build on that momentum and keep driving our equality mission. But then the whole world was stopped in its tracks. We were all forced to go home and sit behind our laptops, trying to find a new way to keep the WhyDesign conversation alive.

One of the biggest phenomenons of the new Work From Home lifestyle has been Zoom’s shot to fame. Not only were families and businesses getting on board the video-call train, but designers were too. All of a sudden there were design talks happening every single day of the week, broadcasting from nearly every country in the world. But there was a problem… where were all the women? Digital Design Days hosted a 3-day marathon of design talks with over 80 speakers participating. Out of those 84 speakers, there were only 17 women. The biggest online global design event the world has ever seen and only 14% of speakers were women. 

It’s time to change that number.

We were inspired to start our very own talk series, the WhyDesign Chats. These chat sessions showcase the talented women and men who are changing the face of Irish design. Our speakers range from students to start-ups to the esteemed established, giving our audience a flavour of everything that is happening on Ireland’s design scene.

As with all things WhyDesign, our Chat sessions address the gender imbalance in Ireland’s design sector. This is reflected in our line-up of speakers, focusing on the brilliant women who are striving to change our industry and the fantastic men who are supporting them to achieve this. Each week, designers from all corners of the emerald isle discuss their thoughts on different themes that align with WhyDesign’s ethos. 

The WhyDesign Chat sessions will take place every Thursday at 8 o’clock. We hope you will join us as we pour a glass and sit back to listen to the incredible community of designers who are shaping the Irish design landscape. Get in touch with us at invites@idi-design.ie to get your invitation, places are limited so make sure and get there early.

We look forward to seeing you there.

IDI is delighted to launch #WhyDesign, an Institute of Designers Ireland initiative to address the gender imbalance in the Irish Creative sector which currently stands 25:75.

The first industry-focused event is our launch night, March 8th, 2018 International Women’s Day. We are hosting Oscar-winning Annie Atkins an & Emmy Award Winning Chris Do at the fabulous surrounds of Iconic Offices just off Stephens Green. Our internationally acclaimed speakers will give their take on the issue at this must-attend event. To top it off,  we are thrilled to welcome the brilliantly funny Aoife Dooley, illustrator, and comedian who will be the MC of the evening. We aim to challenge and inspire the creative community to make a positive change to the equation.

With sincere thanks to our valued partners  – Deloitte Digital, Bank of Ireland, Glasseye, and our venue partner Iconic Offices. Drinks kindly supplied by Absolut Vodka.

What a night, we squeezed over 120 creatives into Iconic Offices Stephens Green to celebrate international women’s day and launch whydesign.ie. The opening address given by founder Kim Mackenzie-Doyle set the tone giving a real life example of how our language, expectations and interactions can contribute to the gender imbalance in the creative sector. Chris Do received a very warm welcome from the Irish audience on his first visit to our island. Recounting an experience on social media that almost stopped him from taking part he recounted that he learned more about the issues that women faced in the industry in a couple of weeks than he did in his career. He talked about what we can do as an industry and what male creatives can do to take on some responsibility. Next up was Oscar winning Annie Atkins an industry favourite, Annie shared her own experiences in the industry. Her story of her career challenges and successes and then being asked to speak at Irelands largest creative conference Offset and finding out she was asked to address the gender imbalance in the line-up. She also shared her own unconscious bias’s mentioning that she assumed a historical journalist she was researching for a film was a man when in fact, she was a woman. We continued the conversations with a panel discussion MC’d by comedian and Illustrator Aoife Dooley included the speakers with highly charged input from the audience. The launch night was a resending success and was covered by international press with articles appearing in New York, London and more.

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