Architecture student looking a model construction
Norman Price, 5th Year student of Architecture, University of Limerick pictured at the Design@UL exhibition
Wednesday, 29 May 2024

An exhibition celebrating the creativity and innovation of University of Limerick’s School of Architecture and Product Design students has been officially unveiled at UL City Centre Campus in Sarsfield Street, as part of the Design@UL Showcase 2024.

The exhibition showcases works from over 80 final-year and postgraduate students of Architecture, Product Design and Technology, and Design for Health and Wellbeing, representing the best in new design that is for and about people, the spaces they inhabit and the products and systems they use.

It will give members of the public a chance to see the pioneering work of Ireland’s most talented emerging designers across a range of fields from technology to healthcare to the built environment.

The product design projects on display aim to address a diverse range of real-world challenges, by combining critical thinking and problem-solving with sustainable practices.

Among the projects on display are initiatives that aim to mitigate chemotherapy-induced alopecia, improve water safety using smart drone technology, support postpartum recovery and an accessible automotive design for people with dwarfism.

Fourth-year Product Design and Technology student Lelia Riordan’s project, NutriConnect, is a wearable storage and feeding solution designed to improve the lives of tube-fed individuals. She said the exhibition is “our opportunity to present ourselves as designers and to showcase our skills to the world. I've been looking forward to seeing how my designs can potentially shape a better future, and I am excited to connect with others who feel the same way”. 

The architecture projects on display include reimagined spaces in Limerick City and Mid-West region - making them more accessible for people with complex needs, and examining the relationship between mobility, urban development, fairness and sustainability.

Topics addressed include how we can use the lanes of Limerick to create microclimates for people to experience outdoor comfort, how architecture for humans can make space for non-human life such as bird habitat, and how we can design buildings to be capable of living with flood water, rather than building to avoid it.

Professor Merritt Bucholz, Head of the School of Architecture and Product Design, said: “The work of a School of Architecture and Product Design is the work of the students; as newcomers to the world of design, students’ work anticipates the future.

"This year the students' work has been firmly focused on Limerick as a springboard for ideas that weave together the city region with models, prototypes, drawings, and products - a real future emerges at the Design@UL exhibition. We look forward to engaging in new conversations about that future with visitors to the Design@UL exhibition."

Professor Kenneth Stanton, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, said: “In a world facing unprecedented environmental challenges, the emphasis on design for sustainability in these projects is crucial.

“Our students are shaping the future of architecture and product design, contributing to our wellbeing. Their human-centred approach enhances the quality of life, providing solutions to real-world problems. Design@UL celebrates their achievements and the transformative power of design.”

A number of awards were presented on the night to outstanding students. Joint first-prize winners for Best Architecture Thesis were Nina Winship for her project ‘Subjects of the Ground’ and David Conway for his project ‘No Eschaton! Mortalities in Architecture’.

Product Design and Technology student Ashley Corcoran won the Logitech Designer of the Year award for her final year project ‘Curo’, a device providing lifesaving protection for children with allergies. The runner-up in this category was Theo Joyce for his project ‘Eyerise’, a dynamic lighting system that adjusts the light at critical periods of the day to improve sleep quality.

UL's School of Architecture and Product Design at the Faculty of Science and Engineering is renowned for producing world-class innovators who have gone on to win the James Dyson Award, exhibit at the UN Climate Change Conference, complete PhDs, work in prestigious global design centres, and create spin-out companies from the projects they worked on while obtaining their degree.

The Design@UL exhibition will run from 9am to 5pm, Saturday, May 25, to Thursday, June 6, 2024 (closed Bank Holiday Monday, June 3) at the UL City Centre Campus, Sarsfield Street, Limerick, V94DW21.