Theme 3

Shaping the Everyday

Design completely surrounds us: designers have a hand in the websites we visit, the coffee cups we drink out of, the shopfronts we pass by and much more.


of projects are for the commercial sector


civic projects


projects for restaurants

Whether we notice it or not, we are completely surrounded by design. This includes everything from posters on our streets and signage in our buildings to websites we browse everyday and apps that keep us connected. The design process shapes a significant amount of the fabricated world and the work of communication designers contributes much of our visual landscape and material culture. From the tiny details on a postage stamp to a campaign seen on banners, billboards and buses across the country, the 100 Archive reflects just how much design affects us everyday.

Interview with Deirdre Corcoran, Chapter.



Butchers, Bakers, Candlestick Makers



Optometry & Eyewear


Sweet Treats


Architecture, property and construction

Ireland’s boom, bust and boom again is typified by the ebb and flow of construction in our towns and cities. This is mirrored almost exactly in the 100 Archive, with our collections containing little work relating to architecture, construction and property development in the early years, rising sharply from 2014 onwards. In contrast to the fluctuations of private industry, the commissioning of design for exhibitions, festivals and campaigns for architecture, as well as architectural education, is much more constant, with clients such as the Irish Architecture Foundation and the AA School of Architecture some of the most prolific clients in the 100 Archive.

The construction sector year on year

Coffee culture

It’s far from flat whites that we were reared, but now one in three Irish people buys at least one coffee a day, and speciality coffee houses here increased by 70% between 2013 and 2018 [source]. Our evergrowing love of coffee is apparent in the 100 Archive too.

Coffee projects per output, client and studio


While the adage that 90% of restaurants close in their first year is a wild overstatement, the restaurant business is known to be a tough one. Of the 62 restaurants around Ireland (and some overseas) whose identities etc. were designed by Irish designers and submitted to the 100 Archive over the past 10 years, 82% were still in business before the March 2020 shutdown and 5% were still going in new locations. Many are still offering delivery.

Restaurants in the 100: location and status


From online apps, theory books, curated learning programmes, collaborations and schools to third-level colleges, there’s a significant segment of the 100 Archive dedicated to educational projects and clients. Its instances peak in 2016 but education has been something of a stalwart within the archive with many of Ireland’s design courses contributing greatly.

Education submissions by overall source; breakdown by college


Broadcasting in Ireland might be unique: it has evolved entirely and yet remained remarkably familiar all at the same time. When it comes to work relating to broadcasting in the 100 Archive, digital — such as on-demand services or projects which extend what broadcasters do through streaming and apps — is increasing dramatically, yet TV and radio remain constant in our homes. To take RTÉ, who commissions the most 100 Archive work, while use of RTÉ Player increased by 20% in 2019, broadcasting’s success stories remain the old-fashioned airwaves, with 2 million people listening to radio every week and 85% of daily viewing done live rather than on catch up.

Broadcasting projects by type

In discussion

Interview with Deirdre Corcoran, Chapter.

Enjoyed the video above? Read the full interview with Deirdre from Chapter about her career in design for publishing, setting up on her own and engaging with clients to shape their businesses.

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Interview with Mel O'Rourke, CI Studio

Enjoyed the video above? Read the full interview with Mel from CI about setting up a studio, making work for the public realm and seeing the change in clients' attitudes to design

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Coffee Culture

While the beginnings of specialist coffee sales and service in Ireland are typically attributed to Coffeeangel, the beginnings of design’s role in how we navigate the world of coffee in Ireland can be traced to the longstanding collaboration between 3FE and design studio WorkGroup.

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Architecture, Property and Construction

No industry has been as closely associated with Ireland’s boom and bust (and boom again) than construction. A clear source of visual and material evidence of the industry’s flux over the past 10 years is the 100 Archive.

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