Responsible Innovation

Innovation is what has brought the human race as far as it has come… Because of innovation, we have tackled disease; we have navigated the globe by land, sea and air; we have sent men to the moon. Soon we will have driverless cars. Innovation, in many ways, defines us. But it also has its limits and drawbacks. There is an innate impulse to push things as far as they can go. At times you wonder why innovation has taken us in this peculiar direction. What is the need for this device? Why has this phenomenon taken over? This is when innovation becomes irresponsible. That innate drive to push boundaries can have consequences for the environment, commerce and social well-

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How Dublin Works: Eco Mattress Recycling

Mattress Mick’s got nothing on this. This is the greatest gathering of mattresses you’ve ever seen, taking up most of the floor space in a warehouse in Glasnevin. With stacks and stacks of the things 20 and 30 deep, even the most sensitive of princesses could get a decent 40 winks here. If it wasn’t, that is, for the occasional high-pitched squishing noise coming from the machine that bales-up mattress innards in preparation for recycling. Eco Mattress does two very valuable things simultaneously. As a social enterprise, it provides jobs and hands-on work experience for p

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Zendesk in Dublin

Zendesk, a software as a service (SAAS) company that specialises in helping companies’ customer care operations, announced earlier this year that they will be creating 300 new jobs at their Dublin offices. The company was founded in Copenhagen 10 years ago and has grown massively since then. With six products and over 100,000 customers worldwide, it has come a long way. “The initial concept was making life easier for customer support engineers,” says Colum Twomey, Zendesk Vice President. “We developed a customer support platform, a software as a service product, and that’s where we came from. Since then we’ve developed more products and addressed a broader mark

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MART for Art’s Sake

One of Rathmines’ smallest buildings happens to be one of the most distinctive, for it houses a Dublin art collective, MART. The old fire-station, with a classic engine-red door facing the main street, was built in 1847 soon after Rathmines became an independent “township”. Like the magnificent Rathmines Town Hall, the station was a symbol of township independence and civic pride. The fire crew based here played a big role battling the inferno, which blazed around Sackville Street during the

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Artists in Residence

Dublin’s art scene is blossoming. A new wing has opened up in the National Gallery, IMMA continues to attract international work, the walls of the city are awash with commissioned street art but with a competitive housing market and rising rents, how is the city looking after its artists? Each year, Dublin City Council puts out a call for artists to live in the four subsidised residential spaces offered for periods of three months to a year; two cottages in leafy tranquil Albert College Park in Glasnevin, a Temple Bar apartment and St Patrick’s Lodge beside the

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Seven Stories of Creativity – Elizabeth O’Kane, Sculptor

We all know Grand Canal as the home of Google but unbeknownst to many, tucked among the tech giants is a building where ancient crafts are still practised, The Design Tower. The Tower’s seven stories of studios play host to jewellers, fashion designers, conservationists and more. In the fourth instalment in our series exploring The Design Tower, Dublin.ie meets sculptor and painter Elizabeth O’Kane to talk about her path to art, her craft and the building itself. I always wanted to be an artist but I went to quite an academic school in Northern Ireland. I completely messed up my art paper and thoug

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How Dublin Works: Sharing in Creativity

In recent years, Dublin has lost some of its most important creative spaces to a building boom that’s reminiscent of the Celtic Tiger era. Block T in Smithfield and South Studios near Cork Street were both closed down in 2016 with a significant loss of square footage for artists, photographers, designers and writers. In their place, however, a new generation of co-working spaces – aimed specifically at servicing Dublin’s creative communities – is coming into being. Although they have become abundant in many European capitals in the last few years, co-working spaces are a relatively new arrival in the Dublin property market. In the past 12 months the number

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Meet a Dubliner – Ailbhe Keane, Izzy Wheels

When Izzy was little she always said that her favourite thing about being in a wheelchair was that her shoes never got dirty. They looked brand new every day and the lights never ran out in her favourite light-up runners. However, her real shoes were her wheels. I remember we used to decorate her wheelchair for birthday parties and Halloween. We filled them with fresh flowers once when she was a flower girl for a wedding. At Christmas, we used to put tinfoil and lights around the wheels and lots of tiny Christmas decorations for the Xmas family show.

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The Typewriter Shop

On Dorset Street in Dublin’s north inner city there’s a typewriter shop that’s been there as long as I can remember. Founded in 1983, it’s run by Joe Millar and his son, who’s also named Joe. It’s the last typewriter shop in Dublin and the only one in the Golden Pages where it’s listed, simply, as ‘The Typewriter Shop’. Before setting up the shop, Joe Sr had worked in the typewriter trade for the American manufacturer Remington: “they had offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway and Limerick”. They sold typewriters to offices, and serviced the machines to keep them i

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Space Engagers

If you live in Dublin, it’s almost impossible not to be aware of the shortage of affordable housing. If you haven’t joined the back of a long queue to view a property in recent years, chances are you know a lot of people that have. And for many the consequences can be far worse; about 140 people sleep rough every night, there are some 3,000 homeless who are dependent on hotels and B&Bs, and a further 100,000 are on social housing waiting lists. It’s something that’s garnered a lot of media & governmental attention, and often the solutions proffered are quite grandiose; build up and build quickly. As a nation, we tend to have a penchant for the new when it comes to housing. While that may be a part of the solution, it’s certainly not the only approach. In every corner of this city, there are spaces going to waste.

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Dublin Voices: Towards 2050

I came over to Dublin from Edinburgh in 2005. I suppose it was bang in the middle of the good times. Back then, the atmosphere here was insane; there was so much going on, it was so busy. Ireland and Dublin were really riding the wave at that time. Employment was high, everyone was well paid, everyone had nice cars, you could get a loan if you wanted. Then we moved into hard times, and it’s changed a lot in that regard now. I think people are more grounded; there’s a sense of reality now. I don’t think the ordinary man is as tempted to get carried away. People are more concerned with value and being sensible. I think that’s a positive that can be taken out of the recession.

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The Flower Factory

The bedding in your local park, the roundabout at the end of your road, the planter on the quays: Dublin’s famous for its bursts of floral colour. Any journey you make in the city is likely to take you past some cheery display. But did you know that every plant you see comes from a single nursery, lovingly grown from seed to flower? St. Anne’s Park on the northside of the city is an embarrassment of riches. Its the second largest public park in the Dublin area, the grounds of the former estate of Lord and Lady

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