Ms Muireann Charleton

Research project: Irish contemporary craft exhibitions: shaping perceptions of Irish design


This thesis explores the curation and presentation of Irish contemporary craft exhibitions as a cultural practice. It examines the crucial role that curators and a national institution had in shaping perceptions of Irish contemporary craft. It explores the historical relationship between the presentation of design and the traditional craft sectors in Ireland and how that has shaped the Irish contemporary craft context. 

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Irish contemporary craft exhibitions: shaping perceptions of Irish design
  • Research supervisor: Professor Penny Sparke


I am a lecturer in design at Yeats Academy, Atlantic Technical University (ATU) Sligo, Ireland. My experience ranges across design, creative enterprise, museums, and visual and material culture. In my various roles I have led on the development of craft, design and cultural programmes with the National Museum of Ireland, and as innovation manager with Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI), where I managed the craft & design awards programme 'Future Makers'. I worked in Creative Enterprise with Limerick School of Art & Design, TUS, where I produced their inaugural fashion festival Unwrap in 2017. I have a Degree in Visual Communication, TU Dublin, and an MA in Design History & Material Culture from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. I have published research into goldsmiths Pádraig Ó Mathúna in Irish Arts Review (2009) and Erwin Springbrunn in Iterations (2015). In 2020 I co-curated the craft exhibition 'Generation' at the National Design & Craft Gallery Ireland. 

Areas of research interest

  • Design History
  • Craft History
  • Irish craft exhibitions
  • Craft curation


  • MA History of Design, the National College of Art & Design, (NCAD) Dublin
  • BA Visual Communication, Technical University Dublin


Pádraig Ó Mathúna: An Enduring Legacy, Irish Arts Review (2002-) Vol. 26, No. 4 (Winter, 2009/2010), pp. 116-117 (2 pages) Published By: Irish Arts Review

Erwin Springbrunn (1939-2015): master gold and silversmith (2016) Publication: ITERATIONS;04, pp. 38-39. 

After a Fashion, in Irish Pages: A journal of contemporary Writing, Belfast, 2020, p 109-112 (available also at