Ms Tracey Dalton

Research project: The ‘Guinness Irish Pub Concept': A Case Study (1990 to 2010)


This research is a case study of the "Guinness Irish Pub Concept" from 1990-2010. Witnessing cross-national popularity of Irish pubs at the "Italia ‘90" FIFA World Cup, "Guinness Brewing International" saw an opportunity to increase sales worldwide. The "Guinness Irish Pub Concept" was created in 1992 in partnership with "The Irish Pub Company", a sister company of Dublin based interior design firm, McNally Design. In 1991, five typologies of Irish pub emerged from a year of nationwide research, resulting in three, based on pre-existing styles, "Victorian", "Shop" and "Cottage", with "Brewery" and "Gaelic" created specifically for the international market. Authentic interior design, beverages, food, music, and employment of staff of Irish origin were central to the concept which was delivered using an in-house turnkey design and build methodology. The "Guinness Irish Pub Concept" became a worldwide phenomenon in the 1990s and early 2000s. A worldwide economic downturn in 2007 caused decline in its popularity and subsequent liquidation of the "Irish Pub Company" in 2009, with a re-emergence mid 2010s and contemporary survival.  This study uses a methodology based on retrospective interior design practice, utilising in-house archives to explore the design process, from commission to on site completion, and interviews with key participants in the development of "Guinness Irish Pub Concept" pubs worldwide. The research agenda is to gain further knowledge of the historical, social, political and cultural origins of the Irish pub and its evolution in national and international contexts, to understand their spatial and material impact. It will add to knowledge of the ways in which designers have drawn on pre-existing national prototypes to create distinct atmospheres; and identify whether a strategy in the packaging of the Irish pub for export lead to its success.


Tracey Dalton is a design lecturer in the Dublin School of Creative Arts, Technological University Dublin and has been teaching design since 2008. She has a background in Interior Design practice since 1998. She has worked in interior design for the leisure industry for 12 years and spent 7 years with 'McNally Design/Irish Pub Company'. Tracey's research concerns the phenomenon of the Irish pub for export as a commodity, focussing on the ‘Guinness Irish Pub Concept', created in 1992 by Guinness Brewing International and ‘Irish Pub Company', a sister company of ‘McNally Design', where Tracey worked in interior design practice from 1998 to 2005.interior? It will look at the explosion of the Irish Pub as a commodity for export around the world since the nineties. 

  • Jan. 2013 to Present: Design Lecturer, School of Creative Arts, Technological University Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Sept. 2008 to July 2017: Lecturer & Interior Design programme co-ordinator, Dublin Institute of Design, Dublin, Ireland. 
  • Dec. 2005 to July 2008: Senior Interior Designer, Company: Oppermann Associates, Dublin, Ireland. 
  • Aug. 1998 – Mar. 2003 and Apr. 2004 to Nov. 2005: Senior Interior Designer. Company: McNally Design Group, Dublin, Ireland.
  • May 2003 – Oct. 2003: Interior Designer - Peddle Thorp, Darwin, NT, Australia.
  • 1996 –97: Graphic Designer: Prospect Design ltd., Dublin, Ireland. 

Areas of research interest

  • Irish pub interior design
  • Interior design principles and elements
  • The Irish pub: historical and cultural context
  • Leisure design
  • Theme bars
  • Commodification of culture through interior design
  • The use of screencasting in third level CAD teaching in design courses
  • The use of learning theories in teaching methods in third level design courses


  • MSc eLearning, LTTC, TU Dublin, Ireland
  • PG Dip Teaching & Learning, LTTC, TU Dublin, Ireland
  • PG Dip Graphic Reproduction Technology, TU Dublin, Ireland
  • BA Hons Spatial/Environmental Design, TU Dublin, Ireland


Dalton, Tracey (2017) "Delivering Design Fundamentals using relevant Learning Theories in the delivery of an Interior Design project at Third Level", Iterations: Issue 05, June 2017. See

Dalton, Tracey (2016) "Can Post-Lecture CAD Screencasts Reduce Cognitive Load and Foster Self-directed Learning in First Year Interior Design?," Irish Journal of Academic Practice: Vol. 5: Iss. 1, Article 4.– See