Harnessing Creativity – Creative Labs 2013

Creative Labs 2013 space for fresh thinking in Leitrim, Tyrone, Fermanagh and surrounding counties


Harnessing Creativity Map












Call for creative professionals

Creative Labs are groups of creative people, businesses or practitioners working together to develop inspiring new concepts through open-mindedness, experimentation and collaboration.

They will enable practitioners from the creative sector to work with each other, or with individuals from other businesses, on collaborative concepts.

The Labs will be facilitated by mentors able to challenge, guide, inspire and advance discussions from idea generation to models for new products, practices or services. Each Lab session will help participants strengthen skills and knowledge, drawing in new ways on personal creativity, collaborating with others, discussing and connecting with emerging market trends, presenting work to potential investors in a compelling way, and finding new applications for their skills and experiences.

A budget of €15,000 will be available to each of the three labs, which will enable the hire of specialist equipment/materials or workspace, supporting the development of new concepts. The concepts and work in progress of participants will be exhibited as part of a high profile Regional Showcase and Tour.  A number of concepts will be supported further and become new products or services in the marketplace that generate an income. The work of the labs will be profiled through the Harnessing Creativity website.

Creative Labs are open to artists, designers & makers, film &digital media practitioners, writers, furniture makers, animators, engineers, architects, fashion designers, geographers, photographers and anyone else in the creative sectors based in the region, making the space for them to come together and explore new ways to develop ideas.

Anything can happen … a model maker and a sound artist create a short film; an illustrator and a textile designer collaborate to develop a brand; an architect and a product designer create contemporary sustainable furniture.

In summary Creative Labs will bring together and offer the following resources:

  • Facilitated workshops & mentoring to support exploration & collaboration between participants
  • Budget to support concept development
  • Regional Showcase & touring exhibition of Creative Labs concepts
  • Links to Network support and Master classes
  • Profiling of all Creative Labs concepts, participants and their work through the Harnessing Creativity website
  • Product development support

Dates, times and location

Creative Lab meetings will take place approximately twice per month April-August 2013, in locations convenient for each of the core participating counties, Leitrim, Fermanagh and Tyrone.  The exhibition of concepts at Regional Showcase will take place in September 2013.

Locations and venues will be decided upon based on where participants will need to travel from.  Meetings may take place in or around Carrick-on-Shannon, Manorhamilton, Enniskillen or Omagh.

How to get involved

Three Creative Labs will run simultaneously, with 10 creative participant places in each. Participants will ideally have at least 2 years of experience as a creative business – micro business or sole trader.

To apply, please provide:

A short CV or one-page professional profile containing three examples of your work (web links or video or image files with brief explanatory texts) and the answers to these questions:

1)  Why are you interested in taking part in the Creative Labs 2013?

2)  Do you consider your own creative practice (or aspects of it) to be collaborative? If so, how?

3)  Have you previously collaborated or co-created in an economic venture? If so, how?

Please send your application by e-mail to jill.stronge@omaghenterprise.co.uk with the subject heading:

HC Creative Labs 2013.

Closing date for applications is 22 April 2013

What if the economic recession is the new normal?

What if it is a window of time in which to create a new normal? What if there are opportunities to evoke a new creative economy?

What if we could see the creative process as encompassing not just the making of a piece, but the act of making the piece and selling it; a creative process in which making / marketing and management interact with one another?

What if the business itself is a creative act?

We invite you to step up and show the way

Harnessing Creativity Project: Creative Labs Facilitators


Leo Scarff: Leo is a product designer, design lecturer, consultant and exhibition curator originally from Dublin now based in Manorhamilton, County Leitrim. He has over 20 year experience in the design world, having set up his design studio in 1997 and has lectured on product design and design history since 1999. He is a founder member of the Irish Furniture Designers Network and has exhibited widely at design shows in Europe and the US. Leo has particular knowledge on product production, materials sourcing, creative brand development and is a passionate promoter of Irish Design. He has lectured and created courses for Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Design, Griffith College and Portobello College and at Sligo Institute of Technology delivering courses in Furniture and lighting Design and Innovative materials. He has coordinated design workshops for DIT, Sligo IT and the Crafts Council of Ireland.



Nick Mack: Nick bridges creative and wider development experience and brings with him perspectives on regional development and current economic challenges. Nick has held lead roles in evaluating key strategic development programmes, commenting in particular on the use of natural and cultural resources. He has in addition held positions on the external expert group for the review of the DRD regional development strategy and DARD Rural Development stakeholder group, promoting innovative approaches to the use of farm and village resources and the role of rural in the region. He was independent board member for the NI Planning Service prior to its rationalisation into DoE.  He has pursued a keen interest in the role and effective use of arts-based approaches to creative thinking and development for a number of years, piloting projects and approaches, researching methods and impacts, and examining policy and practice applications across a broad spectrum including private, public, community and youth sectors.


Orlagh Woods: Orlagh is an experienced creative consultant. She worked until recently as the Director of New Work Network, a learning network organisation with over 1500 artists nationally working in experimental, performing, new media and live art practices. She collaborated with Proboscis for over 5 years both nationally and internationally, to research, develop, deliver, evaluate and disseminate creative projects through exhibitions, reports, film, sound, image and text (both on and off-line). She has worked as Curator of Tamasha’s Developing Artists (TDA) Programme for British Asian theatre artists; Creative Programmer for Craft NI, working strategically with over 50 venues, local councils and organisations across NI to develop August Craft Month 2010; Co-ordinator for Collect & Share, a Europe-wide network led by engage promoting lifelong-learning in galleries with 11 partners across 8 countries; successfully managed a training programme for visual and media artists at SPACE in London; and ran an international arts residency programme at Flaxart in Northern Ireland