The Power of Design in Galway


MathWorks volunteer Karen Jacobs recently facilitated the Power of Design programme with 6th class students in Gaelscoil Riada, Athenry. The experience was all the more unique as Karen delivered the programme virtually while the students were each at home.

The Power of Design demonstrates to primary students the positive impact of design on social, cultural and economic life. The programme was initiated in 2015 as part of Dublin City Council’s Pivot Dublin submission and more than 3,000 students have participated in Dublin City Council catchment areas. The extension of the partnership to include the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) has helped to facilitate a national outreach.

Power of Design is delivered by design volunteers from the working world who are recruited, trained and supported by JA. The volunteers have relevant experience in a diverse range of areas, including construction, computing, technology, marketing, management consulting, architecture, innovation and finance.

Karen Jacobs, who is a Software Maintenance Representative at MathWorks, commented on her positive experience delivering the programme: “The Power of Design programme is a fun and interactive way of exploring the world of design around us. The programme offers a different perspective on the concept of design and how we interact with various levels of design on a daily basis. It allows students to explore how design affects the world around us and how we could improve our lives with simple changes.”

With the support of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design the programme will double in size and will also feature new Universal Design content.

Síle Ní Chonghaile, whose 6th class in Gaelscoil Riada, Athenry received the programme provided her thoughts on her students’ experience: “The Power of Design is a fantastic course from start to finish. It is very interactive and engaging for the students, who got an opportunity to think and consider the world around them in a completely new and different way.”