Established in 2007, the programme was initiated by David Smith (IADT/Atelier) and colleagues, Brian Nolan and Paul McBride (Detail) and Ciaran O’Gaora (ZeroG). Internships and Stâges are a common and an integral aspect of European design education however the practice of “learning through professional practice” has never been successfully established or negotiated by Education and Industry here in Ireland. The programme therefore set out to redress the lack of any established internship programmes for graduate and emerging designers in Ireland.

Simply conceived, the internships are intended to bridge the gap between education and professional practice, and provide a stable and supportive pathway into a career in design. Uniquely the programme offers successful candidates a full-time paid placement for 9 months post-graduation with each intern completing three months with each studio. Originally open to third and fourth year students of Visual Communications in DIT, IADT and NCAD. The success of the initial cycle encouraged the partners to extend the programme to all graduates of Visual Communications in Ireland. Since 2008 applications have been received from, the best and most talented, graduated designers across the island of Ireland. Guidelines and terms of engagement have been shared and distributed broadly, and the partners and alumni have promoted this model of best practice to the benefit of other studios and emerging designers in Ireland and abroad.

If you are interested in replicating the programme or simply supporting good internship practice by adopting our policies or processes feel free to get in touch and we will be happy to help in any way we can.