Reflections on The City 200: As a creative, how important is collaboration in Dublin?

Posted February 26, 2022 in Design

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As we publish our 200th issue, we glanced back at the ever-evolving landscape of Dublin and interviewed well known faces around town about their experiences in the city.  

“You can’t be stuck in your own echo chamber of your thoughts because it will just drive you mad and you won’t develop as a human.”  – Tara Kumar, DJ.

Q: As a creative, how important is collaboration in Dublin?

Tara Kumar, DJ

It’s the most important part of being creative, having conversations and bouncing ideas of people who are like minded and even not like minded is incredibly important for progression and learning.

You can’t be stuck in your own echo chamber of your thoughts because it will just drive you mad and you won’t develop as a human.

My favourite part of being a creative is having conversions and making ideas happen. It can be scary but once you dive into it, it can be really fun.



Killian Walsh, Creative Director

It’s a large village rather than a City. It has the community feel that other cities don’t.

I think its really thriving and people are doing some really interesting things collectively.

The food scene is incredible and some people are really pushing boundaries creatively.



Aisling Phelan, Artist

Collaboration is something I’m only really learning the importance of in recent years. I think in terms of the situation that Dublin is in right now, collaboration is absolutely crucial.

With so much change happening, it’s important to be having uncomfortable conversations as well as sparking new interests in people and having the ability to share different perspectives.

I think it’s always extremely valuable to work with someone who is going to challenge you and push the boundaries of your creative abilities. There’s always something you can learn from someone if you’re prepared to give them the time.



Barry Sun, Chef

Dublin is a small place and in the hospitality industry where I work, everybody knows everybody and there is wonderful support and camaraderie. When we were restricted to outdoor dining only, the Wishing Well next door to us gave us some of their outdoor space so that we could have enough space to continue to run the restaurant as an outdoors venue.

There were so many great collaborations in Dublin during Covid in the hospitality industry – people working together to help, support and to survive.



Eric Ehigie, Podcaster

Collaboration is essential. The modest size of our nation, and of Dublin, compared to other nations in Europe, brings about a tight-knit nature when it comes to the creative landscape.

This means that collaboration is a greater possibility here than it might be elsewhere. Due to Dublin’s diverse composition, there is a great deal to gain from interacting with others, who can provide unique insight into the work that one does.



Orla King, Graphic Designer

Really important. There’s very talented people living in the city and there’s a lot of really exciting things happening right now. One thing about Dublin is that the creative community here constantly supports each other and it’s great to see. Everyone is rooting for each other.

I’ve collaborated with a variety of people from artists, DJ’s, musicians, mechanical engineers and club promoters. Dublin is such a small city and everyone already knows each other anyway, you may as well make use of that and network!



Shane Daniel Byrne, Comedian

It’s the key to anything creative happening in an expensive city like Dublin.

Creatives in Dublin work their arses off trying to just make things happen often while holding down other jobs.

I worked in theatre before comedy and was always struck by how supportive artists were of each other. Artists help one another with their applications to the same fund!

Collaboration is at the heart of any creative ecology.

I’ve made pitches in theatre bars and pub smoking areas. Dublin does it well.



Grace Enemaku, Designer and Illustrator

Collaboration is so important in a little city like Dublin. It’s a great way to meet new people, learn from them and create something different that you couldn’t have done on your own. The very best thing about Dublin is the people, you can’t get that same energy anywhere else in the world.



Ayuba Salaudeen, Tola Vintage

I think it is very important. I love to collaborate with new Irish brands and creatives whenever and however I can. I think over the years we have collaborated with some amazing people and will continue to do that in the future.



Taurean Coughlan & Kevin Roche, Two Boys Brew

I think it’s incredibly important for Dublin to have its own sense of self, to have its own spirit, its own aesthetic.

It’s not only important for us to have that for ourselves, but also for those on the outside looking in. Dublin is ever-changing and evolving like any other city but through local collaboration we’re able to retain the fundamental characteristics of our city, which celebrate both our heritage and our progression.



Aoife Ní Thuama Keogh, Designer

It’s so important. In comparison to other capitals, Dublin is relatively small, but the creative community here is so supportive of each other. It’s great to see established venues and stores working alongside up and coming creatives and showcasing what Dublin has to offer.

It’s a great way to be exposed to new things that might have passed me by before.



Jordan Hearns, Artist & DJ

Collaboration is at the essence of being a creative in Dublin.

It’s a family affair!



Jialin Long, Photographer

Collaboration in Dublin is very important to me and to what I’m doing. Visiting exhibitions, attending cultural events, having an interesting talk with friends, or meeting creative mentors or professionals, all make things happen to my practice. For this reason, I’m attached to this city.



Colm Keane, Chef, Owner of Daddy’s

I wouldn’t have gotten Daddy’s Café off the ground without a collaborative relationship with The Circular (who we share a building with), so I would say VERY important.

Creatives in the city are constantly being squeezed into smaller spaces by the big boys, so coming together and collaborating to achieve mutual goals is a winner.

Kinda like Captain Planet and the kids with the rings fighting evil, lol. 



Shaylyn Gilheaney, Stylist

It means everything! Dublin is small and the people are so warm and supportive.

In my industry, the finished product wouldn’t even exist without the collaboration of creatives.



Zoe Ardiff, Photographer

Collaboration is vital to being a creative, I’ve learnt more from the people I’ve met and worked with then I ever did throughout college. Collaborating is how you learn to work in the real world and form important work and friend relationships.


Reflections On The City 200 – What’s The Biggest Change You’ve Seen in Dublin Since 2004?

Interviews: Kerry Mahony & Eric Davidson

Image Credits:

Feature Image: Tara Kumar

Shane Daniel Byrne by Brian Teeling

Aisling Phelan by Samuel Jay Patrick


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