Exhibition space in the foyer of the UCD Student Centre

A new academic collaborative venture between UCD and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) was launched Monday evening in the UCD Student Centre. The night saw the launch of NCAD+UCD, a HEA funded project that aims to develop the relationship between the two institutions more in the coming years.

The venture, which received funding in October 2013, aims to further strengthen the existing relationship between UCD and NCAD as well as producing productive research, teaching and dissemination activities between the two institutions. It is claimed that the partnership will establish a centre of excellence for the area of creative and arts for both Ireland and around the world.


Speaking at the launch UCD President, Professor Andrew Deeks, highlighted the importance of the relationship for both institutions and the area of creative arts as a whole in Ireland. “It is clear that working in partnership, NCAD and UCD contribute enormously to Ireland’s creative industries and our creative culture. The design strengths of NCAD can be informed from the various disciplines at UCD, ranging from engineering and medicine to computer and information science. Between NCAD’s full suite of fine art programs and UCD programs in architecture, creative writing, drama and music, we can offer the full range of creative arts as well as providing access to cultural studies and social sciences.“

The director of NCAD, Professor Declan McGonagle, expressed similar sentiments when he addressed those gathered at the launch. He said “The opportunities presented by this relationship seem to be unique in the Irish context and one full of potential. Certainly for NCAD to access area that we could not access on our own in terms of the scale of the college. But equally I think we have something to offer UCD in terms of the identity we have and the historical standing we bring to the role of creatives arts within society.”

McGonagle’s presence at the launch comes days after he addressed the Public Accounts Committee in relation to NCAD’s accounting practices. Addressing the turbulent times faced by NCAD in his speech McGonagle said “Many of you will know that NCAD faces many challenges at the moment, but we are intent on turning the college to face these challenges head on by reforming many of the ways we have worked historically and developing new ways of working in the future and rethinking what fine art practice and design practice means going forward in to the future.” He added “It is crucial that we rethink a lot of the inherited models of practice and indeed in thinking, not only in art and design but also in the way art and design interacts with the economy, society as well as our culture.”

The launch has been marked in UCD with an exhibition of art work by recent graduates from the School of Fine Art at NCAD. The exhibition, entitled Multi-polar, can be seen in the UCD Student Centre until Friday 6th February. Commenting on the exhibition Deeks said “The work on display has really been engaging people, provoking different reactions and prompting questions. This is what happens when you introduce something new to and perhaps unexpected to the campus. The exhibition represents a microcosm of the benefits of our relationship with NCAD.”