Seafarers know there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear.
A Galway 2020 European capital of culture project is hoping to tap into some of that knowledge, as part of an international design contest for weatherproof wear.
The competition has been initiated by “Hope it Rains/Soineann nó Doineann”, a Galway 2020 project which aims to effect a cultural change in Ireland’s relationship with weather and climate.
“Hope it Rains” involves six multi-disciplinary projects throughout Galway city and county, focusing on renewable energy, weather-proofing, green infrastructure, outdoor play, health and well-being and our unique heritage.
Conceived and directed by Dr Ríonach Ní Néill, and produced by Ciotóg and Milestone Inventive, the project hopes to inspire “citizen inventors” who will collaborate with experts in art, design, sport and science.
Ms Ní Néill said that its new contest, entitled “Weatherproof Me !” is seeking “designs that transform our behaviour in the wind, the rain and the dark”.
“They can be provocative, innovative, playful – and also challenge our attitudes and actions on climate change and water management,” she says.
Five winners will be selected by an international judging panel to produce and deliver their designs.
Inter-disciplinary artist and designer Jeni Roddy, who is one of the judges along with Dr Ní Néill, explains that “Irish people, including kids, are spending less time outdoors, and this is adversely affecting our physical and mental health”.
“ So we welcome unique designs that actively address our decision-making around ‘the weather’s rotten, will I go out or not?’,” she says.
Also on the judging panel are Donatella Barbieri, a senior research fellow and principal lecturer in design for performance costume at Bloomsbury Academic; and Dr Shirley Coyle, founder of Common Ground Design.
The closing date for online applications is 24.00 GMT on August 10, 2019, and all details are available here