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FLAG South West

Coastal zone of County Kerry and the coastal Zone of County Limerick bordering the Shannon Estuary

Heritage Week Iveragh Peninsula

As part of Heritage week Aug. 2019 we were part of an exhibition in The Old Barracks, Cahersiveen, sharing the prototypes and ideas from the community workshops and the school's Design Sprints - St Catherine's Killybegs and Colaiste na Sceilge, Cahersiveen. We also included net-making / repair demonstrations and 3D printing using the nylon nets filament and showing the stages of our early-stage filament from pellets from reclaimed polyethylene nets. 

Visitors to the exhibition engaged in lively discussions with many having strong opinions about the issue and thoughts on how it should be solved. The team was able to dispel some of the myths around the causes and share what the industry was doing to address net loss and wastage. Few knew that most net 'fabric' is now imported from India or China and only put together and finished in Ireland. This initiated debate around where in the manufacturing chain the responsibility would lie net producers, finishers or fishers.

TY Design Challenge week

At the beginning of Feb. 2019, students from Colaiste Na Sceilge and Killorglin Community College worked with the interdisciplinary team for a week on the problem of marine plastic waste. Over the course of 5 days, 9.30 - 5.30 p.m. the TY students were introduced to the real-world problem through an in-depth practical analysis of the issues using the pCr methods and design thinking. Through the structured deep audit of the problem, the students and team members amassed knowledge about the problem from multiple perspectives. Then through consideration and discussion, they began to drill into the various aspects of the issue, analysing their findings and undertaking a life cycle analysis of the problem; considering inputs processes and outputs to see where there may be opportunities for additional design solutions.

  • Day 1 - Empathise and Define

  • Day 2 - Ideate

  • Day 3 Evaluate

  • Day 4 Prototype

  • Day 5 Test

Community Co-Design Workshops
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Design & Innovation Day, Portmagee Community Centre

We believe the solutions to the problem of net waste material could equally be found in the creative imagination of a 12-year-old child or the vast experience of an 80-year-old.


This event was MARPlas’s first Design & Innovation Day, held in Portmagee, one of our local villages in Jan 2019 was one of a number of research methods for developing solutions into re-using net offcut material to create prototypes of marketable products and add value to waste material. The project uses a co-design process, integrating the permaCultural resilience methodology with circular design thinking. This means that instead of coming up with ideas for products and trying to get communities interested in those products, we work with the communities, through a co-design process to harness their own ideas and inspirations to create prototype products.

The aim of the day was to introduce participants to the net offcut material and encourage exploration of the possibilities of reusing this material to create a useful item. The day started off with a world café style discussion on the issues of net offcuts. Some of the prompting questions included, what is the root of the problem of fishing net waste and how does fishing net waste affect you personally or professionally?

After this, we used some disruptive thinking games followed by making and exploring using net offcuts.  There were lots of experienced minds in the room with skills in sewing, weaving, jewellery-making, engineering, and much more leading to many discussions on how the net material could be rewoven or re-engineered to allow for greater scope in its reuse.

In total 4 innovation sessions were held in Kerry.

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