Benchspace Designer in Residence Programme – 2020

Applications closed.

Benchspace invites applications from established and emerging fine woodworking and all creative professionals, including artists working in the medium of wood or in other materials.

The current programme combines workshops and public talks, collaborative creative work and mentoring.

Applications are also welcomed from academic staff of noted programs in the woodwork and design fields seeking a period of return to a studio environment. The programme offers participants the latitude and creative environment to explore new bodies of work or methodologies.

The Designer-in-Residence programme is designed to bring established designer makers or artists to Cork Ireland, to showcase their work to a local audience and to contribute fresh perspectives to the Resident Makers using the workshop. The programme affords the successful candidate the opportunity to create a new body of work or facilitate the exploration of innovative methodologies. It is hoped that it will also provide an in-depth opportunity for Benchspace makers and the wider community to learn from the Artist-in-Residence during workshops, lectures, and special programs. The resident will arrive during Cork Craft Month mid-August 2020 with a presentation of their body of work to the public. (In your application please let us know what arrival date in August would be most suitable for you)
Cork Culture Night at the end of September will be an opportunity to share the ongoing work with a wider audience and finally the residency will culminate in the completed work being displayed in an associated Gallery space.


About Benchspace:

Benchspace Creative Hub, located in Cork South West Ireland, is a shared access wood workshop and provides affordable access to workbenches and professional standard machinery to local furniture makers and designers, particularly to graduates and early career professionals. Benchspace actively encourages collaboration and co-working to stimulate creativity and innovation in the areas of craft and design, particularly acting as an incubator in the creative economy. The resident will have their own dedicated studio space with storage in a shared creative environment.


€3500 expenses to cover travel and accommodation
Access to the Benchspace studio 24/7 with allowances made for evening classes
Interaction with other makers in a creative environment
Exposure at professional exhibition events
Locally sourced materials will be provided for a significant project. (Maximum: €500)


Commitment to be present for a minimum of 30 hours per week in the workshop for a period of two months
Sharing of progression through Benchspace Social Media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram etc
Creation of a new body of work or methodology to be publicly exhibited
Delivery of public lectures/demonstrations
Provide mentoring to Benchspace students and makers
Collaboration and knowledge sharing with Benchspace Makers
Residents are also invited to give a series of classes on an agreed topic. An honorarium for classes would be in addition to the award
It is expected/suggested that the resident prepare and work on a piece while on the residency and that piece remains as part of the Benchspace permanent collection for exhibition and promotion of design and craft in Cork

Further Information:

The expected duration of the Residency is 2 months, with a deadline for applications of Friday March 1st, 2020. The Residency must commence by Mid-August 2020.

Selection criteria will include quality of current portfolio, potential for artistic and professional growth, technical skill, and ability to communicate (in English) and collaborate in a studio environment.

Cork Craft Month is held in August and celebrates the diversity of craft available in Cork City and County. There is a full and exciting programme of exhibitions, open studios, free demonstrations, and workshops throughout the county. If the candidate can bring prior work with them, arrangements can be made to feature their work in an event in Cork Craft Month exhibition in Kinsale.


Proficient in the safe use of woodworking machinery (if applicable) and experienced in a workshop setting
Excellent interpersonal skills
Demonstrate a level of creative achievement
Self-motivated, ability to work independently and critical thinker


One-page Letter of Intent outlining artistic direction of work, interpersonal skills and proposal of intention for work to be carried out during residency.
Current CV
Portfolio – minimum 5 unique pieces of work
References – Two professional references, preferably one academic and one working in the woodworking/design field with whom the applicant has worked with or for.

Indication of available dates to participate in residency


Applications will be acknowledged on receipt.

A Selection Committee of the Benchspace Board will review submissions.
Successful applicants will be notified via email upon the Selection Committee’s decision. If the residency offer is accepted, the artist will be required to sign a residency contract.


Submit your application in PDF format to: