Dr Carmel Maher

BDes (Hons) MA PhD


Room 526 Burrin Building, Carlow Campus

e: carmel.maher@setu.ie      t: 059 9175000

ORCID ID:0001-6193-6951

Dr Maher graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin with a honours degree in Industrial Design in 1989. After working for a short time as a freelance designer in Conran Design Group, London, she went on to complete a Research Fellowship in The Royal College of Art, London, in the area of future lifestyles and kitchen design for Electrolux. Cementing an interest in the ongoing relationship between culture and design, Dr Maher continued her studies with an MA in Culture and Media studies. She has been working as a lecturer and research supervisor, in design, in SETU Carlow since 1995. In support of this role, she has just completed a PhD, with Bournemouth University, looking at developing understanding of the role of creativity in industrial design research practice. Dr Maher's research interests are at the intersection of design; with education, with research, with creativity and culture
  • Research Interests
  • Publications
  • Research Supervision
  • Engagement and Collaboration

Research Interests

Include design education and research, the nature of creativity and its role in design, in education and in research methodology and the relationship between culture and the products we use.


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Maher, C., Hadfield, P., Hutchings, M. and de Eyto, A., (2018), Ensuring Rigor in Qualitative Data Analysis: A Design Research Approach to Coding Combining NVivo With Traditional Material Methods, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 17: 1-13.

Whelan, L., Maher, C., Deevy, C., (2016), Learning in practice, ITERATIONS Design Research & Practice Review, Issue 3, pp 70-75

Whelan, L., Maher, C., Deevy, C., (2016), The Role of Practice Oriented Learning in Design and Creativity in an Irish Technological University, International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education (IJCDSE), Volume 7, Issue 2, [Online], available: http://infonomics-society.ie/ijcdse/

Maher, C., Hadfield, P., Hutchings, M., de Eyto, A., (2015), A design research framework to inform policy in Irish higher education, ITERATIONS Design Research & Practice Review, Issue 2 – November.

Conference Presentations

Reid, S. Maher, C, White, P.J. Deevy, C. (2018), Assisting teachers to implement a design approach to problem solving; using online tools, unpublished paper presented at: ED TECH 2018: TEL Quality Matters - People, Policies and Practices, Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland 31 May 1 June, 2018

de Eyto, A., Maher, C., Hadfield, M., Hutchings, M., (2016) Beautiful Nerds: Growing a rigorous design research dialogue in the Irish context. in: Lloyd P. & Bohemia E. (eds.), Proceedings of DRS2016: Design + Research + Society – Future – Focused Thinking, Volume 10, pp 2711 – 2723, DOI 10.21606/drs.2016

Whelan, L., Maher, C., Deevy, C., (2016), The Role of Practice Oriented Learning in Design and Creativity in an Irish Technological University. In Shoniregun, A. and Akmayeva, G., (eds.) Proceedings of Ireland International Conference on Education. Ireland International Conference on Education (IICE-2016), 25-28 Apr 2016, Dublin, Ireland.

Maher, C., Hadfield, P., Hutchings, M., de Eyto, A., (2014), ‘Representation and Evaluation of Product Design in Research Assessment: A Case Study of the UK REF 2014’, in Bohemia, E., Egar, A., Eggink, W., Kovacevic, A., Parkinson, B., Wits W., (eds.), Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, 4 & 5 September 2014, University of Twente, The Netherlands

Fuery, J., de Eyto, A., & Maher, C. (2011), Sustainable Design Strategies for medical devices – Investigations of the Irish and Multinational Business Context in product development & sustainable design, in Bartolo, H., (eds.) Proceedings of SIM2011, 1st International Conference on Sustainable Intelligent Manufacturing, Leiria, Portugal, June 28-July 1, 2011

Research Supervision

Current Research Students
  • Sandra Reid –  Investigating Education in Post Primary Schools to develop Design Thinkers in support of an Innovation Based Society – Lead Supervisor
  • Aideen Mc Hugh - Utilisation of Design Thinking as a Strategy Tool to Support Regional
Past Research Students
  • Sean Finnegan - MA (by research) in Design - Bespoke Rapid Manufacturing – An investigation into the application of Additive Manufacturing in the development of Customised Protection in Sports Equipment – Co Supervisor - 2017
  • Lynne Whelan - MA (by research) in Design -  The Role of Practice Oriented Learning in Design and Creativity in an Irish Technological University – Lead Supervisor – 2017
  • Bernadette Douglas – MA (by research) in Design - Enhancing and Increasing the User Experience. A design Methodology that Assists the Development of Appropriate User Centred Design within the New Product/Service Development Process – Co Supervisor – 2013
  • Jean Fuery – MA (by research) in Design - Sustainable Design Strategies for Medical Devices – Co Supervisor – 2013
Areas of interest as a supervisor include

I would consider supervising projects in the following areas-

  • include design and interdisciplinary research methods
  • consider the topics of education, design and creativity
  • consider social and cultural impacts on product design and/or product design research methods such as user centred, emotional and ethnographic design research.

Engagement and Collaboration

Member of Editorial Board for ITERATIONS Design Research & Practice Review (2015-2020) The establishment of ITERATIONS, Irelands first double blind peer reviewed design research journal is supported by the Institute of Designers in Ireland, Irish Design 2015 and multiple design HEIs on the Island of Ireland`

HEA Funded Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation Summer Camps for Second-Level Students

  • UID8 Design Camp 2017
  • UID8 Collaborate Design Camp 2018