• 20 May 2022

The RIAI Supports The B!G Idea Programme 2022

The B!G Idea is an exciting new education initiative that aims to put creative thinking at the centre of Ireland’s second level education system. The programme harnesses the talents of some of the world's most successful industry professionals to work directly with Transition Year students to give them the skills to seek solutions to life’s challenges by igniting their own creativity. Founded by award-winning designer Kim Mackenzie-Doyle.

Around 2,000 students from schools across Ireland were tasked with coming up with the B!G Idea to tackle five of Ireland’s biggest issues – climate change, mental health, the housing crisis, healthcare and equality. 

The B!G Idea programme attempts to solve problems via creativity, and the RIAI was delighted to support such a great programme and sponsor the "Housing Crisis – Visual Communications" award. Congratulations to Desmond College from Newcastle West in Limerick for their project Geodesic Domes. Their project focused on low cost, sustainable dome housing. Also congratulations to Donal Enright who mentored the winning team. The award ceremony took place on Friday, 20 May. 

Kathryn Meghen, RIAI CEO, said:


“Empowering the next generation to engage more actively with issues affecting the built environment starts with curiosity, excitement, and knowledge; this is a key objective of the RIAI”.


Over 400 judges and mentors participated this year including RIAI member Emma Geoghegan MRIAI of the Dublin School of Architecture at TU Dublin who complimented the students for coming up with plans to combat real life problems, while Cormac Donnelly of Irish Life Health says these were excellent ideas to help solve real life problems in our society.

The B!g Idea team is already signing up mentors for the 2023 programme – requiring up to 800 mentors next year to support the 4,000 students who are ready to participate. Should you wish to participate please visit thebigidea.ie/become-a-mentor/

All of The Big Idea projects are now available to view online on The Big Idea Exhibition.



Overall Big Idea Winner sponsored by Creative Ireland
St Leo’s College, Carlow - Trash Scan
Students: Jessica Korposh, Eva Cooney, Isabella O’ Byrne and Lily Redmond
Teacher name: Deirdre Wilson

Mental Health - Spaces and Places sponsored by Aerogen
Kilkenny Youthreach - The Lounge
Students: Zak Dwyer, Jack Lanigan, Daniel Svejda, Chelsea Macdonagh, Sophie Henderson, Stephen Dunphy, Michael Butler and Mya Kavanagh
Teacher: Denis Doyle

Equality - ICT/UX – sponsored by CJ Fallon
St Joseph’s College, Thurles - Spark Youth 
Student names: Isaac Brophy, Jessica Murphy and Emma Davis
Teacher name: Mary Gorey

Healthcare – Wearables sponsored by Netwatch
Coláiste Chiarain, Limerick - Dr. Disease  
Student names: Reece Doherty, Cayden O’Rourke and Petr Pershin
Teacher name: Conor Power

Climate change – Product sponsored by MSD
Borris Vocational School, Carlow - Portable Wind Turbine
Student names: Patrick Phelan, Joe Long and Katelyn Farrel
Teacher name: Jacqueline Sheil

Housing Crisis – Visual Communications sponsored by Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland
Desmond College, Limerick - Geodesic Domes
Student Names: Alannah Heaslip, Sarah Hogan and Zoe Lai

Teacher of the Year sponsored by ESB: Aine Cummins - Lusk Community College.

About The B!G Idea

Creativity is the answer! It is a much-needed skill required by society and industry yet not taught in our schools. The B!G Idea is a multi-award-winning, free, creative-focused programme for 15 to 16-year-olds bridging the gap between industry and education, unlike any other programme in the world.