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Leah Clarke

Leah Clarke is a multidisciplinary designer based in Dublin. The body of work she has created throughout her studies at TU Dublin strongly emphasises her interest in sustainability, craft, second-hand lifestyles and gender equality. Leah’s design philosophy is rooted in her assertion that designers have a responsibility to consider the social, cultural and ethical impact of their work, which she explored in her thesis, Designing a Narrative: A Multimodal Analysis of HIV Awareness Campaign Videos. Drawing on her background in textiles and craft, Leah has a very hands-on design approach. A combination of continuous iterations and in-depth research guided her design processes. She was awarded a D&AD New Blood Pencil for her project ‘What we leave behind...’, which displays some of her key areas of interest, namely typography, animation and image-making.

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What we leave behind...

There is a fading prominence of traditional craft knowledge in the Irish population. Additionally, a 2020 survey found that half of native Irish plants are in decline. Losses of indigenous and local knowledge and cultural heritage have been observed to correlate with a decreasing resilience to climate change. The What we leave behind... campaign aims to combat losses of natural and cultural heritage by encouraging people to re-engage with their natural environment through craft. Pulling on the longstanding tradition of crafts serving as repositories of cultural and natural knowledge that foster a sense of interconnectedness with nature, community and past and future generations. 

Ode to Secondhand

Ode to Secondhand is a celebration of my deep affection for second-hand shopping and the profound joy it brings me. It delves into the exhilarating experience of exploring charity shops, the excitement of finding hidden gems, and the cherished moments shared with family during these outings. Through intimate moments of repair and alteration with my granny, I not only learn valuable skills but also strengthen our bond. Beyond personal fulfilment, this project sheds light on the broader global context of overconsumption and waste. By advocating for second-hand consumption, it emphasizes the ethical significance of this choice in reducing environmental impact and supporting more sustainable practices. Ultimately, this publication aims to inspire others to embark on their own journey of second-hand exploration, inviting them to discover the beauty and fulfilment inherent in this lifestyle.