Jane ni Dhulchaointigh

Jane ni Dhulchaointigh


Jane ni Dhulchaointigh is the Irish inventor of Sugru (inspired by the Irish word for play), an innovative product that has been described as '21st Century Duct Tape' by and was named alongside the iPad by TIME magazine as one of the top 50 Inventions of 2010.

Jane was studying product design at the Royal College of Art in London in 2003, when she had a big idea. What if, instead of having to buy new things all the time, people could fix and improve the things they already had to work better for them?

From that initial spark of an idea, she led a long and dedicated scientific development process involving a small team of material scientists, designers and business people to develop an entirely new material that could make the idea a reality.

Jane is passionate about promoting a culture of fixing, creativity and resourcefulness, and sees it as an antidote to the throwaway mindset. Her passion is hitting a chord with the growing number of people looking to live more sustainably and five years after launch there are now over a million people around the world using the product, many of whom are sharing their fixes online to inspire others to have a go too.


Power to the (handy) people

Do you see creativity everywhere? In the way people stack fruit on a market stall to how you tie your shoes to how best to peel a banana?

Jane ni Dhulchaointigh believes that fixing is one of the most beautiful forms of creativity there is. "Most people think they're not creative, but in fact it's just not what they call it".

People are amazing problem solvers, but most are just out of the habit of it. What if we could untap the huge potential of all this dormant everyday creativity? That idea still makes me jump through all kinds of crazy hoops, obstacles and pain-in-the-arse experiences, to give it every chance I can of coming true."

Come to this talk to hear Jane's story of bringing Sugru from a radical design idea to a utilitarian product stocked in thousands of big-box stores in the UK and USA, from being alone in the lab to nurturning a global movement of fixing with a vibrant and enthusiastic community, the ups and downs of her creative journey, and some of the main creative lessons she's learned along the way.