The Lasting Impact of Paul Hogan on Design Management and Social Inclusion

Paul Hogan Irish Designer
Paul Hogan Irish Designer

Born on October 30, 1934, in Dublin, Ireland, Paul Hogan was far more than just another design consultant. Over several decades, he left an indelible mark on not only Irish design but also on the domains of inclusive design and education. Today, we explore the multifaceted life of a man who declared, “Design has afforded me a lifestyle I could only have dreamt of.”

Academic Brilliance: The Building Blocks of an Illustrious Career

Hogan’s journey to excellence began in the classrooms of Dublin’s National College of Art. Under the mentorship of Professor Bernardus Romein, he studied there from 1953 to 1956. But Hogan was not a man to rest on his achievements. He further sharpened his design acumen at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art’s School of Industrial Design in Copenhagen, attending from 1963 to 1964.

Behind the Scenes: The Pillars of Hogan’s Personal Life

Known as a loving family man, Hogan was happily married to Virginia Connolly. A proud father of three sons and a daughter, his family has always been the bedrock that supported his incredible career.

Career Highlights: The Evolution from Theatre to Global Consultancy

Paul Hogan’s career took its first steps in the late 1950s as a theatre set designer at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, working for Illisley McCabe Productions. By 1958, he had transitioned to textile design, spending two years with Galway Textile Printers. His career took a managerial trajectory thereafter, venturing into the realm of packaging and design management between 1963 and 1972.

His career trajectory changed dramatically when he chaired Córas Tráchtála, also known as the Irish Export Board, from 1986 to 1991. His insights and leadership attracted the attention of international organizations such as the European Commission, United Nations, and World Bank.

Championing Inclusive Design: Hogan’s Unwavering Commitment to Disability Advocacy

Paul Hogan was a trailblazer in design inclusivity. In 1989, he organized Dublin’s inaugural European Conference on Design for Disability. He later headed the Institute for Design and Disability, which was renamed the European Institute for Design and Disability in 1992. His active involvement in UNIDO-sponsored meetings underscores his worldwide influence.

Board Memberships and Exhibitions: A Jack of All Trades

Hogan diversified his portfolio by serving on several boards, including the Board of Kilkenny Design Workshops and the Gaelterra Éireann Handcrafts Committee. He also participated in the Council of the Irish Packaging Institute. His love for the arts was evident as he curated exhibitions such as ‘Tradition in Modern Japanese Productions’ and ‘Jack Lenor Larsen Textiles and Chairs 1914–1964.’

Awards and Recognitions: A Career Laden with Honors

Among the many feathers in Hogan’s cap are fellowships from the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers and the Royal Society of Arts. He also received the prestigious IKEA Award in 1995.

Published Works: Sharing Wisdom Through the Written Word

Paul Hogan’s literary contributions are no less impressive. His seminal book, ‘Design in Ireland: Report of the Scandinavian Design Group in Ireland,’ was published in 1962. He also penned reports like the one on the Killarney Industrial Design Education Conference in 1971.

Lasting Legacy: Design as a Tool for Social Transformation

Although he retired in 1987 due to Multiple Sclerosis, Hogan never wavered in his commitment to using design as a social catalyst, especially for those with disabilities.

Paul Hogan was not just another name in the world of design management; he was a visionary whose work transcended borders. His commitment to Irish design, inclusive education, and social reform has forever altered the fabric of the industry. Though he passed away in 2019, his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.


Pendergast, S. (1997, January 1). Contemporary Designers. Saint James Press.

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