Dr. Hilary Kenna

Dr. Hilary Kenna is Head of Department of Technology & Psychology. She lectures on the BA in Visual Communication Design, which she co-Chaired from 2007-09. Hilary was a member of IADT's Governing Body, Academic Council and R+D Committee. As principle investigator, she has raised over €1m in research funding from EI and NDRC. Her work was commercialised as a product and granted two US design patents in 2015.


The Graphic Design Reader - Selected Writings, Emil Ruder: A Future for Design Principles in Screen Typography, Bloombury Press, Edited by Teal Triggs and Leslie Atzmon2016
Seek and You Will find – Interview: Hilary Kenna, founder of SeeSearch Discovery App, 2+3D grafika plus produkt, Polish Design Quarterly, Issue III2015
Touching the text of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land: a critical discussion of interactive design and screen typography for an iPad ebook, Book 2.0, Intellect Publishing, Winter Issue2013
Contributing author (6 entries on screen and digital media design), Phaidon Design Classics, Phaidon2012
Emil Ruder: A Future for Design Principles in Screen Typography, Design Issues, MIT Press, Winter Issue, p.35-54.2010


Pushing Boundaries and Practices – An interdisciplinary exhibition of work in progress by LCC PhD students at London College of Communication, March 3-16th2012
Making Modernity: Media Explorer, touch screen installation at the Chemistry Heritage Foundation Museum in Philadelphia (permanent exhibit) for RGB Company, UK2008

Research projects

Hilary’s research into user experience, interface design and data visualisation for information discovery, funded by Enterprise Ireland, was commercialised in 2014, into an online visual search and discovery product for education and research called SeeSearch. SeeSearch was granted two US design patents in 2015 and was selected to be a participant in Google’s Adopt-a-Startup Programme in September 2015 and Telefonica’s Wayra Startup Academy in 2014.

From 2008-2010, Hilary was Principle Investigator of a data visualization and business intelligence research project called Vizi, which was funded by Ireland’s National Digital Research Centre (NDRC). In 2010, Vizi won the Irish Software Association (ISA) award for Best Industry Academic Research Collaboration with Irish digital agency Twelve Horses.

Principal Investigator, Enterprise Ireland Commericalisation Fund project: SeeSearch - search and discovery for academic research and libraries2012–14
Principal on various innovation voucher projects for Irish SMEs funded by Enterprise Ireland2012–13
Principal Investigator – Feasibility Study: Information Discovery for Libraries and Education, funded by the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC)2011
Principal Investigator - Commercialisation Project funded by the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC): Vizi Data visualisation business intelligence platform2010


‘Design Principles for Screen Typography’, Face Forward International Typography Conference, Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI), Dublin Institute of Technology, 11-12 December2015
‘Speculative Futures: RX + The Future Book’, Ecologies of Publishing Futures, Royal College of Art (RCA), London, November 232015
‘Creating Engaging Web Scale Library Discovery for a Google Generation’, What’s Next for Web-scale Discovery, LIR HeaNet Annual Seminar, Trinity College Dublin, March 302015
‘A UX Design Approach to Solving Information Overload – creating a new discovery product’, AGRAPA 4th International Conference: The Need for Design + Designing for Need, Academy of Fine Arts Katowice, Poland, March 202015
‘Visualisation in Design Thinking – Unexpected Outcomes’, Think(In) Visual Communication Conference, Warsaw, Poland, December 122014

Awards + Achievements

Two US Design Patents granted for SeeSearch Discovery Product2015
Finalist: Disruptive Category IXDA International Design Awards for The Waste Land App2012
Winner: Best Adult Title Future Book Awards, for The Waste Land App2011
Finalist: Irish Appy Awards, Best iPad App category for The Waste Land App2011
Winner: Best Industry Academic Collaboration, Irish Software Association (ISA) Award for the Vizi Project, Twelve Horses and IADT2010
Interactive BAFTA Nomination: Offline Learning category for Mind Reading – A Guide to Human Emotions, BAFTA2002

Other activities

Peer Reviewer, She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, Published by Elsevir2016
Assessor: International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) Annual Student Assessment Programme2016
Consultant Head of Design + UX, Independent News + Media, January 2014-January2015
External Examiner: Letterkenny Institute of Technology2011-2014
Member: Atypi, IDI, IXDA, 100 Archive