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Derry Girls Experience picks up prestigious design award

17 November 2023

The team at the Tower Museum in Derry are pure lured today after the Derry Girls Experience picked up a prestigious accolade at the IDI Irish Design Awards in Dublin.

The competition is judged by an international panel of leading industry lights and the exhibition came out tops in the Experience Design Category, with judges praising the innovation and quality of the experience for visitors.

The exhibition was created by Derry City and Strabane District Council, in partnership with Tourism Northern Ireland (TNI) and Visit Derry, who engaged EPIC to design, produce and deliver a flagship exhibition on the Derry Girls Programme, its popularity and legacy.

The exhibition launched in July 2023, and since then has attracted record visitor numbers, with fans from around the world flocking to see some of the original set pieces from the series, gifted by Lisa McGee and Hat Trick Productions.

Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Patricia Logue, said the award was a fitting tribute to the creativity and work that has gone into the project. “I am absolutely thrilled today to hear that the Derry Girls Experience has been recognised by industry experts for the quality of the design work, which really captures the essence of the Derry Girls series, from its humour to its more serious glimpses of the history of the Troubles.

“I want to thank all the partners involved in delivering this project, and of course creator Lisa McGee. It has been so significant in the impact it’s had on our local tourism and the profile of the city and district. It’s become an iconic landmark in the cultural and historical legacy of Derry and Strabane, and yet another reason to visit our beautiful city.”

In their comments the judges noted that the exhibition delivered: “An excellent set of experiences that tied together so well. Good consideration of language and hearing barriers. Really strong execution with everything clearly done to the highest standards and with a premium experience for visitors in mind."

Head of Culture with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Aeidin McCarter said: “When we first secured funding for the exhibition we knew it was going to be a success, but we never dreamt that it would have such an impact. Our Tower Museum team worked closely with EPIC to create an experience that would really resonate not only with Derry Girls fans, but also international visitors piecing together the history of the city.

“We wanted the experience to be immersive and engaging which we achieved through digital channels and interactive props, while also retaining that retro vibe that’s so unique to Derry Girls. We have had so much positive feedback, and now to have the exhibition recognised by leading names in the design industry is just the icing on the cake.”

Director of Epic Interpretive Design, Dara Lynne Lenehan, said: “EPIC are delighted to have been chosen winner in the Connected Experiences category of the IDI Awards 2023, against stiff competition. We thank the judges and the Institute of Design of Ireland.

“Working on The Derry Girls Experience was a wonderful collaboration between EPIC and the Tower Museum and DCSC teams, we all worked hard to deliver this project. Receiving this award brings great recognition for all the hard work and greatly promotes the city of Derry too. We hope the visitor numbers continue to grow during the exhibition run.”

You can find out more about the awards at

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