Life-saving, polluting, flexible, toxic and resilient. Plastic is a material riddled with contractions symbolic of our modern world.


What will the future look like if we continue on a growth-fueled business-as-usual trajectory? What new industries, customs and cultures will emerge?

In 2019, we were commissioned by Science Gallery Dublin to explore these questions and speculate on future worlds through the material of plastic. This commission formed part of PLASTIC, a national touring exhibition and Science Gallery Dublin’s first adventure outside of Dublin.

Our brief covers two locations, Drogheda and Limerick. Across each location we will co-create pieces which will be exhibited in Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda and the new gardens of the Hunt Museum, Limerick. With the restrictions around COVID-19 we have also adapted our work to be available online.

This work touches on two important elements which support us on our journey towards regenerative rural futures:

    1. Collaboration which comes in many different forms. By co-designing our exhibition pieces we are actively involving participants in the creative process and bringing complex questions about sustainability forward in a playful and interactive way.
    2. Visioning is a process that encourages us to think about the sustainable, long-term futures we want to transition towards. By collectively engaging in this process we can step out of the muddy problems of the present and consider futures that we can all agree on.

Overconsumption of plastics, climate breakdown and biodiversity loss suggest that the coming decades will be turbulent and subject to great upheaval. This comes at a time of significant advancements in technology, a resurgence in the space race, and improvements in public health increasing life expectancy for those wealthy enough to afford it.

The contradictions of this age tend to overwhelm and distort our thinking. Futures-thinking through scenario development and prototyping allows us to envisage new worlds and anticipate the possible outcomes of these dramatic changes – both positive and negative, nurturing and destructive.

Co-creation workshops Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda & Temple Bar Studios, Dublin

A Giant Leap offered a window into a near-future Drogheda. A scenario where people can see, listen to and interact with artefacts from a snapshot in time that hasn’t happened yet. A future conceptualised and designed through a place-based co-creation process, historical research and stories of people’s lived experience and tacit knowledge of past and present day Drogheda.

It’s 2069, and we have continued on a growth-fuelled business-as-usual trajectory. Drogheda has accelerated from being a post-pandemic wasteland to an independent city state and host to Europe’s largest space port. A provincial breakthrough in recycling technology has attracted a booming space economy driven by an ever-increasing reliance on the plastic industry. An influx of visitors and a rapidly growing population has created a melting pot of new cultures, belief systems and politics in this nascent city state.

In 2069, the city of Drogheda has prospered as the home of Ireland’s first spaceport and the world renowned guild of polymer technologies. Destiny Corporations ‘BeInfinite’ life extension programme is at its infancy.

Eleanor – Pioneer 001, the first transcendence candidate – has just completed phase one of her life extension journey.

This immersive installation invites you to step into Eleanor’s world and experience her story through uploaded memory fragments.

What has compelled Eleanor to take this giant leap of techno-faith and transcend the limitations of humanity?


“We worked with Heather Griffin & Patrick Mulvihill for one of our most impactful projects of recent years: CO-CREATING CHANGE, an initiative that paired our exhibition PLASTIC’s national tour with local co-creation workshops led by artists. In Drogheda, Heather and Patrick led a two-day workshop with local members of the community, exploring a brief history of the origins of plastic, the dawn of consumption and our global obsession with this cheap material. These talks inspired a journey of co-creation as Patrick and Heather co-designed a brand-new exhibit, called A Giant Leap, with workshop participants. This imagined future world became part of PLASTIC’s exhibition in Highlanes Gallery, inspiring a new audience to interrogate their own everyday relationship with sustainability and the pitfalls of throwaway culture. This impactful exhibit aside, Patrick and Heather also worked with us to document the process online, creating blogs and videos to enhance the experience for our audience – and in so doing, reaching even more with their messaging and sparking imaginations across our global audience. We at Science Gallery Dublin are extremely grateful to Heather and Patrick, and thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with them on such an important project. “

– Niamh O’Doherty, Head of Marketing & Communications, Science Gallery Dublin

Listen to Eleanor’s full story below, or search for “A Giant Leap” on your favourite podcast app.


  • Artists – Heather Griffin & Patrick Mulvihill
  • Video Production – Heather Griffin & Patrick Mulvihill
  • Model Maker – Ciarán Bonner
  • 3D Sculptor – Julian King
  • Set Constructor – Eamon Griffin
  • Model – Amy Griffin


  • Written & Directed – Heather Griffin & Patrick Mulvihill
  • Music Composition – Heather Griffin & Patrick Mulvihill
  • Sound Design – Heather Griffin & Patrick Mulvihill
  • Aoife – Amy Griffin
  • Eleanor – Heather Griffin
  • Husband – Jack O’Shea
  • Newscaster – Tommy Griffin
  • Preacher Daniels – Patrick Mulvihill

With special thanks to Science Gallery Dublin, Highlanes Gallery, Phil Smyth, Bill Mulvihill, Mary Mulvihill, Rose Griffin, Tara Mulvihill, John McCartan & all the Drogheda workshop participants.