An Leabharlann

'An Leabharlann is' a library at the edge of the ocean, created by the island residency Drop Everything. This computer-generated model of the site and AI-assisted image search tool, allows visitors to explore this unique construction and collection.

'An Leabharlann' is a functioning library and piece of micro-architecture situated on the seafront of Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, just off the west coast of Ireland. The structure is formed from modular rectangular prisms stacked at offset angles. Designer Harrison Gardner was inspired by the traditional building techniques on the island. The landscape of Inis Oírr features characteristic dry-stacked stone walls, dividing the island into hundreds of grazing and growing fields. The island has 265 inhabitants and is the site of the Biennial art, design and cultural residency Drop Everything.

The construction of An Leabharlann is rendered here as an interactive model, through which users can explore the landscape and a digital archive of the collection. The collection looks at the theme of resonance through language, place and the research interests of Drop Everything participants across art and design practices.

This modular library held the Drop Everything collection of books, zines and other publications which relates to disciplines and areas of research of the participant artists. A central element of the collection concerns islands, in terms of sea travel, geography, folklore and fiction.

Drop Everything is a week-long multidisciplinary residency focusing on contemporary culture. It brings together national and international participants from a cross section of the creative industries, including architecture, design, fashion, music, visual art and food. It culminates in a weekend of showcases, performances and lectures, inspired by and adapted to the local geography and culture. It was founded by Mary Nally in 2012 and takes place every two years on Inis Oírr.

For the London Design Biennale, Drop Everything is presenting the results of collaboration between residency participants working across design, construction, research and creative technology, bringing their remote island residency project to a global audience.


Structure Design

Harrison Gardner

CGI Design

Nicholas Delap

Interface Design


Visual Identity

DR.ME Studio


Mary Nally

Research Team

Cóilín O’Connell, Robyn Deane, Dion Doherty, Alice Quinn Banville, Aisling McGuinness, Iseult Murphy

Supporting Body

Culture Ireland

2021 Exhibitors