The Kilkenny Design Workshops were a revoluntary concept and a thriving creative hub established in the heart of rural Ireland in 1960s. Staffed by bright, young international designers, craftspeople, design graduates and apprentices, the workshopsÃ”Ã‡Ã– remit was to improve design and manufacturing standards in Ireland, which they achieved though their creative output right up until closure in 1988.
Now 50 years since the official opening of Kilkenny Design Workshops, in 2015, a year celebrating Irish design worldwide (ID2015) we look back at the extraordinary legacy KDW has on the Irish design landscape and its worldwide reach. How a government funded design research and development centre of excellence with workshops located in the former stables of Kilkenny Castle sought to raise the standard of Irish design within industry and left a lasting impact.
The story of KDW is recalled with interactive elements; audio clips from KDW alumni, photographs from the era, rich archival film footage and family documents; some of which have just been made public for the first time.