About > Kilkenny Design
Kilkenny Design Workshops (KDW) was established in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1963. A semi-state agency, its brief was to promote industrial development through practical design intervention. It brought together a team of top international designers to undertake projects for indigenous industry and also for design dependent international companies attracted to Ireland - such as Apple Computers (industrial design), Fieldcrest (textile design) and Rosenthal (ceramic design). To prompt and enable new product development, KDW also developed retail operations with the Killkenny Shops in Ireland and London.

Many of its initiatives were unique and Kilkenny Design gained an impressive international reputation and following. Deemed to have achieved its objectives, KDW was closed by the government in 1989. Aspects of its operations have since been replicated in many other countries. Many of its former employees are now in key positions in the design world and Ireland has a robust home-grown design industry.

Nick Marchant was Head of Design at KDW between 1975 and 1985 and is co-author of Kilkenny Design - Twenty One Years of Design in Ireland, published by Lund Humphreys, London, 1985.