Kilkenny Design Workshops (KDW) is back in the picture once again, in a new iPad app which has been designed and developed in its former studios in Castle Yard, Kilkenny.

The story of KDW is told within the new app with rich interactive elements and recent audio clips from KDW alumni as well as photographs from the era, beautiful archival film footage and design content, some of which have just been made public for the first time. Users can explore the studios through embedded archive film, tap to absorb the sights and sounds of the workshops in operation, listen to packaging designer Holger Strøm explain the concept for his iconic IQlight® and swipe through 1960’s KDW retail brochures or zoom in to see the former Ormonde Stable buildings and panorama of adjoining Butler House Gardens.

The KDW app features television interviews with William H.Walsh, the visionary KDW founder and recordings of Åke Huldt, who was part of the invited Scandinavian group to audit design in Ireland in 1961, which later published the critical report commonly referred to as the ‘Scandinavian Report’. Users curious about the contents can read and tab through their findings in the complete ‘Design in Ireland’ Report within the app.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and a director of Irish Design 2015 said: “We are delighted to present this visually rich and informative KDW app in partnership with the Heritage Council. The KDW app is a digital resource designed to engage people in an accessible and interactive way about the work of KDW and its impact on design in Ireland. It is particularly timely that we are launching this app in the year that celebrates Irish design both at home and internationally through Irish Design 2015. We hope the app content encourages people both nationally and globally to find out more about the heritage of Irish design, the Kilkenny Design Workshops and how good design can be instrumental in a country’s economic success.

Features within the KDW app include:

  • Artist in residence Oisín Kelly’s humorous and insightful lecture on artistic creativity
  • 50 year old archive footage originally broadcast on KDKA TV in the USA
  • Recently recorded recollections of KDW alumni as they recall their time at the workshops
  • The 1965 master plan drawing for the original proposed studios at KDW
  • Images of iconic products and family archive photos
  • The full ‘Design in Ireland’ Report,1961
  • KDW San Francisco & Kilkenny Shop retail brochures from the 1960s
  • ‘Did you know?’ facts about KDW
  • Snippets from RTÉ TV’s Anthology ‘Designed in Kilkenny’ 1969 programme
  • KDW’s international reach with selected global listings in a map format

While using the app over the weekend I was amazed to see so many interesting facts about KDW in the “Did You Know’ section!

The KDW logo was designed by Louis le Brocquy.


The now iconic Telecom Éireann logo was designed at KDW by Peter Dibinett



In the 1980’s KDW designed toilet paper dispensers for Nokia.

The app is a joy to use on the iPad, the layout and transition from each area is superb and all for free!!

The KDW app has been part funded by the Heritage Council Management Grant 2014 and by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. The KDW app was designed and developed in Castle Yard, Kilkenny by Red Lemonade Creative, with content developed by Ruth Mulhern and produced by DCCoI.

The KDW iPad App is available to view in the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny and visitors are invited to browse the app and enjoy the interactive elements.

For further information, please visit or download the iPad app on the App Store.

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