The 53 files in this series documents the KDW's role in design education and their efforts to promote higher standards of design in Ireland and internationally, over the period from 1965 to 1988. The documentation is in the form of slides, negatives, photographic prints and transparencies. The items depicted in this collection include slide presentations for miscellaneous KDW clients. Other slide presentations promote KDW's approach to design and KDW's organisational structure and development. Some files in the series contain material produced by other design institutions such as the Council of Industrial Design (CoID). A number of files contain images from KDW overseas research trips to countries who required assistance with furthering their own design education.
This series was not an official KDW archived collection and there are no accompanying records sheets. The similarly themed files were compiled by NIVAL into a series which primarily documents the KDW's role in design education both in Ireland & internationally. Many of the files are quite substantial, one file contains approximately 216 slides for example. In the archiving of some of this material, it was difficult to decipher an exact order to the slides, so researchers are advised to take note of this.
While the Designer Development series illustrates the KDW's role in educating and training young design graduates with the necessary skills for working in industry, this series illustrates the KDW's role in demonstrating the advantages of design to organisations, businesses and Government departments. In order to provide a structure to this series, the files have been divided into three categories; Slide Presentations, Research and Seminars.
The first category is a collection of approximately 30 different slide presentations. Some slide presentations simply depict design projects that were produced by the KDW for their clients, such as the interior designs for an AIB branch in Blackrock, Dublin or a corporate identity project for Bord na Mona. Other slide presentations were used for educational purposes, illustrating key design principles and guidelines. These presentations were most likely shown to individual KDW clients, or larger institutions and Government departments. An example of such a presentation was entitled 'Design and the Economy' which investigated the role of 'Design and State Purchasing'. This was a key concern for the KDW, one annual report states that the KDW Board regarded it as one of its 'most important tasks to demonstrate to Government and to Government departments the advantages which can accrue from the adoption of a design programme'. Another presentation entitled 'The Designer at Kilkenny' illustrates how a designer can improve an individual's everyday surroundings, from designing ergonomic tables to legible bus and train timetables. Some presentations are more general in theme, such as a lecture on 'Colour' which illustrated interior design principles alongside colour combinations and fabric swatches. Other presentations show the logistics and the organisational structure of the KDW, including the history of the workshops, graphic representations of their role in design management, practice and promotion, and also their key objectives as an organisation. One file containing 76 slides depicts the logo development for 'Kilkenny Consultancy', 'Kilkenny Design', and the 'Kilkenny Shop' which was most likely initiated during the early 1980s when the KDW's organisational structure was evolving.
The second category of files are based on research undertaken by the KDW. The purpose of some research projects are not evident while some are more self-explanatory – all were most likely used as educational aids for seminars and lectures in Ireland. Two collections of slides were ordered from the Design Council in England. One of the original boxes bears a label entitled 'What is Design?' and features a series of typographic images illustrating shape, form, size, and strength alongside photographs of everyday street furniture and objects, such as drains, bins, street lights and phone boxes. The second collection bears a label entitled 'Getting ready to design', and depicts miscellaneous photographs of different types of housing, from mud-huts and igloos, to high rise towers and semi-detached houses. A collection of slides from the Novosti Press Agency in the USSR, predominantly depicts 19th and 20th Century etchings and lithographs of the French Revolution and the Soviet Union. Another large collection of slides appears to have been sourced from the archive of the Council of Industrial Design (CoID), each slide bears a handwritten description. The slides depict a wide range of designed objects and design icons such as the 1945 Charles Eames chair, a Mies Van der Rohe chair from 1929, and a poster by Abram Games from 1942. Furniture from the 17th century as well as contemporary objects (from the 1980s) are also included in this collection. Finally, a few files in this series relate to research trips to countries which sought assistance with design education or in setting up a similar government backed design initiative like the KDW. These overseas development trips were in association with DEVCO and the Department of Foreign Affairs, where 'training and briefing programmes were conducted for participants from Sri Lanka, Barbados, Lesotho and the Philippines'. Photographic material from the Philippines trip are recorded in this series, with a focus on their textile and wood based industries. Another trip to Thailand from 1987, which focuses mainly on their ceramics industry is also depicted in this series.
The third category within the design education series looks primarily at seminars and conferences which the KDW hosted or attended. Slides showcasing KDW clients such as Lake Electronics, Arco Kitchens and the Department of Foreign Affairs, were shown at the Kilkenny National Design Management Awards (NDMA) for 1984/1985, and slides from the following years awards are also included. Another file documents a textile seminar organised by Jenny Trigwell circa 1983/84 depicting fashion mood boards with swatches and colour guides. A two week seminar entitled 'Design for the Post Office' took place in August 1974, with 22 designers attending from 5 countries. This seminar was sponsored jointly by the KDW, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs and ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design). Slides depict many casual shots of the participants, as well as prototypes for letterboxes and postboxes, and interior shots of post office facilities. In 1977, Ireland hosted the 10th annual conference of ICSID, referred to as 'ICSID 10' and this series includes 69 slides as well as 150 black and white prints taken at this event and of some of the material that was shown as slide presentations. Approximately 676 delegates from 41 countries attended this conference and the forums and exhibitions that surrounded the event. KDW, along with CTT and the SDI (Society of Designers in Ireland), took an active part in the organisation of this large conference. Finally, a file in this category relates to a seminar entitled Interdesign '72 – Design for Tourism, which incorporates 216 slides in total depicting the seminar event, the people who attended, and tourist locations in Ireland. The theme of this seminar was 'How can a country cater for tourism to benefit both visitor and host, without damaging the environment and character which both want to preserve?'.