Design Kilkenny 2023 – global ambition

Tomm Moore (left) and Ross Stewart (right)
Lar Power

Following on from the success of Design Kilkenny 2022, Kilkenny County Council held a second Irish Design Week event on Friday last 17th November. The conference which took place at the Parade Tower at Kilkenny Castle, examined the global impact and continuing influence of the Kilkenny Design Workshops on business, academia and entrepreneurship.

Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart of Cartoon Saloon shared their design process and the evolution story of the three Cartoon Saloon, animated films that make up their Folklore Trilogy – The Secret of Kells (2009), Song of the Sea (2014) and WolfWalkers (2020).

Celebrated Danish designer Holger Strom demonstrated the construction of his iconic IQLight, which he designed during his time at the KDW workshops. Nora Twomey, Co-founder and Creative Director, shared the Cartoon Saloon orgin story , emphasising the importance of their creative process.

Event MC Richard Curran chaired a panel discussion with contribution from Minister of State Malcolm Noonan; Design Historian, Consultant and Senior Lecturer in Design and Visual Culture at IADT, Dublin Dr. Linda King; Senior Lecturer in Design at the TUDublin, School of Art & Design Robert Tully; Co-founder and Creative Director of Cartoon Saloon IFTA winner and Academy Award®, Emmy and Bafta nominee Paul Young and Senior Vice President, Fidelity Investment Aidan Kenny.

Mary V Mullin, Chair of the Sir Misha Black Awards for Distinguished Services to Design Education closed the conference with a visual representation of the numerous locations around the world that have been influenced by – and continue to be influenced by – Kilkenny Design Workshops.

Aileen McGrath, Acting Head of Enterprise in Kilkenny County Council noted “Kilkenny Design Workshops has had a global impact and continues to influence Kilkenny’s global brand today. This event was a wonderful occasion and opportunity for those involved in and and influenced by Kilkenny Design Workshops to meet and examine the very real and live influence of KDW across business, academia and the creative arts today, and to discuss how Kilkenny can play a pivotal role in the future of Design in Ireland”.

Design Week Ireland 2023 is funded by the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment through DCCI.

For more information and gallery from the event visit


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