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Kenwood exhibition celebrates the design revolution of the kitchen

— April 2012

Associated media

A design classic - the Kenwood Chef Mixer, model A700 (1950s) Image © Kenwood

‘The Art of Design: Kenwood in the Kitchen’ is the new, free exhibition opening on 28 April 2012 at The Lightbox gallery and museum in Woking, Surrey. It will explore the success of the Woking-born company that has transformed the kitchen.

Design pioneer Kenneth Wood co-founded Woodlau Industries in 1947, soon becoming Kenwood Manufacturing in 1948. The company went on to develop iconic and familiar products and appliances that over 65 years have transformed our daily lives. From the A100 Turnover Toaster – the first electric toaster to allow the user to toast both sides without touching the bread, to the Kenwood Chef.  Launched in 1950 and redesigned for Kenwood by Kenneth Grange in the 1960s, the Chef is known internationally for its labour-saving abilities and classic design.

 ‘The Art of Design: Kenwood in the Kitchen’ will bring together products from 1947 to the present day, illustrating evolution of Kenwood design. The exhibition will show how continuous innovation in design and function and advances in technology led to the first food mixer to incorporate an electronic speed control. This innovation made the company a household name, turning over £1.5 million in less than ten years.

Alongside this, the exhibition will explore the impact of Kenwood’s designs on the social and cultural landscape of the late 1950s and 1960s. Personal accounts, vintage advertisements, product reviews and new research will show how Kenwood successfully captured the mood of the time with products that spoke to the post-war boom generation. ‘Kenwood’s ‘magic touch’ Chef makes good eating a pleasure that’s yours for a lifetime!’ claimed one 1950s Kenwood advertisement.

Commenting, Curator Michael Regan says: ‘The Kenwood story of design that has continually embraced innovation whilst appreciating domestic values, has resulted in 65 years of products that are both a commercial success and a joy to use. This exhibition brings Kenwood back to Woking to explore the brand’s tremendous contribution to Britain’s status as a product design pioneer and considers how its revolutionary products have had such a significant impact upon our everyday lives.’

‘The Art of Design: Kenwood in the Kitchen’ will be on show at The Lightbox from 28 April until 24 June 2012, entrance is free (donations welcome). For further information, please visit or call 01483 737800.

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