Ten lesser-known female models of Woman Made



Woman Made by architect Jane Hall celebrates the work of over 200 creative women from the last century. The author chooses 10 articles designed by lesser-known women from the book.


Illustrated with images of objects made by female designers including Zaha Hadid and Ray Eames, Hall’s book traces 100 years of work using a simple AZ structure that focuses on one product by designer.

The book serves as an encyclopedia of household items made by women. According to Hall, the book aims to “trace how the roles of women have changed during the 20th and 21st centuries.”

Woman Made: Great Women Designers includes designers from over 50 countries around the world and with products made by both household names and lesser-known women.

“I wanted him to go as far as possible in a way that a lot of other books of this ilk don’t really offer or really try to do,” Hall told Dezeen.

“A lot of times these stories can end up being a bit one-sided, or just create a well-known women’s story that already exists, so hopefully there will be quite a few surprises in this book,” the designer said. .

Hall is co-founder of the Turner Prize-winning architecture studio Assemble. Below, she picks 10 projects by women designers from her book, most of which she says are relatively unknown.


Elio light, 2020, by Utharaa Zacharias
Photo by Soft Geometry

Elio light, 2020, by Utharaa Zacharias

Originally from Kochi in southern India, co-founder of Soft Geometry, Utharaa Zacharias moved to New Delhi to study product design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, where she met the co- founder, Palaash Chaudhary.

“Describing New Delhi as” full of inspiration, materials, tools and ingenuity, “Zacharias and Chaudhary went on to study furniture design at Savannah College of Art and Design in the US Elio Light was inspired by a series of photos capturing the interplay between light and transparency on glass, water, skin and even dust. “


Watering can, 1955, by Hedwig Bollhagen
Photo from hedwig-bollhagen.de

Watering can, 1955, by Hedwig Bollhagen

“At the age of 20, while still a student in a technical high school, Hedwig Bollhagen became the supervisor of an entire ‘painting girls’ department in a ceramic stoneware factory near Berlin.

“Bollhagen created simple and affordable ceramics and in 1934 became the artistic director of a ceramics workshop previously owned by Bauhaus ceramist Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein.

“The ceramic watering can 766 is distinguished by its lack of a handle, but by two ergonomic imprints. Despite her influential heritage, Bollhagen herself described her work as “just pots”. “


Striped fabric, 1964, by Gegia Bronzini
Photo by Archivo Privato Gegia Bronzini

Striped fabric, 1964, by Gegia Bronzini

“Gegia Bronzini, fascinated by the work of Moroccan women farmers in Venice, had the idea of ​​buying a loom and then founded a small weaving school there.

“She began to experiment with color and texture, incorporating unusual materials such as broom hairs and corn husks into natural silk and linen threads.

“The thick silk seen here features bands of horizontal stripes in rich hues. Described in 2020 by Domus magazine as a ‘textile diva’, Bronzini has also designed furniture for renowned Italian designers, including Ico and Luisa Parisi. “


Karelia armchair, 1966, by Liisi Beckman
Photo by Modest Furniture / Arne Jennard

Karelia armchair, 1966, by Liisi Beckman

Finnish designer Liisi Beckmann is somewhat of a mystery. Although she moved to Milan in 1957 and embarked on a successful career in design for Italian design firms, her creations remain mostly invisible, with the exception of the Karelia armchair designed for Zanotta in 1966.

“Its undulating shape of vinyl-covered expanded polyurethane foam is inspired by the coves of Karelia in Finland where Beckmann grew up. Beckmann’s designs from this period are now housed in the Helsinki Design Museum.”


Milo chair, 2018, by Marie Burgos
Design photo by Leva Kaleja

Milo chair, 2018, by Marie Burgos

Marie Burgos’ furniture designs and product line are inspired by her appreciation for mid-century design and the aesthetic of the natural landscape and built environment of the Caribbean island of Martinique, her ancestral home. .

“Certified master of feng shui, Burgos combines opposites, such as clean lines with curves, hard textures with soft textures, to achieve a sense of balance. The Milo chair, for example, combines handcrafted wooden legs with a raspberry-colored velvet cover; its plush and curvy shape suggests a hug. “


Componibili modular storage system, 1967, by Anna Castelli Ferrieri
Photo by Kartell US

Componibili modular storage system, 1967, by Anna Castelli Ferrieri

“Anna Castelli Ferrieri was strongly influenced by European architectural circles; she helped organize the meeting of the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM) 1949 and edited the architecture and product design magazine Casabella.

“She started working for post-war Italian neo-rationalist Franco Albini, whom she called her ‘maestro’, and her partner, Franca Helg.

“She was the first woman to earn a degree in architecture from Politecnico di Milano and founded the plastic furniture manufacturing company Kartell. Many of her designs are still in production, including the popular Componibili modular storage system. “


Dune Collection, 2017, by Lisa Ertel
Photo by Eliseu Cavalcante

Dune Collection, 2017, by Lisa Ertel

The Dune collection, described by designer Lisa Ertel as an archaic family of seating, is crafted from solid spruce wood, sandblasted to create a textured surface highlighting the grain of the wood. This transforms the annual rings of a tree that reveals its age in a tactile surface.

“The German-born designer based the Dune shapes on the traditional German Ruhsteine, stone benches placed by the roadsides where travelers historically stopped to rest and was designed while Ertel was still studying product design at the State College of Design Center for Art and Media. “


Kenny Dining Table, 2018, by Egg Collective
Photo by Hannah Whitaker

Kenny Dining Table, 2018, by Egg Collective

Egg Collective began with informal weekly dinners between its three founders, Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis and Hillary Petrie. The trio chose the name Egg Collective to symbolize the group’s creative design incubation while also referencing a shape. natural sculptural.

“All of their woodwork is fabricated, finished and assembled in-house at their New York base.

“Basic designs like the Kenny Dining Table establish confident shapes that are then reiterated using a variety of materials, such as the walnut top and base seen here. The group frequently promotes the work of women in industry, as organizers of the Designing Women exhibition for the non-profit arts organization NYCxDESIGN. “


Counter stool, 1970s, by Cleo Baldon
Photo for Blend Interiors

Counter stool, 1970s, by Cleo Baldon

“Cleo Baldon already owned a successful landscaping company, Galper-Baldon Associates, before founding a sister company, Terra, to make furniture to accompany some of the 3,000 swimming pools that she herself designed in southern California.

“Baldon took inspiration from the ubiquitous Spanish Colonial motifs of Los Angeles, combining natural wrought wood and leather upholstery, as seen in these typical counter stools.”


Concordia chair, 2003, by Mira Nakashima
Photo by George Nakashima Carpenters

Concordia chair, 2003, by Mira Nakashima

“Mira Nakashima’s pieces celebrate the knots and peculiarities of wood, reflecting the saying of her father, George Nakashima, that there is a perfect and singular piece of wood for every design. Nakashima inherited the carpentry studio from her father in 1990 after studying architecture in Tokyo.

“His approach introduced more angles and curves into the work of Nakashima Studios, which continues to be based on his father’s craft traditions with the richness and texture of wood still very much present. The Concordia walnut chair was created for a group of local chamber musicians. “

Images are courtesy of Phaidon.


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