women who design

The March 8 is the day to march for women right and the day for stand up against patriarchy, but that’s just one day. The left 364 days we are usually fighting against ourselves and the fact that we are no perfect as it supposed to do. i guess it’s ok not to be good at everything, but i used to think i’d like it.

Last month i was particulary focused in drawing iconic objects of design that are common in our lives, you know, famous furniture and chairs and so on, cause i really like design applied to daily stuff. Then i realized that not a single of those objects i drawn were designed by women….and i drawn a lot. Damn! That’s me doing that crappy thing to make a “top 10 list” without any women in there! I hate it, i thought that i could bring out the listings and start again doing a proper feminist thing. And then i started a whole research about my favorite design objects, trying to know who designed all that stuff, how many designers were women and trying to figure out why on earth i’ve never heard about them before. It take me a really long time, but i enjoyed it as well.

I’ve started with Ray Eames (lots of people thing that they were brothers or something, two men I mean). How it’s possible to distingish who have the very first idea about their famous chairs and other objects? I finally found some sketches from Ray that shows her first attempt to catch the idea for the LCW Plywood chair. That was good. I thought I’ve got it. She did that chair, problem solved!

But what about the design team of Le Coubusier (man), Perriand (woman) en Jeanneret (man)? The hiper famous chaise longe was a result of their effort to bring out an idea that is clerarly based on Le Corbusier rules. And he was deeply involved on design process. So, how to do that? Does it count in women’s designs “top 10 list”?

And after find several cases in which a duo (man and woman) where designing togheter (very often in the mid century modern design, they were married), i’ve decided that the next time I talk about Eames’ chairs I would do that saying Ray and Charles Eames (cause i’m sure they don’t do it for an alphabetical reason). I’ll be free to say that the LC4 Chaise longe was designed by Perriand, Jeanneret and Le Corbusier, instead of Le Corbusier chaise longue. That should be enough to catch the attention to the team, to the women, instead of one single white man.

I like Charles Eames and Le Corbusier, of course, they did it well, but they are famous enough to step aside and let people and very young women to discover Aino Marsio (married to Alvar Aalto), Nanna Ditzel, Grete Jalk, Eileen Gray and a long list…and being honest, I met only a few that cares about who designed a chair.

So, here’s an illustration about design objects that i really love and i didn’t realize that were designed by women. Now that i know that, i’ll do my best to politely spread the word in every conversation i could! Cause this kind of things matter the whole year.