Women in Design

Women have made major impacts in the world of design and here are just a few of those impressive women who have made such a difference:

Susan Kare – Improving computers

Susan Kare is one of the great pioneers of digital design. Not only did she develop some of the earliest digital fonts but she also designed the first ever computer icons for Apple – which helped to build a new visual language for global digital-interface design.

In 1982, she joined Apple and start designing graphics, fonts and icons for the newly born Macintosh operating system. She created a system whereby instead of having to type in complicated lines of text commands, users can interact easily with pictogram images, making the operation of the computer much easier.

Florence Knoll Basset – Re-imagining the workspace

Florence Knoll Bassett revolutionized the design of the workplace, while redefining the concept of modernity in the postwar era. A gifted designer, she had a keen eye for colour, shape and space, and a steely determination, which is summed up in her famous maxim, ‘ No compromise, ever’.

She was taught by three leading figures of the European Modernist movement – Breuer, Gropius and Mies van der Rohe – Knoll experienced the best foundation every young architecture student could ever hope for, putting her in a strong position when she began work. The furniture business founded by her husband Hans Knoll, later became known as the Knoll Associates in recognition of their partnership. For an example of her best work, consider owning a replica Florence Knoll Sofa from a site like https://www.pash-classics.com/living/sofas/florence-knoll-sofa

Under the direction of the creative duo, the company established a new level of aesthetic refinement in the American furniture industry. And after the death of her husband in 1955, the company continued under Florence Knoll’s direction.

Crucially, she is a genius of planning space and colours and as a result she pioneered the airy, open ‘Knoll look’ interior scheme that changed the landscape of American corporate offices, and ultimately have an impact on the way offices are designed today.

Zaha Hadid – Breaking the glass ceiling in architecture

 As the first female star architect, Zaha Hadid has had a huge impact on the perceived status of women in design. Her dynamic, radical architectural design and work are an expression of her fiery personality as she dares to challenge the status quo of design and relentlessly pushed the limits of both form and function.

The beginning of her career highlights the difficulties women face in a professional manner in the nature of architecture and design, for despite winning a prestigious architectural competition in 1982, it took nearly a decade to get her first buildings constructed. Thanks to her stubborn determination and exceptional creative talent, she eventually succeeded and did so in spectacular fashion.

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Hadid had a singular creative vision that not only changed the design and landscape of architecture, but showed by example how a woman can conquer the upper echelons of a male-dominated world and do it on her own terms.