Throughout the 20th century, interior, furniture, and object design has been a male-dominated industry. This is despite the significant contributions made by female designers, such as Ray Eames, Zaha Hadid, and Florence Knoll. Many contemporary female designers are continuing to lead the way and shape our modern design history.
We’ve highlighted these 12 exceptional female designers who are steadily climbing their way to the top of the field with unique and collectible designs!
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Hayden Richer is a Ceramic Artist currently based in Detroit, Michigan. After earning her BFA in Crafts with a focus in Ceramics from the College for Creative Studies and her MFA in Ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Richer’s works focus on the mundane and monotonous builds of weight and weathering.
"Hand-built out of clay, fired, and coated in Hydrocal, the Solid Fluid Spackle Stool is finished and frozen along its lifespan by a sweeping application of hydrocal. The surface application freezes the form’s development into a calcified land-like marker as a solidified part of the domestic landscape it resides in."
Laurène Guarneri is a designer based in Paris. Graduated with a master's degree from Ensapc (Fine Arts of Paris/Cergy), she decided to work mainly with glass and mirror. She creates her mirror brand at the end of 2018. All of her pieces are inspired by the fleeting and poetic moments of everyday life. She designs and realizes her creations in her atelier in the Orfevrerie - Saint-Denis.
""11h20" mirror and "Lundi Soir" mirror takes its inspiration from the aesthetics of rain and puddles. Fleeting moments that tend to disappear, which freeze here on the mirror to allow contemplation and make this moment exist a little longer in other places and other times."
Founded in 2018 by Irish designer Eimear Ryan, Argot is a creative design studio based in Paris with a focus on the exploration of spaces and the objects that fit within them. Realising these concepts until now via the ‘Phelim series’ of solid wood modular furniture, Eimear principally works with her father who makes the oak pieces by hand in Ireland. Her objects include ‘Argot vases’ 3D printed in renewable biomass developed and printed in Paris. Past works include projects in art direction, spacial design & scenography.
"The Modular sculpture, designed and 3D printed in Paris, France. This piece is drawn by hand and then 3-D modelled and further refined with 3D printing technology in mind. It is then printed using PLA a 100 % biodegradable and renewable biomass-derived from corn. The pieces fit together to form the sculpture but are designed to work individually or in various combinations decided by the user."
Fi it is an architectural design studio based in Panama with a focus on small scale furniture and complementary elements to the architecture.
The ideology of the study starts from the concept of human design, which promotes work in detail and the integral design of things. Sofía Alvarado, architect and founder of Fi, is the creative designer behind the brand - studio and dedicates her work to taking care of the detail and the human quality of her pieces, through functional design and procuring the best workforce to carry out production.
"Recognize that human labor is invaluable and that it can reach perfection; That's why we believe and apply human warmth and love of work. The use of traditional and contemporary methods of making and design, classic and innovative materials, together with the integral design allows us to enjoy each piece, a fine product, result and a rewarding production process."
Ana Volante is a Venezuelan designer specialized in interior environments, product design and art proposals. She completed her studies at the Instituto de Diseno de Caracas and the moved to Milano to upscale her knowledge. In 2005 she returned to her native country to work for several architectural firms until presenting her own Studio.
"The Moon Collection is my first furniture collection inspired by the brutalism movement, evoking raw, geometric, and clean form. My work in wood and metals harkens back to the 60' and '70s with the focus on the circle, in all of its views, angles and sections become the vocabulary to express forms and function."
Karina Sukar is a Lebanese Interior Architect and Designer who juggles both talents with equal enthusiasm. She often brings together both skills, harmoniously combining creative and functional aspects. Karina has a passion for turning the plain into aesthetic and for redesigning vintage objects, mixing materials and finishes in the process and finding inspiration everywhere. Geometrical shapes become a cabinet, raindrops on a pond are a cluster of tables, construction rebars become a wine bar, Venetian blinds turn into a lounging chair and Mondrian’s composition becomes a mirror… all “proudly made in Lebanon.”
" I Believe in creating objects with sense-appeal. An object must speak to us. Applying this concept to interior architecture, our living environment acts upon us. We need to choose how."
You should not only look forward to being in your living space, but also be part of it. Her inspiration while bringing mind to pen is summarized by her motto, “Art Works."
Jeon Ah-Hyun is a Korean designer based on Fine Art. She currently holds a master's degree in furniture design from Hong-Ik University, with two bachelor's degrees in Furniture design and Fine art from Sang-Myung University.
"'Flow Down' aims for comfort from color and atypical shape. Using fluid color paints that are representative material in the painting make furniture with the flowing properties of paint. You can see detail in this stool’s edge as looks like a real as flowing paint."
Jihye Kang is a designer who has focused on furniture and object after studying at Hongik University in Seoul. Jihye Kang's design is to show the various characteristics and potentials of materials more effectively by combining the most basic figures through furniture and object while eschewing special decorative elements.
"Within the purity series, this collection is a combination of acrylic and stainless steel. The pieces fulfill various functions of furniture such as a table, chair, and a partition from the diversified use of stainless steel. The side table shows the changing refraction differently depending on where acrylic and stainless steel meet."
"We create signature rugs, poufs, stools, home accessories, and a limited collection of swings. Our yarns are bespoke, produced from the highest quality cotton and polyester. They are a new, contemporary interpretation of luxury textiles and are designed and developed exclusively by us. Our products are entirely hand knit, creating meticulous and one-of-a-kind furniture."
They work with vast, bold color pallets and designs which convey both emotion and innovation. Their handwork is carried out by women working from their homes and they teach them the skill of crochet knitting and supply work for them.
"We believe in women empowerment and giving back to society. We believe our clients to be intelligent, responsible consumers who appreciate original design and value the story and uniqueness behind each of our products. Our products are luscious, intricate and beautiful. They convey the narrative of their handwork and the story of our brand. An iota piece in your collection tells the story of your taste, your style and your agenda. We are masters of our craft and create perfectly personalized pieces for our clients."
Hansol Lee was born in South Korea. She exhibited at the Seoul Design Festival 2017, Ree-soo gallery and 'Hello New York' 2018 in New York. She designs and makes all her products by herself.
"My brand's name is 'Traum'. It is a German word, meaning 'have a dream'. I want the viewer to look at her furniture without stale thinking, like when you find a table in a furniture store. I don't want to limit the viewer's thinking and feeling in that moment.
'Furniture is not a product but wood's other form'
Lilianna Manahan finished her Foundation Studies in Art and Design at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in 2004 and completed her BFA Industrial design degree at the University of the Philippines. Later on, she worked with Kenneth Cobonpue as part of his research and Design team. In 2012, Lilianna began her own design practice under her own name, Lilianna Manahan. The size of her works and installations run from the minuscule to large-scale. Her work has been described as pieces that pay attention to details, whether in their functional or artistic elements.
Her recent project was a collaboration with glassblowers from the Czech Republic where she designed an array of sculptures and glass vessels. She continues to exhibit, create, and express herself through products, objets d’art, and site specific art installations.
The women featured above are not the only female designers out there, but they are designers that we think you should keep an eye out for, as they continue to push the boundaries of art and design!
Take a look at the plethora of design objects we have in our specially curated design section on The Artling.
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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