women and design

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Defiant Jewelry: A Business Model for Challenging Social Injustice
Talk by Amy Peterson, cofounder and CEO, and Patricia Caldwell, production manager, of the Detroit-based jewelry design studio Rebel Nell. Conversation to follow with Cynthia E. Smith, Curator of Socially Responsible Design and curator of the exhibition By the People: Designing a Better America.
Rebel Nell: Designing Against Defiant Odds
Amy Peterson, a Detroit lawyer, envisioned Rebel Nell—an enterprise that creates unique jewelry from scrap pieces of graffiti—after moving next to one of Detroit’s shelters. While walking her dog, she began talking to women she met, and after listening to their stories and challenges, Peterson started a social enterprise with a vision to help women...
Making Waves in the Windy City
Though it is frequently lauded as the tallest skyscraper designed by a woman in the world, Chicago’s Aqua Tower is worthy of praise beyond the gender of its architect, Jeanne Gang, a MacArthur fellow and winner of the 2013 National Design Award in Architecture. The key aspects of Gang’s LEED certified design, which explores the...
Flights of Fancy
While interior designer Dorothy Draper is most well-known for baroque interiors featuring hallmarks of large floral patterns, plants, and vibrant colors, she adapted her vision to a range of spaces, including automobile and airplane interiors. This 1957 design for an airplane club area still evokes elements of the Draper fantasy but in a style more...
Dogs of New York
Christina Malman’s 1935 drawing of a woman embracing a dog is both aesthetically  magnetic and brimming with affect.  Using a brush with black ink and white gouache, Malman masterfully utilizes positive and negative space to create simplified forms that are at once sleekly modern and yet familiar.  The figures are depicted in a kind of...
Printing A Name
What is the importance of being able to place a name upon the things we create? Perhaps it gives one the ability to become more than just a faceless member of a crowd, to leave behind a mark of what they have made. Historically, women have often remained nameless with the things they create. This is...
Design Your Life with Ellen Lupton
Ellen Lupton has been Cooper-Hewitt's curator of contemporary design since 1992. Her new book, Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things (St. Martins Press, May 2009), is co-authored with her twin sister Julia. Design Your Life takes an irreverent and realistic look at everything from toasters, bras, and pillows to housekeeping and...