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The recent centenary of the Votes for Women legislation respectively is a good marker in time to look back at how far women’s rights have come, especially with regards to design practice. In this talk, design historian, Charlotte Fiell and culture writer, Clementine Fiell, who have recently co-authored a major book on the subject, Women in Design – From Aino Aalto to Eva Zeisel, explore the shocking gender imbalance of professional opportunity within the design industry. But more than this they also share the extraordinary stories of women designers, who over the last one hundred years – often against the odds – have succeeded with creativity and female ingenuity to create influential bodies of work within their chosen fields. There's Clara Driscoll who designed Tiffany’s iconic lamps and Dorothy Draper who professionalized interior design. There's Susan Kare who famously developed Apple’s first computer icons and Zaha Hadid who shattered the long-existing architectural glass ceiling. This talk celebrates their pioneering achievements and appraises them within the wider landscape of the feminist movement – both past and present.
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Image: Nova Shoes designed by Zaha Hadid, 2013