Monday 9 December 2013

Mildred Friedman

Known to many as Mickey, Mildred Friedman served as the editor of Design Quarterly and was the Walker Art Center design curator for much of the ’70s and ’80s. She organized a series of groundbreaking exhibitions, sometimes in collaboration with Martin Friedman, such as Sottsass/Superstudio: Mindscapes (1973); New Learning Spaces and Places (1974); Nelson/Eames/Girard/Propst: The Design Process at Herman Miller (1975); De Stijl, 1917–1931: Visions of Utopia (1982); The Architecture of Frank Gehry (1986), the architect’s first major museum exhibition; Tokyo: Form and Spirit (1986), featuring the work of Japanese designers such as Arata Isozaki, Tadanori Yokoo, Toyo Ito, Tadao Ando, and Eiko Ishioka; Architecture Tomorrow (1988–1991), a series of installations undertaken by Frank Israel, Morphosis, Todd Williams/Billie Tsien, Stanley Saitowitz, Diller+Scofidio, and Steven Holl; and Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History (1989), the first large-scale museum survey of the field in the United States.

Read more here.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

The Riot Grrrl Collection

For the past two decades, young women (and men) have found their way to feminism through Riot Grrrl. Against the backdrop of the culture wars and before the rise of the Internet or desktop publishing, the zine and music culture of the Riot Grrrl movement empowered young women across the country to speak out against sexism and oppression, creating a powerful new force of liberation and unity within and outside of the women's movement. While feminist bands like Bikini Kill and Bratmobile fought for their place in a male-dominated punk scene, their members and fans developed an extensive DIY network of activism and support. The Riot Grrrl Collection reproduces a sampling of the original zines, posters, and printed matter for the first time since their initial distribution in the 1980s and '90s, and includes an original essay by Johanna Fateman and an introduction by Lisa Darms.

Order your copy here

Redressing the Balance: Women in the Art World

‘... of the 134 commercial galleries in London that were audited, which collectively represent 3,163 artists, 31 per cent of the represented artists were women.’

Read the full article by Louisa Elderton here

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Enid Marx

Designer and artist Enid Marx’s work can be viewed in the V&A collection. More biographical information can be found on her Wikipedia page or her obituary in The Independent.

Women Designers Conference

Women designers and the popularisation of ‘folk arts’ in Britain 1920–1960.

One day symposium, Compton Verney, Warwickshire
Friday 13 September 2013

This event is a collaboration between Manchester School of Art and Compton Verney in Warwickshire, it examines the problematic relationship that objects of material culture associated with the terms ‘folk art’ and ‘vernacular design’ have within debates about artistic value in British visual culture. It concentrates on the re-emergence of an interest in ‘folk art’, especially amongst women designers, in Britain in the first half of the 20th century, and looks at the way that both 'folk art' and particular types of design activity practiced by women have been omitted from traditional historical narratives of art and design.

The curatorial work and collections of women designers and educators during the early half of the twentieth century is one example of what Ellen Lupton calls the 'intangible contribution' women have made to the field of design. Noteworthy names in this respect are; Enid Marx, Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher, Olive Cook, Peggy Angus, Pearl Binder and Barbara Jones. All were design practitioners and private collectors, who found little interest during their lifetimes from the art establishment in legitimising the work their collections centred around. They nevertheless mounted their own small exhibitions and published books and articles to publicise the works to a wider audience (see Myrone, 2009).

These collector/practitioners took creative and practical inspiration from the objects and images as aesthetic and culturally significant designs, but they also had a professional interest in the way that they had been made. Their collections were useful to the women in their profession as designers as well as ‘experts’ and educators. One of the aims of the event is to interrogate the relationship between the 'discerning eye' of the collector and creative practice.

Compton Verney houses the recently redisplayed Marx-Lambert Collection and a collection of Folk Art paintings and objects, which is the most significant single collection of the vernacular arts in Britain, see

Thursday 6 June 2013

How Many Women Does it Take to Change Wikipedia?

According to the last Wikimedia Foundation editors survey, only nine percent of Wikipedia editors are women, down from 13 percent in 2010.

On 30 March 2012, the Smithsonian Archives hosted “She Blinded Me With Science: Smithsonian Women in Science Edit-a-Thon.” Ten Wikipedians showed up, armed with laptops and ready to tackle the significant dearth of articles on notable female scientists. Smithsonian archivists stood by to help the Wikipedians sort through the Archives’ and Libraries’ resources, both online and offline. Each editor chose a name or two from a list compiled by the archivists and started digging through the records. Many articles had to be started from scratch.

This is a call to all designers out there to organise local Edit-a-Thons.

Read more: or

Monday 13 May 2013

Spare Rib is coming back

Hurray, we recently discovered that Spare Rib is coming back! Read our previous blog post here, or sign up for their newsletter to find out when and where the launch will be. An interview with the relaunch instigator Charlotte Raven can be found on The Guardian website.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Female pioneers of the Bauhaus

Self-portrait by Gertrud Arndt at the Bauhaus in 1926-27

‘Why did a supposedly progressive school turn out to be so misogynistic?’
Alice Rawstorn in the IHT.

Read the full article here

International Gender Design Network

A two-day conference on gender and design

The New School
Thursday 28 – Friday 29 March 2013

Yerim and Her Pink Things from: The Pink & Blue Project (2005)  by JeongMee Yoon

Barbara Nessim: An Artful Life

Check out this exhibition of feminist illustrator Barbara Nessim

Barbara Nessim
15 February – 19 May 2013
V&A Museum, London
Free admission

Watch an interview vimeo with her here

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Women's Audio Archive

Women's Audio Archive is an online collection of audio recordings made by artist Marysia Lewandowska.

'The Women's Audio Archive began as a series of recordings, taped by Lewandowska after leaving her home country in 1984, grown out of an interest in language as a site of cultural displacement. These recordings document public events, seminars, talks, conferences, and private conversations as valuable records of a particular time in discourse, beginning around 1983 until 1990. Lewandowska denotes this period of time as one dominated by academics and artists close to October magazine and by feminist gatherings, including the participating of Judy Chicago, Mary Kelly, Barbara Kruger, Yvonne Rainer, Jo Spences, Nancy Spero, Jane Weinstock, etc.'

Read more about the project here.

Thursday 14 March 2013

Barbara Jones

Go see the exhibit at the Whitechapel gallery in London on Barbara Jones' Black Eyes and Lemonade 1951 exhibition on British popular and traditional arts.