March is Women’s History Month, and we want to join the celebration by talking about some women who have inspired us over the years.
For centuries, women have been banned from history and books. In this little corner, we want to honour women that have made an impact in the world and influenced us in both our personal and professional lives.
Women that not everyone knows and we think deserve to be studied.
1. Eileen Gray
The revolutionary Eileen Gray was among the first women to gain international recognition as a product designer. Born in Ireland, she worked closely with Le Corbusier, leaving a legacy both in furniture design and modern architecture. Her most famous piece of work is the E-1027 House, a Villa on the French Riviera that she designed and furnished with fully customized pieces.
“To create, one must first question everything.”
2. Wangari Maathai
Wangari Maathai Is a tireless biologist, ecologist and political activist who united ecology and sustainable development with democracy, human rights and women empowerment.
Founder of the Green Belt Movement – an environmental organisation that empowers communities in Kenya, especially women – to replant trees. In 2004, her work led her to become the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to protect the environment.
“If you destroy the forest then the river will stop flowing, the rains will become irregular, the crops will fail and you will die of hunger and starvation.”
3. Laurie Spiegel
Laurie Spiegel is an American composer, guitar and lute player. She is a pioneer of electronic music, and the use of technology in music. In 1971, she developed a ground-breaking algorithmic composition software, Music Mouse, that turned the Mac itself into a musical instrument. She aims to use technology in music, as a means of furthering her art rather than as an end in itself.
“I automate whatever can be automated to be freer to focus on those aspects of music that can’t be automated. The challenge is to figure out which is which.“
4. Susan Kare
Susan Kare Is a graphic designer who created many of the icons, typographies and other graphic elements for the Apple Macintosh. She is also known as “The Woman who gave Macintosh a smile” because she designed the original “Finder icon” to humanize the Macintosh making it more friendly.
5. Gae Aulenti
Gae Aulenti was an Italian architect, lighting and furniture designer, and a provoking theoretician. She always tried to draw the real soul of spaces without making any compromises with functionality and aesthetics: she believed that the space and its inhabitants should inform the design around them. Amongst her most famous works: the Musée d’Orsay’s interior design, Cadorna square in Milan, the iconic Pipistrello lamp and Tavolo con Ruote.
“I aim to create furniture that appears in a room as buildings on a skyline and reminds the viewer of the interaction between objects of design and architectural space.”
6. Yayoi Kusama
The legendary Yayoi Kusama is a prominent Japanese avant-garde artist, self-described as an “obsessional artist”. She is known for her extensive use of polka dots and infinity installations. She began painting as a child, as a way to cope with a traumatic childhood and after experiencing a series of hallucinations, that involved flashes of lights, and dense fields of dots. Kusama’s intensive artistic production has been both a symptom and a cure of her path along with mental illness. Her works are meant to immerse the whole person into her accumulations, obsessions, and repetitions, sharing her intrusive thoughts with the viewer.
7. Daphne Oram
She was one of the earliest composers to produce music out of electronic sounds, pioneer of musique concrète in the UK. At the age of 20, she started working at the BBC as a sound engineer. She was the co-founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, creating soundtracks for popular programmes such as Doctor Who.
Having left the BBC, Oram was keen to continue more open experimentation with sound. She did so at her home, which turned up into her personal studio, where she developed an awarded drawn sound project: The Oramics Machine.
8. Shirin Neshat
Shirin Neshat is a Contemporary Iranian artist and film director, her work consists of photographs, videos and movies that talk about women and their relationship with the religion and cultural values in her native country. She left her country to study Arts in the USA when she was 17 years old, but she couldn’t come back to her native country in 16 years due to different revolutions. When she came back she found a completely different country, a black-and-white country that shocked her, and that became the trigger for the social and political background of her creations.