Carly Fox
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Women in Art & Design

 

Today I attended a lecture entitled "Hidden Women of Design," where one of my UAL teachers, Emily Wood, was speaking. I found the topics discussed by Emily and the other speakers to be quite relevant and of interest to me as a woman entering the field. 

One of the speakers, Rejane del Belo, brought up the question: can you tell when a design has been made by a woman? Most of the time, I don't think I can tell if a designer is male or female based solely on their work, but it doesn't seem to be something that has crossed my mind until now. Should the designer's gender be apparent in his/her work? I think that if a designer is working on a piece related to an issue about which they care deeply, gender identity may play a role, but on other projects that are less personal, it may not be as relevant. Then, when Dr. Cathy Gale urged female designers to "cause trouble" and make themselves seen and heard, I began to wonder, is it important for my gender/identity to show through in my work? Of course there is also the notion of making work that speaks for itself (which I believed to be a good thing), but on second thought may not be ideal. 

It pains me that, as Emily Wood brought to light,  70% of design students are women, but only 40% of graduates working in the design field are women. What happened to this missing 30%? Where did these women go?

A brilliant, satirical piece I saw at Tate dealing with a similar topic of attempting to navigate the art field being a woman in a world run by men.