16 Women Pushing Design Forward in the United States

Posted by: Kevin Coyle

This post was curated from an article written by Alexxa Gotthardt for

Design is everywhere. It’s embedded in the screens we tap, the chairs we sit on, and the systems that pump clean water into our communities.

Across the American design landscape, innovators are creating new furniture, products, graphics, and exhibitions every day; educators are cultivating the next generation of designers; and writers and thinkers are guiding contemporary discourse in the field.

But even today, in a world that is striving for gender equity, it remains difficult for women to excel in the design world. Recent studies published by the AIA (the national professional association of architects) and AIGA (the professional association for design) reveal that, while design and architecture programs attract female and minority students, “the professions don’t retain them,” explains design critic Alexandra Lange, “and the numbers are particularly small at the leadership level.”

Motivated by these imbalances, we spotlight 16 women who are transcending these statistics and leading progressive change in their fields. From Lindsey Adelman’s biomorphic lighting to Liz Ogbu’s socially engaged design projects to Paola Antonelli’s radical approach to curation and collecting, these creatives are using design to bring beauty and functionality to daily life, to preserve the rich history of their field, and to tackle urgent social issues of our times—including discrimination, women’s rights, and access to clean water.

Click here to see the full list!

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