Women at the Forefront of Design

Women at the Forefront of Design

Four of RISD’s many outstanding alumnae are highlighted in an Artsy editorial called 16 Women Pushing Design Forward in the United States.

Released on International Women’s Day (March 8), the piece points out the sad fact that gender equity remains an issue in the design world. “Recent studies published by the AIA and AIGA reveal that, while design and architecture programs attract female and minority students, ‘the professions don’t retain them… and the numbers are particularly small at the leadership level,’” the overview notes.

President Rosanne Somerson 76 ID is among the women leaders included in the Artsy piece, which, in addition to citing her role as president of RISD, references the impact she made in cofounding RISD’s Furniture Design department and her far-reaching influence on “some of contemporary furniture design’s most daring practitioners.”

Lindsey Adelman 96 ID—who heads a team of more than 40 talented makers, many of whom also graduated from RISD—is recognized as “one of the country’s most in-demand lighting designers.”

Graphic designer Jessica Walsh 08 GD (that’s one of her pieces for Appy Fizz at the top), a partner at Sagmeister & Walsh, is cited for being “something of a wunderkind” and for “supporting women in design.”

Through her new initiative Ladies, Wine & Dine, the 30-year-old designer organizes mentorship circles, portfolio reviews and creative meet-ups that she hopes will “offer a chance for women to create positive and healthy connections with each other.”

Artsy applauds Los Angeles-based maker Tanya Aguiñiga MFA 05 FD for responding to “US-Mexico border politics through art and design” and for making socially conscious and progressive work.

“The border is an issue close to my heart, and one that has affected my community historically and more so in this political climate.”
Tanya Aguiniga MFA 05 FD

“The border is an issue close to my heart,” the Mexican-born artist explains, “and one that has affected my community historically, and more so in this political climate.”

work by Aguiñiga commissioned for Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP Pop-Up at the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago (2015)


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