Influential Women That Shaped Mid-Century Modern Design

Happy International Women’s Day!

In celebration of the strength and resilience of women, let’s take a look at women who have done their part to forge a gender-equal world. This week we will be going through the history books to look at influential female designers and how they have shaped our world.

Florence Knoll

A pioneer of the post-war modern time, Florence sent waves through the male-dominated industry. Her philosophies still shape the way we understand and design spaces today. Known for her holistic approach to office design, she saw interiors through a different lens, blending interior design and architecture. 

Florence was an orphan by the age of 12, and attended a boarding school where her mentors encouraged her to explore her interest in interiors.

She went on to design a long list of staples to modernist interiors, and collaborated with an endless number of designers including Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer & Eero Saarinen. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I feel grateful to you for doing such work in a world where mediocrity is the norm.”

- Charles Eames in conversation with Florence Knoll

 

 

Ray Eames

 

Ray Eames was not one to let her husband stand alone in the limelight. Instead, she worked with him collaboratively to make some of the most groundbreaking pieces that still inspire today. Up until the 70’s many museums were omitting her name from many of their works, but today we know her as the mastermind behind so many of them.

Arguably their most famous piece of work is the Eames House, which used standardized prefabricated parts and was assembled in 16 hours. The Eames Lounge Chair, LCW Chair & DAW Chair are a staple of so many households in the world.

Ray Eames set the male-dominated industry alight with her talents in design, furniture, painting and photography. What’s your favourite Eames piece?

 

"Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely, and to the best of your ability, and that way you might change the world."

- Ray Eames

 

Eileen Gray

Eileen Gray was an innovator in modern design and a highly esteemed architect.  Most notably, her famed work 'E-1027' is a home in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France. 

So many of her pieces are seen in stores today, and so many more are influenced by her distinct style. Her practical and witty sense of humour came into play when designing... Table E1027 was designed so that it was completely adjustable, in order for her sister to comfortably enjoy toast in bed without worrying about the crumbs.

Gray was amid the first group of women to ever be enrolled into the Slade school of fine arts. She opened her first furniture store in the 1920's in Paris, one of the few female-owned stores during the post-war period. 

 

"To create, one must first question everything."
- Eileen Gray