Meet the collective launching an all-female exhibition at New York Design Week
The New York designers Egg Collective are following up their much-lauded female focused design exhibition from last year with a second iteration – ‘Designing Women II: Masters, Mavericks and Mavens’, which opens in at New York Design Week (11-23 May). Still dedicated to the fairer sex, but this time casting a wider net to include both contemporary and historical talents from around the world, the exhibition’s new incarnation will present a diverse range of creative works, spanning ceramics, textiles, jewellery, lighting and furniture at a variety of different scales.
‘We wanted to expand on the conversation that we started with last years show [which] we limited… to female-run design companies operating in New York,’ says Egg Collective’s Crystal Ellis. ‘We thought of [this] show as a conversation across time and space. When selecting the works, we looked for connections between the contemporary and the historical women in the show – whether it be style, material, technique, etc.’
‘It is our intention that this show opens up the design community, and serves as a platform to increase visibility and representation for all women, and minorities, in the design industry and hopefully beyond,’ adds co-founder Hilarie Petrie.
For the occasion, Egg Collective’s founders Petrie, Ellis, plus Stephanie Beamer have joined forces with Kinder Modern’s Lora Appleton to co-curate the exhibition – a natural move since Appleton also founded the Female Design Council last year; a membership organisation dedicated to supporting women in the design industry. Together, the exhibition is set to present an engaging dialogue of how women in design have refined their craft, pioneered trails and achieved success in both past and present.
Appleton says, ‘my expertise in historical design was a strong support to the selection process. I engaged a lot of our gallery partners to contribute stunning historical works and get involved in this show. This was a large goal of mine; if the best galleries in design can see this collection of incredible designers, that just so happen to be women, I could see them adding more women to their design rosters and open up the possibilities for more female designers working with major international galleries. This helps younger designers and less established designers see a path that they can emulate.’
Staged at Egg Collective’s west Soho showroom, ‘Designing Women II’ will bring together works from eight countries and ranging from the late 19th to the 21st century. Some of the show’s highlights include a new dining table from Egg Collective, terracotta pedestals and candleholders from the Tbilisi-based design studio Rooms, chairs from the iconic Danish designer Nanna Ditzel, a lighting collection from the LA-based Kristin Victoria Barron and a historic tapestry from the Swedish-born weaver Lilian Holm.
A console by Mira Nakashima is a particular favourite of Appleton’s. ‘Mira is a prime example of how historical women designers worked to get their craft happening even in time when it was less expected,’ she explains. ‘Being the ‘daughter of’ was a common way some historical female designers began their careers. She was her father’s apprentice for many years and managed all of this with four children and two architecture degrees. Now, that’s inspiring.’