- Nancy Perkins Lecture
Recently designer Nancy Perkins, a principal in her own design firm in Chicago and an AWID member, came to speak to us. She showed examples of her work and shared insights about the evolution of her career in design. She also discussed the relative merits of running a one person design office.
Having worked as a product designer for over 15 years, Perkins holds five patents for products that she has designed. She developed contacts over a number of years while doing work for Sears which helped her to branch out on her own.
Perkins suggested a number of opportunities for entrepreneurial design efforts including finding a market for a product before designing it. This approach is radically different from that of designing a product and then trying to sell it. She also believes that marketing is greatly overlooked in design education.
Perkins also commented on changes in product development and modelmaking processes, given the increasing use of stereo-lithography.
Perkins is concerned about the quality of opportunities available to women in industrial design. We enjoyed the chance to learn more about her work and hope she returns to New York soon. She was here in NYC to attend a conference called "Re-visioning Design and Technology: Feminist Perspectives" (November 17, 18, 1995). (See related article.)
Wendy Brawer, IDSA, principal of Modern World Design, AWID
MARCH 7: AWID Symposium
Eccola Ecology: Greening Design
A panel discussion on hot new ecological materials, sources and manufacturers. Get the latest scoop on what's green. The symposium will begin at 6:30 on March 7 at Parsons School of Design, 4th fl. gallery, 2 W. 13 St., New York, NY.
AWID WEB SITE
We are in the process of expanding our page on the world wide web. Our site will have links to a variety of topics including the following:
Newsletter: Current articles and news
Meetings: Current events relevant to women in design
Job Board: Job listings posted by institutions and corporations relevant to our visitors
Resume Bank: Resume listings for industrial designers and members
Hot Chat: A "live" and "taped" forum for continued discussion about issues relevant to women in design
Competitions: A comprehensive call for entries to various design competitions
Library: Listings of books with information on women in design
We're getting E-mail from all over the world. You may contribute to the site if you're an AWID member. If you'd like to put information about yourself and/or your projects, please send us your data. You must be a paid member to be entered on our web site.
Women & Technology Conference
by Lucia DeRespinis, IDSA, AWID
The CUNY conference, "Re-visioning Design and Technology: Feminist Perspectives" brought together a broad spectrum of women whose work and experiences involve aspects of the built environment and its relationship to women today.
Organized by Dr. Joan Rothschild of the Graduate Center's Center for Human Environments, the conference included academics, practitioners and students. After an initial roundtable that posed the question "What are the Visions?", workshops afforded many opportunities for the presentation and exchange of ideas among attendees and presenters.
I moderated the workshop "Producing and Consuming" which included two academic researchers, Danielle Chabaud-Rychter and Anne-Jorunn Berg and two practitioners, Wendy Brawer and Nancy Perkins.
Danielle Chabaud-Rychter of the National Center for Scientific Research, is retained by France's second largest producer of small household appliances. She documented research done in the design of a food processor. The manufacturer, now in the process of redesigning a number of products, recognizes the need for ergonomic research and has actively sought input from women, who form the majority of their customers. Dr. Chabaud-Rychter commented on the absence of women from decision making and creative posts in the design process, a fact that, as I see it, is the result of the arbitrary nature of gender domination.
Anne-Jorunn Berg, from the University of Trondheim in Norway, presented her research on technology and gender, based on interviews with both designers and users of telecommunication appliances. She has tried to integrate new perspectives on gender with the social studies of technology. In Norway and elsewhere, the home is still a traditionally feminine domain; however, it now encounters technology, a primarily masculine domain. Berg believes this meeting presents an opportunity for mutual negotiation and this has been the primary thrust of her research.
New Meeting Place
AWID will now be meeting at Parsons School of Design, 66 Fifth Avenue (at 13th Street) in Manhattan.
We have Laurene Leon, one of the founding members of AWID and a faculty member at Parsons, to thank for setting this up. We're delighted with the centrality of this new location and appreciative of Parsons' support. Our mailing address is still P.O. Box 468, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY. 10011.
- Member's News
Darlene Lee has moved to California! We miss her presence but with the advent of E-mail we can communicate easily. We thank her for her tireless work on helping to keep AWID going. She continues to be an active member from California.
Look for the new Swatch Watch that Laurene Leon's office has designed coming in March.
Erika Doering designed the storefront and interior of Earth General on 8th Ave. between 17th and 18th Streets in NYC.
The store specializes in ecologically-conscious products ranging from consumer products to "green" alternatives to interior flooring, lighting, countertops. Erika was featured in in a NY Times article about the store. (10/19/95)
Send us your news items.
Our publication "Goddess in the Details" has been purchased by designers and design resource libraries and schools in the United States, Canada, Ireland, England, Italy, Spain, Holland, Sweden and more. This is one of the few documents with information on women industrial designers. It is available from us at $9 per copy plus $2 postage in the continental US. Write us at our P.O. Box.
Susan Scior's design for packaging computer disks and CD's in a folded structure of recycled paper was awarded an Industrial Design Excellence Award by the IDSA and Business Week. Called Disk-go,
the product is now carried by a number of stores. In New York, it is available at Jam Paper, Hudson Envelope and the New York Public Library Gift Store. Ellen Lee is the head of the student chapter of IDSA at Pratt Institute. She's been busy with the lecture series and the upcoming IDSA conference for April.
Pay your dues if you want to receive our newsletter, make use of our web site and be able to be listed in Member's News.
$50. Professional Membership
$20. Student or Hardship Membership
Mail your check to:
Association of Women Industrial Designers P.O. Box 468 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY. 10011
- AWID News Editorial Staff