Where are the women?

Women in Design Event – May 2017

Speakers at this year’s Women in Design event from left to right: Cathy Lockhardt (UTS), Sabina Popin (Meld Studios), Tanya Rechberger (King Living), Jemima Woo (NSW State Library / Woo ceramics) and Sarah Gibson (DesignByThem)

Dorte attended this year’s Women in Design event presented by the University of Technology (UTS) in conjunction with the NSW Design Institute of Australia and hosted by DesignByThem in their Chippendale showroom. This annual event provides a relaxed opportunity for women with foundations in industrial design to celebrate and share their career journey, experiences and insights into the contemporary practice of industrial design.

This year’s speakers were Cathy Lockhardt (UTS), Sarah Gibson (DesignByThem), Sabina Popin (Meld Studios), Tanya Rechberger (King Living) and Jemima Woo (State Library of NSW / Woo Ceramics). The women shared a variety of perspectives and experiences spanning service design, furniture design, exhibition design and design education. While the sectors in which they practiced may have differed, the take home messages were all very similar. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • You often learn more from your failures than your successes and sometimes what feels like failure (missing out on a job or getting fired) opens the door to bigger and better things.
  • Embrace every opportunity, try new things and experiment with design until you find where your natural interests and skills find the best fit.
  • Make things! Designers are creative people and we need to stay true to ourselves and keep the passion alive. So do what inspires you – paint, sculpt, sew…
  • Persevere – realising creativity is mostly about perseverance!
  • To get the best design outcomes we need to connect with others (colleagues, users, dissenters), collaborate and share ideas and information.
  • And finally, remember to say thank-you to your supporters (financial, press, private) and manufacturing partners. A little recognition goes a long way!

The evening certainly reaffirmed what a diverse discipline industrial design is and what amazing projects we have the opportunity to be part of. We look forward to further connecting with, collaborating and sharing experiences with our design colleagues.

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Dorte Bell

Dorte brings over 10 years of design research, product design, design management and user centred design to Scintilla and has worked in a variety of industries including public sector, children’s products, gaming, medical, consumer, safety and technical market sectors. Dorte strives to place people at the heart of any design in order to create meaningful experiences that delight and encourage ongoing engagement. Underpinning her design approach is a strong research philosophy to truly understand the user and their context in order to reveal insights that drive sustainable solutions. Dorte also tutors design students at UTS.