Women Designing

Introduction

In July 1994, Seddon and Worden were invited to present a joint paper, reflecting on the findings of their research for the exhibition, at the 2nd European Feminist Research Conference, held at Graz University of Technology, Austria, with the theme ‘Feminist Perspectives on Technology, Work and Ecology’. To complement their paper they mounted a small…

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Sadie Speight (1906-1992)

Sadie Speight was born in Lancashire, England and studied architecture at Manchester University. She graduated with first class honours in 1929 and was elected an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1930. She gained her Masters degree in 1933. In 1935 Sadie Speight married Leslie (later Sir Leslie) Martin, who had been…

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The ‘British Art in Industry’ Exhibition, 1935

This exhibition was jointly organised by the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of Arts. It followed exhibitions of similar intentions, notably the Dorland Hall exhibitions of 1933 and 1934. Unlike earlier exhibitions, exhibitors did not have to pay for space. In all 2,223 items were displayed. For the Modern Movement inspired critics, like Herbert…

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Muriel Rose and the Little Gallery

In 1928 Muriel Rose set up in the Little Gallery, after acting as assistant to Dorothy Hutton in her Three Shields Gallery. Both galleries were part of a loose network of retail outlets for craftwork, mainly in London, during the interwar period. All were run by women. Other examples included Ethel Mairet’s The New Handworkers…

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The Electrical Association for Women

The Electrical Assocation for Women (EAW) was founded in 1924 and grew out of the work of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), which had been founded in 1919. The early members of the WES included the young women engineers, Rachel Parsons, Caroline Haslett and Verena Holmes, and Society women such as Lady Parsons and Margaret,…

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Elizabeth Denby and Dorothy Braddell

Elizabeth Denby studied Social Sciences at University and through this became interested in housing. In 1932 she organised the first ‘New Homes for Old’ exhibit at the Building Trades Exhibition at Olympia and London. Between 1934 and 1935 she held a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in order to investigate low-cost housing in Europe. Denby met the…

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Alison Settle (1891-1980)

Alison Settle was editor of British ‘Vogue’ from 1929 to 1936. In 1937 she joined the ‘Observer’ newspaper as fashion editor. She was also a member of the Council for Art and Industry and worked as a design consultant. Her journalistic career started in 1910 when she began work for the ‘Sunday Pictorial’. She worked for…

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Beatrice Warde (1900-1969)

Beatrice Warde was born in America. Her father was a composer and gifted music teacher. Her mother, Mary Lamberton Becker ran a lively column of advice and started the first weekly children’s page in the New York Herald Tribune. Warde inherited her father’s ‘vocal’ communication skills and her mother’s professional writing skills. At school Warde had…

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Edith Tudor Hart (1908-1973)

Edith Suschitzky was born in Vienna. At secondary shcool she was involved in the organisation od socialist students. She wished to become a kindergarten teacher and trained in the Montessori method in schools in Vienna and London. In 1929 Suschitzky went to study photography at the Bauhaus, under the tuition of Walter Peterhans. On her…

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Marianne Straub (1909-1994)

Marianne Straub was born in Amriswil, Switzerland. Treatment for tuberculosis meant that she spent much of her childhood in hospital, drawing, modelling with plasticine and, later, using a small loom. In 1928 she gained a place at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich to study weaving. There she was taught handweaving techniques by Heinz Otto Hurlimann, who…

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