Designing Women: modern-day trailblazers defining the future through design

NGV Designing Women (installation View) - photo by Tom RossHighlighting the dynamic and critical force of female designers in shaping contemporary design culture, the National Gallery of Victoria presents the exhibition, Designing Women, featuring works spanning nearly 40 years, from 1980 to 2018.

Drawn from the NGV Collection, Designing Women will explore lighting, furniture, object and fashion design, together with architecture, textiles and contemporary jewellery. More than sixty diverse works will be showcased alongside new acquisitions, all united by their female authorship.

Designing Women showcases a diverse and broad range of exceptional international and local design produced by some of the most exciting, innovative and dynamic designers of the last forty years,” said Tony Ellwood AM, Director NGV. “Featuring recently acquired works, this exhibition highlights the breadth and richness of the NGV’s Collection.”

Designing Women includes works by fifty designers, from Australian icons such as Elliat Rich and Helen Kontouris to international trailblazers including Zaha Hadid and Neri Oxman. Exploring the themes of leadership, research, teamwork and community, the exhibition emphasises the accelerating opportunity for contemporary women to shape the future in a world increasingly defined by design.

Lee Darroch, a Yorta Yorta, Mutti Mutti, Boon Wurrung artist from Gippsland, is at the forefront of the revival of the sacred cultural practice of possum cloak making in Victorian Aboriginal communities. An NGV commission, Darroch’s 25-pelt possum skin cloak will tell the story of identity, Yorta Yorta Country, and the Dhugula, Kaila and Yalooka rivers, in addition to her compelling family history.

Other exhibition highlights include Genesy Lamp by Zaha Hadid, for Italian lighting design manufacturer Artemide. Almost two metres tall, Genesy Lamp is inspired by the growth patterns of trees within a forest. Zaha Hadid’s use of advanced design and manufacturing technology placed her at the forefront of architectural and design practice for nearly forty years. Her designs are characterised by a beauty that is connected to innovation, future technologies and social progress.

Designing Women will feature Croatian architect and digital researcher Alisa Andrasek’s Bloom (pictured rear) staged as a dynamic installation; a swelling, neon pink structure shaped with coils, rings, spirals and branches.

Designed in collaboration with Chilean architect Jose Sanchez, Bloom was commissioned by the Greater London Authority for a series of events during the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2012. The work is made up of interlocking pieces called ‘cells’, which are used to build a formation that is unique each time the work is displayed, referencing the interaction between people in public spaces.

Designing Women
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Exhibition continues to 24 March 2019
Free admission

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Installation view of Designing Women at NGV International – photo by Tom Ross