Design × Female Building Power
with Vera Sacchetti & Mindy Seu, moderated by Anna Luyten
The significant rise in the visibility of women in the world of design today is undeniable. But as design critic Alice Rawsthorn very articulately summed it up, “We need to build on [these achievements] with a dynamic and critical discourse… While many skirmishes have been won, others await.”
Many women designers have been pushing the boundaries of their discipline and made crucial contributions towards redefining the meaning of design as such. Demonstrating how feminist discourse questions patterns of authorship, education, and recognition in design. Questioning who writes history and whose histories are told. Designer Mindy Seu reimagines the history of the internet from a feminist perspective and design critic Vera Sacchetti addresses design and gender politics in the format of texts, exhibitions and talks. Both aiming to bring women in and around design to the fore, advocating for their visibility to become a permanent condition.
Vera Sacchetti (Lisbon, 1983) is a Basel-based design critic and curator. She specializes in contemporary design and architecture and serves in a variety of curatorial, research and editorial roles. She is currently program coordinator of the multidisciplinary research initiative Driving the Human: Seven Prototypes for Eco-social Renewal (2020-2023), and co-initiator of the Design and Democracy platform (2020–). Sacchetti teaches at HEAD Geneva, and in 2020 joined the Federal Design Commission of Switzerland. Together with Matylda Krzykowski she also initiated Foreign Legion, a curatorial initiative focusing amongst others on design and gender politics. They curated the exhibition Add to the Cake: Transforming the rules of female practitioners (2019) and the symposium A Woman’s Work (2019).
(California, 1991) is a designer and technologist based in New York City. Her expanded practice involves archival projects, techno-critical writing, performative lectures, design commissions,
sharing—typically in the form of lists and spreadsheets—and close collaborations. Her latest writing surveys historical precursors of the metaverse and reveals the materiality of the internet. Mindy’s ongoing Cyberfeminism Index, which gathers three decades of online activism and net art, was commissioned by Rhizome and presented at the New Museum in its online form, and its print form is a recipient of a Graham Foundation Grant. She is currently Assistant Professor at Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts and Critic at Yale School of Art.
Design x Female Building Power is part of the curated lecture series Design Dialogues organised by the Design Department of KASK & Conservatorium and Design Museum Gent. Distinctive voices from the broad field of design are invited to reflect on the role and future of design in a changing world. Each lecture is a critical dialogue around a theme and concludes with an open discussion between the speakers and the audience. Our mission remains unchanged: to provide engaging perspectives that could help us meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.