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MIAD students celebrate and honor women in Product Design


When Olivia Paul ’21 (Product Design) looked around Product Design studios at MIAD, she noticed something: all of the posters decorating the studios with inspirational quotes from product designers featured male designers. 

“Industrial [Product] Design is a very male-dominated industry and it’s hard to break into that industry and forge your own path. There’s lots of traditional paths, but for female students, it’s difficult to find people to look up to,” said Paul.  

Through the MIAD Innovation Center, Paul teamed up with Carli Jordan ’21 (Communication Design) and Sophie Yufa ’21 (Communication Design) to create a booklet and a series of posters celebrating and recognizing pioneering women product designers. They called the project “HerStory & the Making.”

“HerStory & the Making is a celebration of eight pioneering female product designers and their stories that have the ability to uplift and inspire a new generation of women in the industry,” said Jordan.

The posters and booklet feature historic and contemporary women designers, including:

  • Eva Zeisel, who is known for defying the odds and her ceramic work.
  • Crystal Windham, the first African American female director in General Motors design history.
  • Chifen Cheng, known for using different methods of design to address social and environmental problems. 

“[The project] hopes to show that women can be product designers, we can overcome adversity and we can make an impact on the world with our work,” said Yufa.

The posters are displayed in the Product Design studios on MIAD’s campus to educate and inspire others. The printed booklets have been distributed to all MIAD Product Design faculty and students, and the incoming fall 2021 class of MIAD Product Design students also will receive a booklet. 


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