A balanced world is a better world. With the theme of 2019's International Women’s day being ‘balance for better’ - we choose to celebrate great stores to inspire great possibilities. Here are just a few of the women who are inspiring us within the world of design and shaping the way we live today.  

With the world of furniture-design traditionally a male-focused one, iconic designers like Ray Eames, Florence Knoll and Eileen Gray struggled to achieve equal recognition to their male counterparts during their lifetimes. We’ve come a long way since then, but design is still a male-dominated industry. In their 2018 report, the Design Council found that the UK’s design workforce is 78% male and 22% female. This might be a shocking statistic but more optimistically, the Design Council also found that 63% of university students studying creative arts and design are female – showing that the future is bright for women in design.

Join us as we put the spotlight on the female designers shaping the design world today, paving the way for a more balanced future.

Hella Jongerius at work in her design studioHella Jongerius at work in her studio

Portrait of Dutch designer Hella JongeriusWomen in design - Hella Jongerius

Hella Jongerius

A master of colour - Hella Jongerius is a Dutch industrial designer who brings craftsmanship to the mass-produced. Collaborating with leading brands alongside running her own design studio, Jongerius has created future icons such as the Polder sofa and become the lead colour-consultant for iconic furniture brand, Vitra. Discover more about Hella in our 2018 Journal feature.

Eleanor Pritchard in her design studioWomen in design - Eleanor Pritchard. Image credits: Image 1, Image 2

Eleanor Pritchard

A British textile designer with a strong affinity for the aesthetics of Mid-century design, Eleanor Pritchard creates contemporary blankets, throws and cushions. With a design studio based in London and production carried out at weaving mills in Lancashire and Wales, Pritchard has a deep respect for the traditions of British textiles and creates high-quality designs for the modern home.

Portrait of Spanish designer Nani MarquinaWomen in design - Nani Marquina

Nani Marquina

Coming from a family of designers, Nani Marquina was drawn to the world of design from an early age. Founding rug brand nanimarquina in 1987, the Spanish designer is driven by a desire to create innovative and surprising designs for people to enjoy. Celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2017, nanimarquina has gained international recognition for their handcrafted rugs.

Patricia Urquiola in her design studioWomen in design - Patricia Urquiola. Image Credit - Design Best

Patricia Urquiola

Spanish by birth and Italian by choice, Patricia Urquiola is a renowned architect and industrial designer who lives and works in Milan. Graduating under Achille Castiglioni in 1989, she worked for some of the most important Italian Design companies before opening her own studio in 2001. Celebrated with numerous awards throughout her career, Urquiola has been at the creative helm of Cassina since 2015.

Portrait of designers Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren of FrontWomen in design - Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren of Front. Image Credit - Front


Front is a Swedish design group, founded by Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren. First meeting while studying industrial design at the University of Stockholm, the pair work together throughout the entire design process, from the initial idea to the product launch. Designing for brands such as Moooi, Zero and Swedese, their pieces have been exhibited at MoMA, the V&A and the Centre Pompidou. With a playful style, Front’s designs are often surprising and always visually striking; blurring the world between art and interior design.

Vertical 1 Floor Lamp and Mimosa Ceiling Light from Atelier AretiFeatured: Vertical 1 Floor Lamp and the Mimosa Ceiling Light from Atelier Areti. Image credits: 1 - Pinterest, 2- Pinterest. 

Atelier Areti

Founded by two Austrian/French sisters, Gwendolyn and Guillane Kerschbaumer – Atelier Areti is a design studio with a focus on lighting, furniture and accessories. Gwendolyn trained in architecture at Harvard University and worked for some of the world’s leading architects before setting up Atelier Areti with her sister. Guillane has a background in product design, studying in both Paris and London. With a London based studio, the design duo is committed to the idea of sustainability through quality – crafting products that last, in material and the quality of design.

Feeling inspired? Share your favourite female designers with us by tagging us @nest_co_uk on Instagram or Twitter. Browse some of our favourite designs from these inspiring women below and find out more about IWD 2019 here.