Neri Oxman is an American-Israeli designer best known for combining design, computing, biology, and materials engineering into art and architecture. She also serves as a professor at the MIT Media Lab, leading the Mediated Matter research group. Praised as one of the modern-time greats, Oxman was included in ICON's 20 Most Influential Architects to Shape Our Future list in 2009.
Maya Lin is an American sculptor and designer whose competition-winning design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial earned her national recognition when she was still an undergraduate. Her life and career inspired an Oscar-winning documentary titled Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision. Maya Lin has won prestigious awards, such as the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
American architect and the founder of Studio Gang Architects, Jeanne Gang is best known for her sustainable designs. The Aqua Tower in Chicago was designed by her and thus became the tallest building ever designed by a woman. She has also penned books such as Reverse Effect.
Landscape architect Gertrude Jekyll was born into an affluent family and grew up in a refined environment, learning music and traveling. Initially interested in painting, she gave it up to focus on gardening when she developed eyesight problems. She built around 400 gardens and also collaborated with Sir Edwin Lutyens.
Julia Morgan was an American engineer and architect who is credited with designing over 700 buildings in California. She was the first woman to study at the Beaux-Arts de Paris and the first woman to be honored with the AIA Gold Medal, which was conferred upon her posthumously. She also received a posthumous induction into the California Hall of Fame.
Mary Richardson Kennedy, who was married to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the brother of Kerry Kennedy, was associated with green building practices and food allergy research in the U.S. She made headlines with her suicide in 2012. She was apparently found hanging in the garage of her Bedford home.
Horticulturalist Rachel Lambert Mellon, or Bunny Mellon, is best remembered for designing the White House Rose Garden. She was the wife of banking heir and philanthropist Paul Mellon. Apart from several apartments, she also owned a huge collection of paintings and artifacts, which fetched $158.7 million at a Sotheby's auction.
Tessa Kennedy is a British interior designer who works for prominent hotels, restaurants, multi-national corporations, clubs, celebrities, and royalty. She is credited with establishing her own company Tessa Kennedy Design, Ltd., which has received many design accolades. Tessa Kennedy made headlines in 1957 when she eloped with English portrait painter Bede Evelyn Dominick Elwes.
One of the first female architects from Austria, Lilia Skala later also became a reputed actor, winning an Academy Award nomination for her film Lilies of the Field. She had also worked in Broadway plays such as Letters to Lucerne and in soaps such as Claudia: The Story of a Marriage.
Swedish author, feminist, and political activist Eva Gabrielsson is also an architect who chiefly deals in house and office construction with sustainable architecture. She was a partner of Swedish author Stieg Larsson till his death. Apparently, they never married to keep their whereabouts a secret from extremists.
One of the first female interior designers of her time, Elsie de Wolfe was largely known for her anti-Victorian elements in her designs. She was also a professional stage actor and had also launched her own theater company. Her works include the Colony Club, New York’s first women’s club.
Charlotte Perriand was a French architect and designer known for her unique approach of correlating “the art of dwelling with the art of living.” She was interested in designing from a young age and received her training at the École de L'Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs. She worked with prominent Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier for several years.
Prominent Finnish architect and designer Aino Aalto considered a pioneer of Scandinavian design, co-founded Artek design company with her architect husband, Alvar Aalto and others. She served as its first creative director and collaborated on most of its famous designs. It has been discovered that work of the Viipuri Library, which typifies 1920s functionalist architectural design, was completed by her.
Apart from being the first female architect from Austria, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky was also a staunch communist and played a significant role in the resistance to Nazism. Her best-known work was the model known as the Frankfurt Kitchen, which led to the regular kitchen model found in Western homes.
One of the first female engineers in the US, Nora Stanton Blatch Barney was also a leading suffragist and the granddaughter of women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She was also the first woman to graduate in engineering from Cornell and sued the ASCE for denying her a full-membership.
Aupee Karim is a Bangladeshi actress, dancer, model, and architect. She is best known for playing Sathi in the 2004 comedy drama film Bachelor, which earned her the prestigious Bangladesh National Film Award under the Best Actress category. Aupee Karim has also won the Meril Prothom Alo Award on three occasions.
Born to a Scottish mother and a Ghanaian father, Lesley Lokko grew up to be not just an architect but also an educator and an author. Her written works deal with themes such as politics, urbanism, and racial identity. After her debut novel, Sundowners, became a bestseller, she penned several other novels.
Yoko Alender is an Estonian civil servant, politician, and architect. From 2013 to 2014, she worked as an adviser on design and architecture for the Estonian Ministry of Culture. Yoko Alender is also a trained yoga practitioner and teacher. She is credited with founding the Estonian Institute of Buddhism in 2001.