Directory of Women Designers + Designers Speak (Up)
RAMP Gallery, Kirikiriroa / 29 April – 24 May 2019
To record the current landscape of all designers who identify as women of any gender experience, of all diversities — social, sexual, cultural, ethnic — and give visibility to the unsung diversity of Aotearoa design, Designers Speak (Up) calls all designers, artists and educators from the Directory of Women Designers* to design a poster using the medium to explore and address any social, cultural, or political issue of their choice.
Present Tense: Wāhine Toi Aotearoa will present the posters in various forms, from printed to projected to published online over the course of the exhibition (and beyond). All posters will be collected into the Designers Speak (Up) poster archive. A day of conversation and making — kōrero/kai/mahi — will be part of the programme.
An accompanying publication will document the project, and include written contributions to offer contextual discussion around the collective and ongoing exhibition as it journeys around Aotearoa New Zealand through 2019. The project is an opportunity to give visibility to all women-identifying** designers to be brave and speak up using the poster medium. It’s a space for myriad voices to be heard, supported and championed in the wholehearted, collective way that is the Designers Speak (Up) kaupapa.
The idea came from artist Imogen Taylor, who had expressed her frustrations in sourcing women designers for her feminist zine, Femisphere. The Directory of Women Designers has been set up to establish a contemporary, historic and perpetual index of Aotearoa New Zealand designers who identify as women of any gender experience, living and deceased, of all diversities — social, sexual, cultural, ethnic — anywhere in the world. It also acts as a resource for clients, collaborators and the wider community to connect specifically with women-identifying designers from Aotearoa. To date, the Directory indexes just over 270 women, and growing.