Iconic Female Mid-Century Modern Designers

9 Mar 2023

For international womans day we want to celebrate some of the renowned female designers and architects at the forefront of the Modernism movement.

These woman had a tremendous impact in the mid 20th century on its further development, women in design have shaped the future of furniture both creatively and commercially.


Ray-Bernice Alexandra Kaiser Eames (December 15, 1912 – August 21, 1988) was an American artist and designer who worked in a variety of media. In creative partnership with her husband Charles Eames and The Eames Office, she was responsible for groundbreaking contributions in the fields of architecture, graphic design, textile design, film, and furniture. The Eames Office is most famous for its furniture, which is still being made today. Together, the Eameses are considered one of the most influential creative forces of the twentieth century.


Eileen Gray (born 9 August 1878 – 31 October 1976) was an Irish architect and furniture designer who became a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture. Her most famous work is the house known as E-1027 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France. Many of her furniture pieces are still produced today. Some examples are the Brick Screen, the Bibendum Chair, and the E-1027 Adjustable Table.


Lucienne Day OBE (5 January 1917 – 30 January 2010) was one of the most influential British textile designers of the 1950s and 1960s. Day drew on inspiration from other arts to develop a new style of abstract pattern-making in post-war British textiles, She was also active in other fields, such as wallpapers, ceramics and carpets. Florence Marguerite Knoll Bassett (May 24, 1917 – January 25, 2019) was an American architect, interior designer, furniture designer, and entrepreneur who has been credited with revolutionizing office design and bringing modernist design to office interiors. Knoll and her husband, Hans Knoll, built Knoll Associates into a leader in the fields of furniture and interior design. She worked to professionalize the field of interior design, fighting against gendered stereotypes of the decorator. She is known for her open office designs, populated with modernist furniture and Her modernist aesthetic was known for clean lines and clear geometries that were humanized with textures, organic shapes, and colour.


Aino Maria Marsio-Aalto (born Aino Maria Mandelin 25 January 1894 – 13 January 1949) was a Finnish architect and a pioneer of Scandinavian design. She is known as a co-founder of the design company Artek and as a collaborator on its most well-known designs.As Artek's first artistic director, her creative output spanned textiles, lamps, glassware, and buildings.It has been discovered that it was Aino who completed the first work commissioned through Artek which was the Viipuri Library in 1935.Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York,and the MoMA has included her work in nine exhibitions. Aino Aalto’s first exhibition was Art in Progress: 15th Anniversary Exhibitions: Design for Use at MoMA in 1944. Other major exhibitions were at the Barbican Art Gallery in London and Chelsea Space in London. Aino Aalto has been exhibited with Pablo Picasso.


Charlotte Perriand joined Le Corbusier studio in Paris in 1927 and co-created timeless pieces including the Grand Confort armchair.

From the 1930s onward she increasingly looked at nature for inspiration and was highly influenced by the years she spent in Japan during the Second World War. A passionate skier, Perriand designed one of the most recognisable ski resorts in the world, Les Arcs.