20 women-led industrial design and innovation companies

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Gender disparity is a real problem in the industrial design industry. Women represent 85% of consumer purchases but the designers of these products are rarely women. Recent reports show that industrial design is biased in favor of men, with a whopping 81-95% ** of male designers in the industry. That’s not to say that men can’t design products for women, but there is real authenticity and new approaches to design when women bring their lived experiences to the products they use.

If you’re looking to bring diverse perspectives to your products, we’ve rounded up 20 women-led industrial design and innovation companies.

Aruliden

Aruliden was co-founded by Rinat Aruh, and she is currently its CEO. Aruliden is an agency that focuses on product design, branding and creative strategy. Aruliden is headquartered in New York with offices in San Francisco and Amsterdam.

Website: https://aruliden.com/

Insta: @aruliden, @rinataruh

Google meet for Google by Aruliden

Morrama

Morrama is a London-based industrial design and innovation consultancy founded by Jo Barnard. Morrama works primarily with startups and focuses on storytelling and weaving a narrative through every touchpoint of the design.

Website: https://www.morrama.com/

Insta: @morramadesign, @barnard_jo

Sustainable wild deodorant, for Wild de Morrama

SEEDS at Adidas

Cheresse Thornhill is the Director of Design at SEED, the School of Experiential Education in Design, a two-year design program for women of diverse backgrounds creating access to the Adidas brand and the sportswear industry. SEED uses a learning model – students get paid to learn – and operates like a studio, students work on projects that go into production.

Website: https://www.adidas.com/us/blog/467433

Insta: @ adidas_s.eed, @cheressethornhill

SEEDS at Adidas

Kinneir Dufort

Merle Hall is the CEO of Kinneir Dufort, a UK-based company that offers design, innovation, research and human factors for consumer, industrial and medical products. XXEquals is an in-house team of innovators, designers, engineers and manufacturers who focus on providing products and experiences tailored to the needs of women and bridging the gap between perception and reality when designing. for women.

Website: https://kinneirdufort.com/, www.xxequals.com

Insta: @kinneirdufort, @xxequals

Raspberry Pi keyboard and mouse, for Raspberry Pi by Kinnier Dufort

Attic

Jeanette Numbers is the co-founder of Loft, a product development studio that is “passionate about bringing life changing ideas to life”. Their client projects cover a variety of areas including consumer, medical technology, iOT and mobility. Loft has offices in Providence, RI and San Francisco, CA.

Website: https://www.loftllc.com/

Insta: @loftdesigns, @loft_jeanette

The wave Embr 2 portable thermoregulator for Embr by Loft

Documentary creation

Alyssa Coletti founded NonFiction Creative to focus on concept, form and craftsmanship in product design. Nonfiction Creative designs furniture for domestic and professional environments.

Website: https://alyssacoletti.com/projects

Insta: @ nonfiction.creative

The Genesee chair for Gunlocke, designed by Alyssa Coletti

FAAS design collaboration

Angela Medlin is the founder and director of FAAS (pronounced “faze”, stands for Functional Apparel & Accessories Studio) Design Collab, located in Portland. FAAS is a ‘learn by doing’ design education program that seeks to bridge the gap between underrepresented creatives and the footwear / apparel industry. FAAS partners directly with global clothing and footwear brands to help students make connections for industry jobs or future business ventures.

Website: https://www.faasdesigncollab.com/

Insta: @faasdesigncollab

FAAS Design Collab is based in Portland, OR

Figure 8 Thought

Natalie Nixon, PhD is the founder of Figure 8 Thinking, which advises leaders on transformation. Figure 8 Thinking offers foresight studios for executive leadership, strategic advice, coaching, and an online course in creative thinking. Natalie Nixon is also a keynote speaker and author of “The Creativity Leap”.

Website: https://www.figure8thinking.com/

Natalie Nixon, Founder of Figure 8 Thinking

Level

Level is a San Francisco-based design studio founded by Nichole Rouillac. Level designs hardware for a range of clients – from startups to tech giants. Level believes that since the products they create touch millions of lives, women need to have a greater impact on their shaping.

Website: https://leveldesignsf.com/

Insta: @leveldesignsf

The Tempo weight training platform, for the tempo by level

Mike & Maaike

Maaike Evers is the co-founder of Mike & Maaike, an industrial design studio in San Francisco. The studio works independently and with clients to innovate in the areas of products, technology, furniture, environments and transportation.

Website: https://www.mikeandmaaike.com/

Insta: @mikeandmaaike

The Windowseat lounge chair by Mike & Maaike

Daily Liz

Liz Daily is based in Chicago and focuses on technical products and prototyping. She combines traditional methods of industrial design with knowledge of flexible product construction techniques and fabric technology.

Website: http://lizdaily.com/

Liz daily drawings

Neongrey

Jessica Nebel is Managing Partner at Neongrey, a design innovation studio based in Germany. Neongrey’s industrial design, ui / ux design, design strategy and space design services.

Website: https://www.neongrey.io/

Insta: @neongreydesign, @jessicanebel_design

The Tricuro phone accessory for spine measurement, by Neongrey for Kentago

Creative reaction lab

Antionette Carroll is the Founder, President and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, which is building a movement of a new generation of civic leaders: Redesigners for Justice. The mission of Creative Reaction Lab is to educate, train and challenge black and Latin youth (and their allies) to become leaders in designing healthy and racially equitable communities. Creative Reaction Lab’s approach to design is to use a framework they created called Equity-Centered Design (ECCD).

Website: https://www.creativereactionlab.com/

Insta: @crxlab

The A Field Guide to Equity-Centered Community Design by Creative Reaction Lab

Birsel + Seck

Ayse Birsel is the co-founder and creative director of the design and innovation studio Birsel + Seck. The core Birsel + Seck team has a wide range of design and business skills, and focuses on human-centered design and innovation to solve complex problems for global brands.

Website: http://birselplusseck.com/

Insta: @birselplusseck, @aysebirselseck, @designthelifeyoulove

The Superimposed room divider for Herman Miller by Birsel + Seck

HOW AND WHY

Stephanie Howard founded HOW AND WHY, located in Boston, MA. HOW AND WHY offers an innovation strategy and creative direction to major brands with a mission.

Website: http://www.howandwhy.biz/

Insta: @stephanie_howandwhy

Design for Timberland by HOW AND WHY

non-fictional works

Phnam Bagley is the co-founder of Nonfiction, a creative studio in San Francisco specializing in industrial design, branding, user experience design, space architecture, engineering and strategy. Nonfiction works with clients, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, to “turn science fiction into reality for a better future.”

Website: https://www.nonfiction.design/

Insta: @ nonfiction.design

Human earphones for humans by Nonfiction Design

Thing

Kelly Custer is the Design Director of Knack, a design studio focused on front-end innovation. Knack helps hardware brand innovation leaders uncover innovative product ideas and has benefited from remote collaboration between designers since its inception.

Website: https://www.knackdesignstudio.com/

Insta: @knackdesignstudio

Autonomous Rol scooter by Knack Design

Industry Spitfire

Isis Shiffer is the founder of Spitfire Industry in Brooklyn, NY. Spitfire Industry provides industrial design, packaging, web design and branding services.

Website: https://www.spitfireindustry.com/

Insta: @spitfire_industry

Light therapy lamps for circadian optics by Spitfire Industry

Studio Gorm

Wonhee Arndt is the co-founder of Studio Gorm in Eugene, Oregon. Studio Gorm designs products, furniture, lighting, interiors and exhibitions. Their designs are informed by speculative academic research and designers’ backgrounds in craftsmanship.

Website: studiogorm.com

Insta: @wonheestudiogorm

Maru Bench for Memo by Studio Gorm

Manta

Betsy Goodrich is the co-founder of Manta and is currently VP of Design, Human Factors and Usability. Manta is based in Cambridge, MA and their services include human-centered design, technological innovation, and product development.

Website: https://mantadesign.com/

Hological Fluent, a surgical fluid management system, for Hologic by Manta

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Do you know of any female-run businesses that should be on a list like this? Mention them in the comments below and stay tuned for Part 2 on Women-Led Design Firms To Watch!


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