resources March 8, 2019

15 Ted talks by fiercely creative women

Happy international day to all the gorgeous creative women out there!
Today is a day to celebrate all that we have accomplished. I’m fortune to have equal rights to vote, to work and to speak my mind.
Although I know we still need to fight against prejudice, abuse and in some cases, equal pay and equal rights, it’s a celebratory day nonetheless.

I’m marking it by watching some pretty amazing Ted talks from some of the creative women out there.
Their amazing projects are changing the world we live in.
To me, along with many other women, they are a constant reminder that there is still much to be done.
Dive in and let your mind be inspired by these 15 creative women, who are warriors of change.

Great design is serious, not solemn by Paula Scher

Paula Scher needs no introduction.
She’s been having a successful career for more than 40 years and is considered as one of the most influential graphic designers.
She was the first woman to become a partner at Pentagram, and she paved the way for both genders by being disruptive and a force to be recognized.
In this Ted talk, she speaks about her career and explains why design should be serious play time.

Gaming can make a better world by Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal is a game designer on a mission: she wants to see a game developer win a Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, she’s not sitting around waiting for it to happen. She’s actively engaged in proving how much the world can benefit from games with a purpose.
In her Ted talk, she explains how a game can impact everyday lives and make people help each other just like in virtual worlds.

Teaching design for change by Emily Pilloton

Emily Pilloton is a designer and the founder of the nonprofit Project H Design.
Like all other women in this post, Emily is trying to use her knowledge to improve the world and to make a difference by using design thinking to educate teachers and students alike.
In her talk, she explains how she intended to use her project to make a difference in a small rural town with almost no resources and no funding.

Design to challenge reality by Kelli Anderson

Do you know the think outside the box concept? Well, Kelli Anderson is an actual practitioner of it.
She designs and creates products that defy the preconceived ideas that we have about materials such as paper.
During her lecture, she explains 3 projects, where she defied logical beliefs and redesigned everyday objects to do something that we didn’t think possible.

Why I brought Pac-Man to MoMA by Paola Antonelli

Antonelli is an Italian author, editor, and curator at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
She’s an amazingly interesting woman that, like me, advocates that Design is everywhere and should be seen as such.
In her 2013 Ted talk, she was already envisioning the future and embracing video games as examples of interactive design.
She defended that, although not being art, they are symbols of how interaction design can take many forms.

The importance of diversity in the comic book universe by Sana Amanat

Sana Amanat was born into a Pakistani immigrant family who lived in New Jersey. Growing up she never felt like she belonged and struggled with her identity until she found X-men.
She became a comic book editor for Marvel. She’s also responsible for co-creating the first series to feature a Muslim female superhero, Ms. Marvel.
In March 2014, she explained how it’s possible to empower people through comic books and to allow them to feel represented.
I couldn’t embed the video but you can watch it here.

How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too) by Margaret Gould Stewart

Margaret Gould Stewart is the Vice-President of Product Design at Facebook and has formerly worked for Google and Youtube. So if there’s a lady that knows how to tackle big challenges, it’s her.
In her Ted talk, she explains how designing at such a large scale implies not only designing for your reality, but also for those who still don’t quite have the same access to technology that we do.

Design at the intersection of technology and biology by Neri Oxman

Neri Oxman is a designer and architect on a mission: to enhance the relationship between digital design technologies and natural environments.
She has been nominated as one of the top 20 most influential architects to shape our future and was selected as one of the 100 most creative people in the world.
In her talk, she explains how design should not only be inspired by nature but has also the potential to integrate it to build biological systems.

The beauty of human skin in every color by Angélica Dass

Dass is an award-winning Brazilian photographer. Growing up she endured racism and became aware of how her skin color influenced how people saw and behaved around her. With that in mind, she decided to start her Humanae project which you can see explained in her talk.

The secret language of letter design by Martina Flor

Martina Flor is a designer and illustrator that runs one of the world’s leading studios in lettering and custom typography.
She believes that lettering can convey different emotions just like the tone of our voice. You can hear her explaining all of it on her 2016 Ted talk.

The stories behind the New Yorker’s icon covers by Françoise Mouly

Françoise Mouly is a Paris-born New York-based designer, editor, and publisher, who became the art editor of The New Yorker in 1993 and has been responsible for some of the most icon covers since then.
She believes that reality can be perceived equally to artists and non-artists alike and that in order to modernize the covers of this publication,
Françoise gives illustrators a contemporary theme, and lets the illustrators put their own intake on the subject.

Why design should include everyone by Sinéad Burke

Sinéad is a Dubliner who’s got a lot of sass and an impeccable eye for fashion. Other than that, she has dedicated her life to speak about the lack of inclusivity within the fashion and design industries.
Watch her explain the constraints of her everyday life and how design is still not inclusive enough.

How we can find ourselves in data by Giorgia Lupi

“An information designer advocating for Data Humanism.” That’s how Giorgia describes herself and her work.
She is the co-founder and Design Director of Accurat, one of the best data-driven design firms in the world.
During her Ted talk, Lupi explains how data without context is just numbers in a void and without a humanistic approach, data doesn’t stand for true facts.

How I’m using LEGO to teach Arabic by Ghada Wali

Ghada Wali is one of many creative women that believes that graphic design can change the world.
She won multiple international prizes and her work has been featured in art exhibits around the world. She is also the first Egyptian woman to appear in Forbes Europe’s List of 2017 in the Arts & Immigrants category.
Ghada decided to use design to educate people against prejudice and to preserve the Arabic language.

Where joy hides and how to find it by Ingrid Fetell Lee

“The drive toward joy is the drive toward life.”
Ingrid Fetell Lee is a former design director at IDEO.
She is one of the creative women in this list that devotes her life to something great.
To teach how to find and bring joy to the world we live in is her mission in life. She has been featured in numerous publications and is the founder of The Aesthetics of Joy.
Like her work, her speech brings a smile to even the grumpiest of the designers.

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