Our Practice: Eleven Women in Interior Design

September 14, 2023
April 26, 2024
NYSID Gallery 170 E. 70th Street, NYC
Get tickets

Our Practice: Eleven Women in Interior Design, organized by Darling Green, presents a selection of prominent, women-led, contemporary interior design studios from around the world. This exhibition—focused on residential design— marks these distinct voices that stand on the shoulders of trailblazing women designers who defined and evolved the profession.  

At the turn of the 20th century, innovators like Candace Wheeler, Elsie de Wolfe, Dorothy Draper, and Eleanor McMillen Brown set up their own design studios, which were both aesthetic and commercial powerhouses. Many of these early pioneers in the field of interior design were also advocates for feminism and women’s rights— supporting the women’s suffrage movement, standing up for fair labor practices, and opposing traditional ideas of “women’s work,” a form of domestic, unwaged labor which was confined to the home. Through their determination, high standards of quality, and groundbreaking commissions, these designers ushered in an unforeseen era of modernism and elegance, becoming the most respected names in interiors.  

The selection of designers and residential projects on view celebrate the current global phenomenon of women in leadership, marking a century of progress since the period that transformed the profession. Though each practice is radically unique, their dialogues with each other and their specific cultures gives a rich picture of the contemporary design landscape. It also emphasizes the fact that interior design is a profession that relies on many alliances that collaborate on projects: architects, artists, art advisors, antique dealers, furniture designers, fabricators, lighting specialists, textile designers, and of course, clients.  

The complex nature of these rooms highlights the interdisciplinary fluency required of these practitioners, and the continuation of the “renaissance woman” roles that the earlier generations established. These practices also showcase the multiplicity of meaning embedded within the concept of residential in contemporary life. From designing portable community kitchens for refugees to heritage houses that preserve traditional ancestral craft, this contemporary generation of designers often see design’s potential for social change and cross-cultural dialogue, thinking of interiors as an expanded field of collaborative potential and creative experimentation.


No items found.
New York School of Interior Design