Community: 10 Female Design Council Makers Define Legacy—on Their Own Terms

In celebration of the Female Design Council’s (FDC) debut exhibition “Deeper than Text,” on view at 1stdibs Gallery through May 31, 10 makers define what legacy means to them.

In celebration of the Female Design Council’s (FDC) debut exhibition “Deeper than Text,” on view at 1stdibs Gallery through May 31, 10 makers define what legacy means to them.

What is a legacy? How is one forged? What does it mean to have one? To celebrate the Female Design Council’s (FDC) debut exhibition “Deeper than Text,” on view at 1stdibs Gallery through May 31, 10 makers answer those questions on their own terms.

Felicia Ferrone

“As a designer, entrepreneur, and professor, I have forged my own path, rather than waiting to be ‘asked to dance.’ By creating my own brand, I have been able to make the self-initiated work I wanted, creating a means to an end in the hopes that others will see that they can create their own futures as well.”

Alexandra Rowley

“Much of my work is obliquely autobiographical and about process. In that regard, the notion of legacy resonates literally—in terms of the familial themes I am engaging, the thread that runs from generation to generation—and in terms of materiality. The materials I use to make my work are as much about reaching back as reaching forward.”

Kiki van Eijk

“I don’t believe in building legacy intentionally; it’s something that happens organically throughout one’s career. Design is an intuitive practice which follows a humble and endlessly inquisitive process. At the core, I believe that if you are honest to the intention and the process, you are leaving behind the best of yourself.”

Karen Chekerdjian

“I have never really worked with the idea of legacy in my mind, unless we are talking about our work as part of the future archeologies. Then, yes. But it is more about what traces do we want the future to find from our civilization. What we find today in museums is our way of living; our objects can tell a lot about us. I believe that our work is much more anthropological, trying to understand who we are and what is the meaning of all what surrounds us.”

Lora Appleton
Founder, FDC and kinder MODERN

“Legacy is not something I seek to create. I aim to make idea-provoking work, and I embark to make change in my industry and highlight the incredible work of women past, present, and future. I hope my legacy will be positivity: encouraging those to help others, in creating a beautiful and giving human who will be my best legacy, and being remembered as a leader, one who would speak up for others who didn’t have a voice, because after a lot of struggle, I can.”

Myra von Busekist
Founder, MYK Berlin

The legacy can only be seen in the context of global challenges. Sustainability must be one of the first virtues. It seems important to me to maintain a certain nonchalance and mildness.

You can combine an aesthetic level with a critical one: The ‘hunted’ Pompon Tiger also reminds us of how to deal with the threatened original; so, in turn, I make a small political contribution.”

Malene Barnett
Founder, Malene B

“As I grow older, legacy is even more important to me. Historically, the legacies of black women artists and designers have been overlooked, undervalued, and underrepresented.  Because of this, I’ve taken a conscious effort to change this narrative by dedicating my art and design practice honoring the experiences of black women in African and the diaspora.”

Helena Sultan and Natasha Sultan
Konnekt Furniture

“We find the idea of legacy empowering and are proud to present a female legacy of three generations. Historically, legacies have been reserved for men. In charting her own legacy, our respective mother and grandmother, an artist, signed her work with a masculine version of her name. Much of our inspiration is owed to her. She’s handed down a specific eye and sensibility that dominate our work.”

Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis, and Hillary Petrie
Egg Collective

“The stories we tell hold great significance. What stories, and whose stories, are carried forward and shape the future. Therefore, we need to make sure we are telling great, robust, delicate, complicated, beautiful, and diverse truths that reflect the complex richness of this moment in time. In our practice, we think often about what we create, and what we leave behind. Our designs are part of our legacy, and, therefore, we see them as a chance to carve out a space, or spaces, for future generations of designers, craftsmen and women, entrepreneurs, and dreamers.”

Grace Song

“We live in a highly disposable culture—everything has a shelf life—but it feels particularly abbreviated and clipped right now. What I offer, hopefully, is a bit of a refutation of that [dynamic by creating work] that says something for a longer period of time, and to a wider audience. But only time really dictates what stays and what disappears.”

Zizipho Poswa
Founder, Imiso Ceramics

Legacy, for me, means honoring my roots as a Xhosa woman who grew up under Apartheid, while celebrating how far I have come. In Xhosa society, success is shared. So straddling worlds carries burdens too—I have to balance multiple roles and obligations to myself, my family, and my larger community.”

“Deeper than Text” is on view at 1stdibs Gallery (269 11th Ave. Lobby 4, 7th Floor) through May 31.

(Photo: Female Design Council Courtesy 1stdibs)

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