With Wiki Women Design, the Flanders Architecture Institute wishes to honour “the women who have shaped the history of Belgian design”.
In domains like architecture and graphic design, right through to fashion and product design, plenty of women have played an important role, but most have remained under the radar. In Belgium, until now, there are practically no reports on women designers. As mentioned by the project initiators, “the absence of female designers in our collective memory is largely due to their relative absence in the history books, which in turn is due to their underrepresentation in the archives and design collections“.
A crucial project for future generations of designers
In an effort to contribute to a more inclusive tale, the Flanders Architecture Institute wishes to break this circle, by highlighting the contributions of female designers. The project will use Wikipedia as a platform and, more specifically, tap into edit-a-thons and writing sessions organised by the collective and collaborative encyclopaedia. In the course of these contribution days, targeted content will be developed, corrected and enriched by a team of volunteering editors, who will also receive training on online writing for the occasion. Anyone wishing to contribute can participate in one of the Wikipedia writing sessions. On 23 September 2021, an international symposium will be organised to formalise the project, with presentations by international participants, researchers, professionals and experts.
In contributing to diversity in the domain, Wiki Women Design also aims to establish female examples for future designers. As explained by Linde Freya Tangelder, founder of the Belgian design agency Destroyers/Builders, “by devoting more attention to the equal representation of male and female creators in such projects [architectural], more women can contribute to shaping the future of architecture, urbanism and the environment.”