Faces of Design

by Jonty Valentine

Designscape 38, 1972 / cover: Faces of Design, Piles of Good Carpet, Auckland’s Leading Towers; introduction to “the faces of design” article

This series of pages is from Designscape 38, published in July 1972. You will all know that Designscape was the monthly serial for the NZIDC (NZ Industrial Design Council), the predecessor organisation to DINZ (Designers Institute of NZ). The cover article for this issue was “the faces of design” a 9-page profile of “NZ’s main practising designers”. 

The article includes an interesting introductory disclaimer about omissions/biases in representation. Though, and maybe not surprisingly for the time, there is no acknowledgement of the gender imbalance.


Note, there are 64 designers profiled, of which 5 are women — 7.8%. You will see that that is very close to the 40/3 ratio of the Best Awards’ Black Pin recipients: 43 Black pins, 3 are women — 6.9% (actually that has gone down to 6.6% after last weekend right?). 

So yes, this all begs the question as to why the roughly 7% quota for female recognition seemingly has not improved, and actually seems to have worsened over the last four decades.

64 faces of design 
59 men, 5 women = 7.8% women

45 black pins
42 men, 3 women = 6.6% women

The five women included in Designscape 38 are:
Lois Ashton
Kate Coolahan
Oriel Hoskin
Suzy Penington
Margret Renier

Jonty Valentine / HOD Graphic Design, Whitecliffe / graphic designer, curator, writer

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