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The Pleiades: An historical perspective on woman in tech revolution and digital media design

The introduction of digital technologies in the field of graphic design in the 1980s gave rise to a system of skills, methods and professions that can be labelled with the words digital design. In this context, many women have played significant and strategic roles, contributing to the field with new theoretical and conceptual insights, multidisciplinary approaches and original design work. This paper presents an alternative historical account of the development of digital design, focusing on the work and figures of women – seven, like the stars in the Pleiades constellation – which each in their own way represent an archetype of the meeting between design culture and the digital world: Brenda Laurel, Laurie Anderson, Susan Kare, Amy Franceschini, Lynda Weinman, Molly E. Holzschlag and Sherry Turkle. The aim is both to trace a history of design from the perspective of the contribution that women have made, and to map and illuminate a number of stories and issues relevant to understanding the relationship of graphic design with digital technologies, that risk remaining in the shadows, as women so often have.


This article is only available in Italian.

Le Pleiadi: una prospettiva storica sulla costellazione delle protagoniste della rivoluzione tecnologica e del design digitale

 

Questo articolo è stato pubblicato in AIS/Design Storia e Ricerche, numero 8 ottobre 2016

Letizia Bollini

Letizia Bollini, earned her Master's Degree in Architecture in 1996 and her PhD in Industrial Design and Multimedia Communication at the Politecnico di Milano (Italy) in 2001. She specialized in Digital Media Design at the San Francisco State University in 2002 and earned a certificate in Mobile App Visual Design from the Norman&Nielsen Group-London in 2011. Since 1995 she has been working in the field of multimodal, interface and interaction design, user experience, visual communication and spatial representation both as a researcher and a designer (with her design consulting company extrasmall.it). A former lecturer at the Politecnico di Milano and the University of Bologna, she is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Milano-Bicocca. Past general-secretary and board member of AIAP (Italian Association of Visual Design) and Italian delegate at ICOGRADA (1999-2009), she has coordinated the Visual Design Commission of ADI Design Index since 2011.

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