International Women’s Day (March 8th 2023) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity. Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness about discrimination. Take action to drive gender parity. IWD belongs to everyone, everywhere. Inclusion means all IWD action is valid.”
We at Makerversity want to celebrate the incredible members that we admire. Here is just a selection and their inspiring achievements.
Katie Menzies is the founder and director of Cabeza Patata Studio. Named by Forbes Magazine in their prestigious 30 Under 30 list of the most influential people in the arts world across Europe, her work has been recognised across many medias; she won two ADC Awards and a Clio for her Spotify Premium ‘All The Moods’ campaign and has appeared in publications such as It’s Nice That, Creative Review, Digital Arts and Adobe Magazine.
She took an unconventional path into the design industry; after studying French Literature and Politics at the University of Bristol, and living in various cities, at the age of 24 she decided to form her character design studio. Cabeza Patata has worked with tech giants such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Spotify, and has done editorial illustration for The New York Times, The New Yorker, El País and Icon Design. Her focus goes beyond the screen to bring Cabeza Patata’s characters into the physical world using sculpture, robotics, and fine art techniques. In early 2023 she will be holding two exhibitions in Manchester and Berlin, both explorations in interactive, mechanical characters.
Perspectives from Katie’s political background inform much of the work of Cabeza Patata. Her interest in diversity and female empowerment are at the centre of the project and bring a fresh perspective and new way of understanding 3D design. She has given more than 20 talks around the world about the creation of her studio and her career path. Notably this includes Pictoplasma Festival in Berlin, the world’s biggest character design event, OFFF Festival in Barcelona, Nicer Tuesdays in London, Awwwards in Amsterdam and numerous Adobe Live events.
Cabeza Patata’s vision goes beyond the creation of commercial work; in 2022 Katie founded an online learning platform, Patata School, opening the digital art industry to people around the world. In just one year, the school has reached 1,000 active members from over 70 different countries and promotes access to knowledge and technologies that are shaping the visual landscape.
Siobhan is a Kinesiologist and Design Engineer combining biomechanics and engineering. She is a Forbes30U30 recipient and her work has won international awards. At The Tyre Collective she leads on sample analysis, toxicology, and oversees research partnerships.
Siobhan and her two Co-founders, Hanson Cheng and Hugo Richardson, started The Tyre Collective in 2020. Since then the company has become a leading clean-tech start-up in mobility, focused on the prevention of tyre wear and non-exhaust pollution from vehicles. The company has won multiple high-profile awards like the James Dyson Award, the Mayor of London Entrepreneurs Environment Award, and the Terra Carta Design Lab. The company was featured in the 2021 BBC Earthshot series: Clean Our Air and in 2022 was featured in over 55 publications including The Financial Times, CNN and Wallpaper.
In the past year, they have successfully completed a 3-month pilot in London, confirming the operation of the prototypes in real-life conditions. Hired a team – growing to 9 members. Joined Cop 27, talking about tyre wear on an international stage. Developed a range of new chemical sample analysis methods – as well as having an abstract accepted to the SETAC conference in Dublin. Siobhan has also independently pitched internationally, building the business and R&D network.
Tina Gorjanc is a researcher, designer and consultant specialising in material exploration and speculative design. She is most recognised for her work that merges speculative and critical product design practices with scientific procedures. Her creative practice has caught the attention of some of the biggest media companies as she has worked with established international institutions and organisations worldwide.
She graduated from the University of Natural Sciences of Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2012, and her graduation project granted her the A’ Silver Design Award in the Fashion, Textile and Garment category, consequently placing her as the 10th world’s leading designer to watch for in 2017/2018 in the same category.While carrying out her Master’s course at Central Saint Martins, she was awarded the Mullen Lowe Nova Award, a grant presented to 5 top students for their exceptional accomplishments. After graduation, the provoking nature of her project caught the attention of some of the biggest newspaper companies, including The Guardian and the New York Times, and design and science-focused magazines such as Dezeen, Motherboard and Trend Tablet. Her exposure to the media placed her as one of the leading promoters of critical and speculative design and an active advocator of bioethics, bio-sustainability and Bio-design.
Tina had the privilege to present her work at several events and exhibitions across the globe, including Biofabricate New York 2016, Most Contagious 2016, London Design Festival 2016 and 2018, Demo-Adi Barcelona 2017, Echo Dubai 2017, Eye of Gyre Japan 2018, E-Cuerpo Mexico 2018 and 2019, Vienna Biennale 2019, and more.In May 2017, she was awarded the A’ Silver Design Award in Public Awareness, Voluntarism and Society Design Category for her current work. Her work has been featured in the new TV series produced by the public Franco-German TV network ARTE in September 2017, which is dedicated to emerging talents in innovation design.Tina is currently working on client projects aimed at disrupting the current unsustainable and unethical model employed by the fashion industry by introducing pioneering alternative approaches to the use of animal-based material, in use by the design industry.
She is also a Lecturer at Londons’ Central Saint Martins – one of the leading creative educational institutions in the world, where she tutors students of the Material Futures course.
Explore her work here
Emilė (Em) started Samphire Neuroscience alongside Alex Cook in the summer of 2021 to build clinically innovative technology for currently neglected women’s health needs.
Samphire’s first product, the Samphire Hairband, uses neurotechnology for PMS and menstrual pain relief, and its prototype was incubated during Samphire’s fellowship at Makerversity. The Hairband is built based on data collected for over 30 years, with proprietary hardware, software and firmware to enable its use in a modern context for women who care about their health and wellbeing.
It is the first neurotechnology solution to focus exclusively on women’s needs, and the first solution to both mental and physical symptoms of menstrual health, affecting over 1.6B people worldwide. The Hairband is currently in its last stages of development and is undergoing certification processes in the UK, EU and US for market entry in 2024.
Samphire holds multiple provisional patents, and its work is supported by the SMART R&D grant from Innovate UK, institutional investors, such as HAX/SOSV, Afterwork Ventures, Ayuh Ventures and FIRSTPICK, as well as the Samphire Fellowship – a community of women who help us build a product with their needs at the core.
Amber is an audio wiz who graduated from Goldsmiths and landed herself a job as the Studio and Production Manager at Content is Queen. Content is Queen is a podcast production company and community that connects brands with the next generation of audio talent.
In the last three years Amber’s signature editing style can be found across several notable branded podcasts, including Benefit Cosmetics, Amazon Prime, Lionsgate, and Perfect Magazine, to name a few. She’s become an instantly recognised friendly face for podcast studio users and in the company’s silly Instagram Reels!
“I’ve loved working at Content is Queen, we’re a small team with big dreams and goals. We’ve just started production on our 2022 Micro-Grant for Podcasters Programme and I’m excited to help develop these creators extraordinary ideas. A career highlight of mine is getting my first producer credit on the Audible Original ‘You Heard it Here First’ podcast which was a joy to make. Being able to work on so many wildly different projects is definitely a perk of the job.”
With archaeology and engineering as a lens, Grace’s practice focuses on the storytelling abilities emerging from intertwined intra-actions of bodies and spaces. By shifting the attention to the intangible forces surrounding physical matter, she has been constructing animate objects puppeteered by shifts in atmospheric conditions.
She has exhibited in numerous shows in London, Paris and Athens and has even exhibited as part of Tomas Saraceno’s carte blanche show in Palais de Tokyo, On Air. Her latest shows were The International day of Light in the Science Gallery and The World in Our Pockets at Stone Space. She started her residency in January 2022, and will soon be launching a collaboration with neighbouring King’s College Advanced Photonics and Plasmonics lab.
As part of her research work, she has founded a research group called The Expanded Museum and has consulted on the new V&A East Galleries. Between 2019-2022 she taught the Information Experience Design MA in RCA, where she designed programs to encourage meaningful cultural exchanges with museological archives more accessible. Today, alongside developing artworks for her upcoming shows, she is overseeing the delivery of new curatorial initiatives for the Woven Foundation.
Check out her website here.