Design Studio Blue / Articles  / Women’s History Month Celebration: Women in Design Who Inspire Us

Women’s History Month Celebration: Women in Design Who Inspire Us

At Design Studio Blue, the power, strength, and determination of women is not a foreign concept. We are led by and surrounded by a powerful team of strong women who over deliver at every step of the design process. Our staff members balance so many aspects of life and still excel inside and outside of the office. So while the power of women is not lost on us, Women’s History Month is a great time to look back and honor those who paved the way so that we can thrive in the environments we love. Learn more about the women who inspire our team as we pay tribute to a few of our favorites below. 


Kia Weatherspoon

Photo credit: Madame Architect

Kia Weatherspoon is a leader, speaker, and advocate disrupting the interior design landscape. She actively challenged others in the space to do better as she uses her voice and her practice to promote Design Equity™. As the President of Determined by Design, LLC, she lives by core values that “well-designed interior spaces are not a luxury for a few but a standard for all” and they work to “advocate for design equity so every person’s value is uplifted by the space they inhabit”. 


“Kia visited my Interior Design Studio class my Sophomore year of college and was one of my first Interior Design role models. Her story of her past and how she came to be in the design role she is today, rooting back to her time in the military, is more than inspiring. The first time I heard her story it really showed that anything is possible and if you want to make something happen, either career-wise or even life-wise, it is possible with hard work and passion. Her avocation for Design Equity is something that truly plays such a huge role in many of my own design passions, as well as her inclusion of creating stories within design.”  – Kira Peterson



Zaha Hadid

Photo credit: Building Design

Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid DBE RA was a British Iraqi architect, artist and designer who is known for her radical deconstructivist designs. Known as the “Queen of the curve” her many accomplishments include London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics, the Broad Art Museum, Rome’s MAXXI Museum, and being the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. She was even awarded the high honor of being named Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to architecture. 


“As a design student, I was of course easily inspired by her expressive architecture. However, through further study I learned that Zaha Hadid, in her very early career also studied Interior Design and Furniture design. She was a mathematician first and then an Architect/Artist. I was exposed to this idea of ‘spatial’ intervention and ‘harmony’ between interior design and the architecture, thinking critically about how these elements come together. This was extremely exciting for me as at the time I was still double majoring in fine art and interior design and really chasing dual career paths and exploring how to pull it all together. For me, she took how I thought about design + art to another level that I had no idea was even possible.”
– Tina Kivalu

“One day, some of her studio came to Denver and gave a talk: the one thing that I will never forget is that she left a legacy. Not only did she create organic and majestic buildings, but she shared her passion and knowledge with every single person she encountered. It was amazing to see the impact that she had not just in buildings, but in people.”
– Fernanda Garner

“I admire her for being such an innovative and successful Architect in a field dominated by men.  Her creativity and extraordinary accomplishments inspire young women to this day to take risks and to never be afraid of being cutting edge.”
– Jennifer Sparaco

“Her courage & determination in a field that isn’t usually thought to be a “female occupation”. She thought outside the box & strived for designs that many didn’t think were possible. She has helped carve a way for female designers & architects to branch out & create anything someone could set their mind to.”
– McKenzie Bates




Photo Credit: SurfaceMag

Clodagh is known for her stunning minimalistic design and is considered a powerhouse in the fields of architecture, interiors and furniture design. She was an early adopter of feng shui and passionately believes that design can transform people’s lives if it supports well-being.  She is widely recognized as a leader in the green design movement and has published best-selling design books Total Design, Your Home, Your Sanctuary and Clodagh: Life-Enhancing Design.


“She is a pioneer for the sustainable design community and continues to make advances with her prolific designs. She does this by putting sustainability at the forefront of her designs, no matter the project. She utilizes unique design techniques, which can include biophilia and crystal healing, to help balance out the different energies of a space.”
– Ava Brendle-Williams



Suzanne Tick

Photo Credit: Interior Design Magazine 

Suzanne Tick is known for her masterful ability to weave reclaimed materials and her work has been exhibited in MoMA, Cooper Hewitt, MAD, and Art Basel. Both her personal and professional projects are recognized in the design community because of her passion for sustainability and wellness. A woman of many projects, she is currently the Creative Director at Luum, and runs Suzanne Tick Inc., a NYC-certified Woman Owned business that operates out of Tick Studios


“I have been inspired by Suzanne Tick’s profound intelligence and unique design process’ for textiles and floorcoverings. I had the good fortune to converse with Suzanne at Neocon early in my career. She described how she uses computer code and algorithms to create the patterns she designed for a carpet collection that was recently launched. Using data and science to inform design has always intrigued me.”
– Rebecca Brennan



Gertrude Jekyll

Photo Credit: The Independent

Gertrude Jekyll was a British horticulturist, garden designer, photographer, writer and artist.  Viewed as the main influence for garden design, her work spanned continents as she created over 400 gardens in Europe and the United States. Her work always included her “painterly approach” and radiant colors. In addition to design, she also wrote over 1,000 articles for magazines such as Country Life.


“She is inspiring because from her early days as an artist Gertrude Jekyll was part of a social circle of pioneering and successful women. Using her creative and persuasive skills she worked together with the women’s movement with the aim of gaining a woman’s right to vote. She is famous because Gertrude Jekyll formed one of the most historically influential and legendary partnerships in the history of the Arts and Crafts movement with fabled English architect, Edwin Lutyens.”
– Cathy Flagg



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