27 Apr Woman in Design: Linda Secondari
Why are women designers important contributors to the discourse on global change?
Women are at least half of the world’s population, and our experience of life is different and unique. Women are creators literally in that we bear children, but also because we have traditionally been responsible for the domestic aspects of life. It does indeed “take a village” and that village is often peopled with women. We are on the front lines of everyday challenges, and our experience has been omitted from history until very recently, and see what has happened!?
Real and meaningful global change requires all perspectives, not just binary options because life is not black and white. True global change requires the full spectrum of views all the shades of gray between the polar opposites of black and white.
Women are working in teams, in communities and with governments to find ways to collaborate and have an impact. What was the last project you worked on to improve your community?
As a mother of two I have spent most of my energy in being involved with our schools. I’ve worked with groups of wonderful women (mostly, although some Dad were involved). I worked with a focused group of parents to ensure that we had sufficient schools in our growing neighborhood to address the needs of all the children that needed school seat. We developed extensive slide decks that used statistical information to tell a the story of what was happening in our neighborhood and how the existing schools were not sufficient to meet the demand. And we got three schools built!
Name a woman designer other than yourself, living or deceased, that you think made an impact on the world.
I think there are so many but Cipe Pineles was a ground breaker hired by Mr. Condé Nast himself in the early ’30s and worked as a designer at Vogue before becoming the first American woman art director at Seventeen, where she commissioned fine artists to illustrate the pages of the magazine, effectively bringing modern art to the attention of a young public. Among the young artists she championed were Richard Anuskiewicz, Ben Shahn and his wife Berarda Bryson, and AIGA Medalist Seymour Chwast. She worked with myriad designers and photographers, among them AIGA Medalist Herbert Matter, Cornell Capa, Toni Frissell, AIGA Medalist Ladislav Sutnar, and Richard Lindner.
Linda Secondari is an award-winning Creative Director and is Principal at Studiolo Secondari, a design firm in NYC focusing on Publication Design, Branding, and Design Strategy. Before establishing Studiolo, she was Creative Director at Oxford University Press where she managed a large international design team split between the Oxford, New York, Toronto, and Delhi offices with a yearly output of 3,000+ titles.
Linda’s work has been recognized by the AIGA, NY Book Show, Stiftung Buchkunst Competition of the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the AUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show.
She is a graduate of Parsons School of Design with a degree in Communication Design. Professionally, Linda has focused on the not for profit, mission-driven space where she hopes her efforts can effect change and improve the world.
Linda is also an author, currently working on an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet entitled, “Before Romeo and Juliet.” When she is isn’t writing, reading, or designing, Linda loves cooking, culture, and history. She lives in New York City with her husband Alan and their two children Luca and Stella.
Images © Linda Secondari. Used with permission.