Anna-Brigitte Schlittler | ZHdK.ch
Anna - Brigette Schlittler studied art history, modern history and philosophy. Since 2003, she has been the lecturer of Theory Art and Design at ZHdK. Meanwhile, She is also a freelance curator with a focus on fashion design. From 2006 to 2012, she was a member of the board of directors from Genossenschaft tuchinform Winterthur. In 2019, she became a board member of NDG( Network Design History ). From 2013 to 2018, she took the position of Head of SNF - research projects at the Bally Archive Schönenwerd.
In the conversation with Anna-Brigette, we briefly touched on three topics: What is design? Anna-Brigette attributes the apparent exclusion in the design environment to narrow, unreflected notions of design-especially in terms of gender, class, and race. From her own experience, many colleagues and students are surprised to find fashion design as part of industrial design. The same happens in the field of “nail design,” and when we talk about certain design disciplines that are heavily stigmatized by gender stereotypes and misogyny, there are always people who use this to dismiss such design disciplines and, on top of that, complain as well as wail about the decline of design industry.
The History of Design - A Look Back. By illustrating to us the story of an infamous history- how several influential men working in the arts used the dirty campaign against Alice Rawthorne, who was then the director of the Design Museum in London and in charge of an exhibition on the work of Constance Spry (a highly successful florist who pioneered the modern understanding of floral decoration). Anna-Brigette emphasizes the importance of looking back at history for designers to reinforce the inclusiveness of today’s design environment as well as design outcomes, and just as importantly, to find those amazing designers who have been forgotten because of their identity and “ abnormal” perspectives.
Feminist design theory and history. Anna-Brigette believes that reflection plays an instrumental role in feminist design: reflect on the existence of being a women, thinking and discussing one’s own point of view and emphasizing that we don’t need to look for common ground and in fact, there is no common ground at all, every design work is an individual work. Furthermore, Design for individuals is crucial. Anna-Brigette argues that “the average” does not exist. The reason for the general design solution is purely a product of capitalism. Same with Sophie, Anna-Brigette sent us a wealth of inspiration and sparkling literature resources, giving us the opportunity to broaden our horizons and a great deal of theoretical support.