Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

ada lovelace day

Ada Lovelace Day is an international blogging event instituted to draw attention to women who excel in the area of technology. Who is Ada Lovelace? From here:

Ada Lovelace was one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programmes for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software.

See also the Wikipedia entry, where I discovered Lovelace was also, oddly, the only legitimate child of the poet Byron. On Ada Lovelace Day, bloggers are asked to write about a present-day female figure in technology. As in other technical fields, woman have excelled in architecture and design but have had a very tough time gaining recognition thanks to the fact that these fields have been extremely male-dominated. When Charlotte Perriand asked Corbusier for a job, he said “We don’t embroider cushions here.” Perriand convinced him to hire her anyway, and went on to become an important figure in design whose star is now rising long after her death. (By the way there is nothing inferior about embroidering cushions, and the textile arts ought to be furious about that remark.) Recent evidence shows that women need female role models much more than men need male role models. Please also see previous posts on Eileen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Nanna Ditzel, and many other women designers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Charlotte Perriand:

charlotte perriand portrait

Eileen Gray:

eileen gray portrait

And finally, I love this recent Annie Liebowitz photo of SANAA architect Kazuyo Sejima holding a model of her New Museum design:

kazuyo sejima

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