To mark International Women’s Day, Dezeen asked 22 of the world’s most inspirational women architects and designers to nominate another woman who should be better known for their work. We were delighted to be among one of the 22 to be selected to nominate some trailblazers! In classic NBH style, we nominated above and beyond… 

Heres our full list:

Duygu and Begum Ozturk- the two sisters behind the fashion brand Harem London. Born in Istanbul, they started their all organic fashion brand recently in Dalston, London; merging traditional techniques from Istanbul and London, bringing together their heritage and future. I love that they started a business together as sisters and that they are persevering in developing their beautiful collection despite the pandemic and brexit and all the complexity this created for them. They need to be applauded for their great work.

Lauren Alexander  and Ghalia Elsrakbi- from design collective Foundland Collective. Founded in 2009 and since 2014 is based between Amsterdam and Cairo. These two powerhouses have been developing what I believe is the most interesting design work, questioning economics, politics and sociological systems along the way in the middle east and beyond.

Sue Harding, Foley Artist who has worked on over 140 feature films including The Imitation Game and Les Miserable, Sue is one of the only woman working in this field, performing and creating sounds for film!

Sepake Angiama, Sepake Angiama is a curator and educator interested in discursive practices, the social framework, and how we shape and form our experiences in understanding the world. She is inspired by working with artists who disrupt or provoke the social sphere through action, design, dance, and architecture. She is the artistic director of Iniva, Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) is an evolving, radical visual arts organisation dedicated to developing an artistic programme that reflects on the social and political impact of globalisation. They work predominantly with British-born and British-based visual artists of African and Asian descent supporting them at different stages in their careers.

Beatrice Galilee, the director of World Around, and former design and Architecture curator at the MET, Beatrice never cease to amaze, and the latest edition of the Wolrd Around is a testament to her genius!
 
Aoife van Linden Tol, explosive designer- she was the former European Space Agency artist in residence. Aoife never ceases to amaze with her explosive work. She is the only woman I know who turn up at your front door with DIY made Fireworks and explosives. She is incredible.
 
Laura Ben Hayoun, my sister! She is simply the most talented photographer I know, she works on our family heritage in Algeria and Armenia. She has made a book collecting memories and reenacting scenes but also the generational traumas of the armenian genocide and Algerian colonisation.
 
Also my mum- Dr. Nadine Stépanian. She is a retired GP and she has been working relentlessly- and still is- working at the emergency unit in France on the covid crisis. If I learnt courage, perseverance and hard work- this is straight from her. She deserves all the medals in the world.
 
Also some of our former students at the University of the Underground-just a selection of them who I think are challenging the disciplines, but also systems- offering new futures along the way and making them happen. But there are many more!!  Not only do they ask fundamental questions, they also offer the alternatives and they are building it. I have so much respect for all of them and for their courage- all of them are within their 20’s! I have more students I would recommend but they don’t define themselves as women or men—->

Fatemeh Towhidloo- she is a young dancer from Iran, a country in which dance is banned. In order to pursue her passion, she has developed unique means to collaborate internationally and organized networks of support and knowledge well beyond national borders. This alone shows her ingenuity which should be applauded.

Malena Arcucci- Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Malena Arcucci is an performance maker currently based in London. She uses devised and physical theatre techniques, in combination with her background and interest in costume making and sculpture to explore new forms of storytelling. Her work is concerned with the theatricality of societal and political structures and their influence on our social and cultural landscape. Malena’s work focus on conspiracy theories- and we have plenty of these at the moment! So she is very busy!

Zana Masombuka is a 24 year-old Johannesburg based creative director who draws inspiration from her upbringing in rural KwaNdebele, in a small town called Siyabuswa. I like to say that Zana is the future president of planet Earth. She has such strength and energy, nothing stop her in trying to challenge the ills of globalisation and bringing light on herndebele upbringings. her. She says that ‘her art speaks to Africa’s active role in the next wave of this global phenomena and how African artists aim to pioneer the stories being written about their continent and its people, which is fundamental to the preservation of its heritage.’

Ana Subeliani- Ana Subeliani is a queer activist, human rights defender and a Journalist from Georgia. She has been actively involved in various movements in Georgia fighting for equality, women’s rights, liberalization of inhuman drug policy and anti-occupational movements. She also used to be a public servant and leading restorative justice and crime prevention reforms in Georgia. Ana is a founder of the Institute of Nonviolent Communications. She is one of the leaders of Tbilisi Pride advocating and fighting for LGBT rights and she is also a host of a TV program “Call Ana” which is focused on human rights and social issues on one of the most popular TV channels “Mtavari Arkhi”.She was one of the organizers and leaders of “Rave Revollution” in Tbilisi, in May 2018, after the raid of nightclub Bassiani. She danced on the Memorial to the victims of the 9 April tragedy as a symbol of fighting for freedom, after which she received death threats and became a victim of physical attacks twice. Her dance opened a wide discussiom about women’s rights, the right of expression and dance as a tool of protest.

Also some of our teachers- sorry listing them here- but for the courage of their practice and for the challenge they bring to the status quo-

Rhea Shah- transdisciplinary environmental designer http://universityoftheunderground.org/rhea-shah

Ytasha Womack- award-winning author, filmmaker, independent scholar, and dance therapist. She is a leading expert on Afrofuturism, the imagination and its applications and frequently lectures on the subject across the world.  http://universityoftheunderground.org/ytasha-womack

Aditi Jaganathan- Aditi Jaganathan’s work explores the emergent cultures which arise from Black and brown diasporic connectivities in city spaces.

Amanda Fayant-  Amanda Fayant is a Cree/Métis/Saulteaux artist and first nations research on indigeneous practice

Studio Khana- Studio Khana is an Egyptian art collective found in 2012 with an aim to bridge the gaps within the infrastructure of the contemporary art scene, foster the critical and educational needs, and to provide various archival and educational material for Arabic speakers