The most innovative designs make us wonder how we ever lived without them. They welcome us into the future with bold, new ideas that are user-centric and forward-thinking.
Consider how we ever managed to drive without cup-holders for so long or how wondrous it is to sit in chairs with ergo dynamic back-support and made from environmentally-sustainable materials.
These so-called “out-of-the-box” ideas are the trademark of innovators and women like Helen Dryden, one of America’s most prolific illustrators, creators and industrial designers of the twentieth century. Her influence spanned three different industries and, in many ways, turned expectations for women upside down.
But success did not happen overnight. It came from hard work, foresight and intellectual genius. She mapped an unusual and unique career path as a self-taught, Baltimore-born artist (1882-1972) who moved to New York in 1909. Hoping to create fashion illustrations for Vogue magazine, she wanted to make her mark in the world beyond the affluence of her family circumstances.
Initially, Vogue rejected her art nouveau and art decor design submissions, criticizing her unconventional style. When Conde Nast purchased Vogue a year later, Dryden’s drawings were discovered buried in the archives.