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here’s 14 incredible women in design!
design is often seen as a catch-all term with hundreds of interpretations. what’s considered design — more importantly, good design — has changed in the last few decades, and continues to do so exponentially. at leap.club, we host over 350+ women in design and associated fields.
as the industry rapidly grows and poses new problems to solve, we’re celebrating 14 of these women who rise to the challenge daily:
1. akanksha sureka: founder, flying elephant designs
akanksha is the founder of a mumbai-based full-service design studio, established in 2016. she creates research-backed solutions for brand, digital and communication design, while also specialising in sustainable packaging. akanksha strives to always bring fresh ideas to the table: her goal is to not have any two products look alike. she has serviced over a hundred clients, and has most recently introduced brand identity nfts as part of the services at flying elephant designs. akanksha loves to unwind with some good pasta and gin&tonic!
2. ananya tantia: founder & creative director, 9133 design studios
founder, creative director and multidisciplinary designer, ananya tantia has diverse design experience in her belt. after graduating from risd and parsons along with working for 5 years, she founded 9133 design studios — a product of her love for 3d, paper and print. aside from design and branding, she loves to travel, paint and enjoys good food!
3. anmol loonia: senior consultant–experience design lead, deloitte studios
with over seven years of experience in the design industry, anmol believes that good design combines logic and reason with good aesthetics. she has a background in print, but has since become well versed with user interface design as well. she’s also a writer–in her blog, she talks about her experiences dealing with imposter syndrome. anmol is an avid reader and, believe it or not, enjoys burpees!
4. divya surana: ux designer, aws
user experience design is a fast-changing field, one in which divya strives to keep her human-centered focus. from starting her journey with an internship in design to founding her own design firm, she has worked on a vast spectrum of design work. she draws parallels between the design process and cooking: combining form, function and aesthetic, experimenting with tastes, and learning from feedback — these are principles she applies to both disciplines! fun fact, divya is also working on an nft art project led by women!
5. ekta manchanda: co-founder & principal designer, everything.design
with over a decade of working in design, ekta is skilled across disciplines. from art direction to logo & concept creation to ui/ux, she’s done it all. ekta says she finds solutions to design problems when put in the wider context of larger brand strategy. ekta loves the seaside and a good glass of wine to unwind the day! sigh, don’t we all ;)
6. gazal bawa: co-founder, idam | gazal co-founded a print and surface design store called idam in response to the growing need for contemporary design in india. idam is known for their unique designs in home linens. she enjoys puzzles and good drinks, and her mantra is “imagination pe duniya kayam hai”! fun fact — she’s one of our earliest founding members and believers from delhi ncr :’)
7. kamna tripathy: founder & creative director, noupelle
through her brand noupelle, kamna has given life to leather off-cuts and discard from manufacturers, designers and factories. by designing unique, earth-toned statement jewellery, she’s given upcycling a luxurious face. take a look at her reimagined pieces here. kamna is a big believer in conscious consumption and strives to cut out plastic and waste from her life!
8. laila malpani: founder, laila malpani design
with a degree in interior and garden design from inchbald school, london, laila founded her own bespoke design service company in mumbai. she has worked with well-known interior design and architect firms such as kiran patki, prakash mankar & associates and also helmed iconic mumbai designer sunita pitamber’s studio for several years. laila considers herself a compulsive multitasker, she parents a toddler and is a lover of art & culture!
9. manmayee desai: founder, haiku design house
manmayee is the founder of an all-women design company that focuses on d2c. with branding, website design, logo, packaging, and art direction, manmayee has exciting brands like nike, facebook, pepsi, tinder among others in her belt. manmayee happens to be an avid plant lover, and has bragging rights for over a hundred plants in her garden! she is also a dog parent to a beautiful indie, lola. living the life, truly!
10. megha aggarwal: vp — product design, fancode, dreamsports
megha is a user experience designer in the field of sports and gaming. she has over a decade of experience across industries — finance, travel, market research, and more. she’s passionate about fostering women leaders, and hopes to challenge typical workplace status-quos!
11. nitya kuthiala: senior design researcher, quicksand
having studied history, international relations, and environmental studies, nitya is currently working as a design researcher at a design thinking consultancy based out of india. she has a keen interest on human-centred design research, and a loves good storytelling. nitya is an adjunct faculty member at mica, teaching a course on “futuring for business” — creating a dialogue about what the future of fashion, food, parenting, music streaming, relationships and tourism might look like. in her words, she approaches every project with curiosity and an attitude of learning, with the assumption that there are hidden stories in the little things in everyday life. it’s no surprise, then, that she loves absorbing cultures through backpacking across landscapes and meeting interesting people! nitya plans to further her interests in technology, anthropology and research with a masters degree at oxford university, later this year.
12. samina rahman: associate director — design, noora health | aurora health innovation
samina is a design strategist who leads a team of creatives at noora health, a non-profit that enables healthcare education for low-income groups. through her work, she designs multimedia communication that trains caregivers in post-surgery care. she strives to maintain regional contexts and medical accuracy. samina considers herself an ardent patron of design as a process, and loves exploring food and new experiences!
13. sanjana bhatt: founder & creative director, frisk
sanjana is an independent design consultant and founder of a bangalore-based design studio, frisk. she has also previously run “blankfound creative”, an art and design collective that creates album covers for independent musicians across the country. take a look at their artwork ranging across styles here. sanjana likes cats, tattoos and coffee, while enjoying her free time by knitting and playing the piano!
14. hemal kapadia: founder & ceo, olive design
with 15 solid years of experience, hemal kapadia has several achievements of which to boast. she is the kolkata leader for the interaction design association (ixda), has been a mentor at kolkata design week, and is a visiting faculty at nid (bda) nift. in addition to all of this, she has also founded east india dezign co, a luxury & lifestyle brand for handcrafted products. hemal loves vedic philosophy, art and luxe travel!
head to the app to connect with these women, or explore a membership at leap.club!