Rietlanden Women’s Office

Typography (BA Graphic Design), Designers, Publication project (MA Artistic Research)

Rietlanden Women’s Office (rietlanden.womensoffice.nl) teaches Typography in the Graphic Design Bachelor and are also visiting tutors in Book Design at the Master Artistic Research.

Graphic designers Elisabeth Rafstedt and Johanna Ehde form Rietlanden Women’s Office. Their practice is interested in current and historical issues connected to (reproductive) work and collaborative graphic design. The basis of their work is a printed publication series called MsHeresies — an inquiry into collaborative graphic design practices and the ornamental as a form of work critique.

The ornamental sits at the centre of their practice where they consider ornaments not simply as added decoration, but as traces of the specific conditions under which a work was made. They look at how traces of reproductive work such as lines of alteration and correction, clashing elements, improvised type — manifestations of urgency — become the ornaments which make social relations legible. They search for ornaments’ disruptive, devious, and aesthetic qualities, and sketch the ornamental as a point where aesthetics and politics intertwine.