Celebrating International Women’s Day: #InspireInclusion Through Conversations with Inspirational Women in Commercial Interiors – Zoë Allen

This International Women’s Day, Design Insider is proud to embrace the 2024 campaign theme: #InspireInclusion. We are delighted to present a series of interviews with some of the most inspirational women in the commercial interiors community—each playing a pivotal role in shaping the industry.

Inclusion is a pathway to innovation, creativity, and empowerment. When we inspire inclusion, we not only celebrate diversity but also harness the rich perspectives and ideas that drive our industry forward. This year, we’re highlighting the voices of Inspirational Women who aren’t just participating in the commercial interiors sector but are actively shaping its future to be more inclusive, vibrant, and dynamic.

Zoë Allen, Founder of  Artistic Statements, is one of our Inspirational Women. In our conversation, we delve into how Zoe interprets #InspireInclusion within the context of her work and the broader commercial interiors sector. We explore her personal experiences, the success stories that have marked her journey, and the collective strides we can make toward a more inclusive industry. Moreover, we discover the women who have inspired her and how she, in turn, serves as a beacon of inspiration for others.

Join us as we celebrate Zoe’s achievements, insights, and stories, and let’s continue to #InspireInclusion every day in every way.

Zoë Allen, Founder of  Artistic Statements

Please could you introduce yourself and your role?

I’m the Founder of Artistic Statements, a multidisciplinary art consultancy specialising in bespoke, site specific art installations for internal and external commercial spaces.

These vary from 2D graphics / illustrations, artistic architectural / interior features, to digital media and public art sculptures. I represent a multitude of creatives; artists, designers and makers and I manage the entire process from artistic brief, design development stages right through to fabrication, delivery and installation.

How do you interpret #inspireinclusion and what needs to happen to achieve this within the commercial interiors sector?

I interpret “Inspire Inclusion” by ensuring I take an active role in “being the change you want to see in the world’. I’m still quite often the only woman at the table of a lot of property events, so by attending, actively participating and ensuring my voice is heard will not only inspire other women to attend male dominated events, but hosts and guests will hopefully feel inspired and more mindful to ensure they invite more women in the future!

Are there any success stories of inclusion you would like to highlight?

I think IWD in general is a global inclusion success story. It’s the equivalent of Valentines Day; if you’re with a romantic partner 365 days a year (the equivalent of an inclusive, gender balanced company) then great / good for you! If not, this one day a year helps cast light on those businesses and employers that actively need and want to do more to celebrate women. The day helps us all to consider what MORE we can be doing to celebrate half of the global population and what incredible things can happen if we continue to support women more….

What does it feel like to be inspired by, and inspire, people around you?

Inspiration is EVERYTHING. I am continually inspired by what I do; the creatives I work with, the designs they imagine, the artworks they create. It is genuinely what gets me out of bed in the morning and what pushes me through the challenging days. I’m told I inspire others, but its only as a result of a deep appreciation for being in the creative sector and surrounded by beautifully talented people.

Which inspirational women do you celebrate?

Mum. She’s an artist, interior designer, property developer – and possesses warrior like qualities. Strength is earned and learned through experience and she’s taught me so much about resilience… but compassion too. What a woman.

Thank you for reading this conversation. Discover more empowering stories from Inspirational Women in commercial interiors by clicking HERE to continue our #InspireInclusion series.

Join us in celebrating and learning from these influential voices!


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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