Sophia Fornaro


Sophia Fornaro
Industrial Designer | Frida

Sophia is a passionate young industrial designer who first learned of the ID field as a teen when she spent a day shadowing designers at the company her dad worked for. She fell in love with the melding of problem-solving and art and knew she wanted to leave her mark on this field in any way she could.

Sophia spent her college years in Cleveland, graduating with a BFA in Industrial Design from the Cleveland Institute of Art. While there, she first learned of IDSA; and not long after, IDSA Women in Design Chapters. She attended the IDSA Women in Design Deep Dive, and her eyes were opened to a completely new world. She learned that the years she had spent in school feeling like she didn’t belong “amongst the boys” wasn’t a singular experience, and that strides were already being made to bring women and their work into the spotlight.

She chose to focus her thesis work on sustainability in the feminine hygiene space, then moved into consulting for Mako Design + Invent, where she worked with inventors and small companies alike to bring their dreams into more realized developed concepts.

Most recently, you can find her in Miami designing for Frida (Mom + Baby). She especially loves the work that she is able to do to better the experience for expecting and postpartum mothers; and every day, she feels she is learning something new about the wonders and strength of women.



Statement of Candidacy (South District Representative - Women in Design Committee | 2023-2024 term)

I want to begin by stating that I am so grateful to even be considered for this position—and thank those involved for the honor. I wanted to run for this position because I know I could do wonders to help build the Southern WID representation out to what it is meant to be.

I have been an industrial designer in the South for several years and have noticed a lack of community in the design world here—one that is very different to what I had become accustomed to living and designing in the Midwest. This was shocking at first, and when the opportunity to run for a WID leadership position within the South District presented itself, I jumped towards it.

If elected, I would begin by helping to install WID communities within IDSA’s Sotuh District. We have so many incredible women in design working from all over the South; however, we are so widespread that the community has often felt nominal. With the shift in the design field towards more remote work, this number will only continue to grow. These connections can be built both virtually and in-person, and I know that women who work throughout the South would love the opportunity to build their community.

The beauty of WID is that it creates a community where likeminded people feel comfortable sharing their experiences (and trials) and learning from each other. By first creating smaller, more centralized communities throughout the South District I know we can build those safe spaces out and give each group the autonomy to build even more connections across the entire District. I would work to organize and maintain individual WID communities within the South District, in addition to giving each group the opportunity to blend and mix throughout the entire District and help create a lasting, supportive environment.