Renata Bonfanti textile designer – Born Bassano del Grappa 1929
Which European country has most influenced your work?
The Scandinavian countries and to some extent also Germany. I attended the Art Institute in Venice towards the end of the forties, in the fabrics department, and my teacher was a Swede called Anna Ackerdahl who had taught in Monza with art masters from Bauhaus before she came to Venice.
At that time Bauhaus was an exhilarating influence whose social and political ideas also exerted a strong attraction on us. Another influence on my work was a brief weaving course I on to in Norway in 1954, as part of an exchange programme between the Venice Art Institute and the Kinnelige Industri Skole in Olso.
Which European countries most appreciate your work?
It has been most appreciated in Italy, Switzerland and Germany.
Which European countries are in your view most interested in design?
As regards the short runs, which is the production area I am involved in, I have to say most definitely Finland and Italy.
What cultural exchange between European countries has produced the best results in design terms?
For a long period the Milan Triennale and at other times the work of associations like the ADI and the ICSID. We could add to this the role of magazines such as Domus and others.
Which European Universities or Schools of Art were been most involved in the affirmation of design in the period 1945-78?
Most certainly the Hochschule fur Gestaltung in Ulm. I must confess though that I am not particularly well informed about the activities of the universities and art school.
Is design promoted more by public bodies or by private industry in your country?
I think that it is private industry that still plays the more significant role.
Would it be appropriate to speak of a European design style?
For myself I do not see a European style as such but rather a collection of trends, sometimes alternating between themselves, that push various aspects of design forward.