Design Knowledge Intermediary
Dante Donegani
(By Burcin Gulen, Can Uckan)

Born in Pinzolo (province of Trento) in 1957. Dante Donegani gained a degree in architecture in Florence in 1983. From 1987 to 1991 he worked in the Olivetti Corporate Identity department. Since 1991 he has been the director of the master’s program in design at the Domus Academy in Milan. In 1992 he opened the D&L Studio together with Giovanni Lauda. He has designed layouts for art exhibitions, corporate identity projects, and products for a number of companies that include Memphis, Stildomus, Isuz, Steel and Luceplan, Le Cose Nostre, Edra, Radice and Viceversa. Dante Donegani has won important competitions in architecture, and his work have been displayed in numerous exhibitions. In 2001 he was responsible for setting up the “home” section of the exhibition entitled “Italy and Japan: Design as Lifestyle”.

Due to the development in technology in which way you think the design education and design should be changed?

About design education I don't know very well because it's difficult to say what to do. About design, I think that we have to insert more project management strategies, also have to see better what is happening in all other disciplines, in fashion, art, cinema, etc. and our ecole has to include technic, strategy, way of thinking objects.

Do you think the desingners now, have to improve their skills in art, drawing, technical subjects, computer?

I believe that all of them is useful, this not means to know many things on a specific topic. Nowadays we should be aware of many things so it's better to not knowing deeply in a single field because we can reach to many information by internet, media and etc.. It's better to have wide knowledge touching all other disciplines because it's very easy to access to information technology. If we need help we can ask to the specialists. I think we are more like the directors of an orchestra.

Can you make a comparison between the students in Turkey,Korea or other countries you've been?

10 years ago, also judging the Domus Academy students -they came from different parts of the world-, there were many differences by means of presentation, background, knowledge etc. Now all they are the same. There is no big difference. Yes, may be some universities are better than others, some stress on technical issues more, other on creativity but I don't see big diferrences between Japan, Korea, Turkey, Germany. It's very difficult to say that there are real differences.

You came here some years ago. If you had the opportunity to see the students. Did you recognize any changes ?

I think yes. I saw big difference but not because of Turkey. I saw it everywhere. Because in the last 5 years design culture has improved so much. In my opinion, because of the availibility of the the information about what happened in the other research centers, products and industry etc. Especially in the last 5 years everybody can have this information. I came to Turkey first in 1995 or 1996. Of course today it's very different, also the students are capable to think, they know everything about the developmente in the world.

So you name that as result of the change in the speed of communication...

I think this is the revolution. It's a result of globalization concept. For example, in Turkey there are important historical memories and also by the globalization you can link history with the new things.

I think you have an experience with Turkish industry. What do you think about their approach to design?

I don't have an experince in Turkish Industry yet. I know only Kelebek. I started the relationship very suitable. It's a very good relationship. and they started to work with me in 1998 and they have very well design vision. They know how important the design is. In fact they improved too much, their models, their identity, their images and I don't know other companies but it's very good to work with them.

What do you think about your visit in Turkey as a designer?

I think İstanbul is one of the best cities that I know. I saw many places many metropolitans,I think İstanbul is one the bests. The location is unbeliavable and the history. Istanbul is very big, it has the importance of strategical location in the past, also in the future. It has very strategic place because it's between the two big continents absorbing many cultures; ,european, western ,adriatic,etc. Turkey is very important link for other parts of of the world. So I like it very much,I like bosphorus, the architecture. But what I dislike is; it is very big city, maybe too big, the dimensions increases very speedy. I suppose that it's very difficult to manage people coming from many parts of Turkey. It's very difficult for architectures, designers as well. Because of the social structural changes. Of course I saw many places destroyed by urbanization but it happens everywhere. I think the future, also the bad parts of the city I mean, will have opportunity to improve.

Something to add?

Thank you. Thanks to the students who participated in the workshop with me. I was told many concepts while working with them which I haven't know. I really spoke to them about some concepts that I didn't think of before.


This interview was made in June 2007. Designophy © 



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