Italy’s present is just as inspiring as its design heritage

I’m not sure I agree with much of Sara Manuelli’s Private View on Italy (DW 29 March).

I particularly object to the sweeping statement, ‘Most [designers] have a degree in architecture, as no great design courses exist in Italy.’ It would appear that she didn’t do very much research at all.

I’m surprised she is so out of touch – still bantering on about Achille Castiglioni and Antonio Citterio (don’t get me wrong, they’re indisputably great designers) – but there is a thriving generation of young designers in Italy who are the products of fantastic undergraduate and postgraduate design courses of which I assure her there are many.

Industrial design courses and faculties have existed there for years and, frankly, we can learn a lot from their broad, inclusive training. The Politecnico di Milano has an excellent design faculty, Polidesign has excellent design MAs unlike any in the UK… Have a look at the great design work that Esterni is doing, for example, and its team are all under 35.

I agree that Italy’s design heritage is exemplary, but don’t let it overshadow what’s happening now, which is just as inspirational.


Fiona Bennie, by e-mail

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