Patrizia Donà

Professional in Accessory Design.

About Patrizia Donà

  • Winner of Accessory Design Award.
  • Specialized in Accessory Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Highly Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Accessory
Qwerty Elemental Handbags

Qwerty Elemental Handbags

Accessory Design

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Interview with Patrizia Donà

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
My previous study of Art History seems to be a very valuable background that helps me to come up with different concepts. You could find a presence of ready-made,arte poveraor surrealism in my work. I like to play and combine art and design. What fashion is, or what fashion may be, does not inspire me – I prefer to work from an idea, thought, form or a specific characteristic. Usually it starts when I see some interesting ready made object. Ideas of how to transform that object come out automatically.Designing process is an adventure in which I often get surprised with the end result.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
Laboratorio Donà is a fashion and art studio where a unique synthesis takes place. Impact of Belgian fashion design, with the power of its visions and particular aesthetics, merges with the Italian artisanal tradition that strives to perfection in every detail.Patrizia’s work is a confluence of visual art and design, and all of her fashion projects are also research and experiments 
as well as being suitable for production in smaller or larger series of wearable objects and accessories. Donà uses unconventional materials as well as found objects that awakes the senses and evoke the wonder of lost industries. The narrative quality of products has always played a mayor role in her work. Each of her creation tells a tale.In 2012 Patrizia Donà established her own label “Laboratorio Donà” which was renamed “Donà” in 2019. She started collaboration with different manufactures with one aim: to improve each detail to the level of excellence and to combine craft and industrial methods of production.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
I find it easy to think in 3D form and I see a bag as a sculpture. I want to create a piece that has conceptual external appearance while the content meets the requirements of functionality.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
It is my recent collection "Qwerty", inspired by fascination with the highly aesthetical and complex mechanical object - the Remington typewriter. It is one of the earliest brands of typewriters, dating from 1874
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
Details. I am obsessed with details.I strive to to improve each detail to the level of excellence and to combine craft and industrial methods of production. “The details are not the details; they make the product.” Obsessive Attention to Detail Isn’t Crazy, It’s required said The Emes.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
excitement, dedication...diving into designing process is a kind of meditative state for me
What makes a design successful?
Design has to be unique and universal.Products that provide meaning, that uplift us from the mundane to the extraordinary; those products are durable.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
I will quote Bruno Munari:"Anyone who uses a properly designed object feels the presence of an artist who has worked for him, bettering his living conditions and encouraging him to develop his taste and sense of beauty”
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
I like to play and combine art and design. What fashion is, or what fashion may be, does not inspire me – I prefer to work from an idea, thought, form or a specific characteristic. Usually it starts when I see some interesting ready made object
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
My vision is to bring something unique to the table. Not just another trendy bag but an intelligent and beautiful design in every passionate detail. My products should be recognized for its original timeless design, excellence manufacturing in synergy between industrial and hand made.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I admire handicrafts. Fascination for the handicraft has been with me since my childhood. As my father comes from Murano (Venice) I grew up in the permanent presence of an artisan workshop and have an acute awareness and respect for “Lavorazioni Artigianali”.
How do you work with companies?
I collaborate with many companies because each detail of my design is carefully designed and manufactured within various companies or crafts workshops- leather, metal, wood, 3D printing...
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
Believe in your idea, break the rules, stay authentic and the rest will follow. Never give up!
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
I enjoy every stages of design process from idea generation to presentation of the final product

Extended Interview with Patrizia Donà

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
Patrizia Donà is a successor of the long family tradition originating from the island of Murano, Venice. During her childhood, she used to spend many summers in a family manufacture, helping putting together crystal parts of Venetian chandeliers, whose production is a unique and unsurpassed process. Patrizia's father, a born Venetian from Murano, worked as a craftsman in Zagreb, where he moved for love to Patrizia's mother. His metal work was much appreciated and people used to say he had mani d'oro (golden hands). So Patrizia grew up surrounded by lavorazioni artigianali, artisanal work, in an atmosphere where striving for perfection and continuous improvement came to her naturally. Later in life, Patrizia Donà graduated from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Art History and Ethnology. Soon after, she moved to Rotterdam where she studied Fashion Design at the Willem de Kooning Academy. She graduated Cum Laude in 2006 whereby her final collection “Souvenirs d'Enfance – La Manufacture des Automates” was nominated for Drempelprijs Academy Award. Among her first working experiences was the one for A.F. Vandervorst in Antwerp, for whom she also worked as a stylist at fashion shows in Paris. In 2012, Patrizia started her own label Laboratio Donà (later renamed Donà), which soon gained attention and appraisal for the “Hommage a Remington” bags, inspired by a famous typewriter.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
I remember being a child, I had an impulse to demolish goods (chairs, lamps, clothes, toys) that I found not properly aesthetically made and I put the pieces back together in a way I thought they had to be done.
Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
I was not forced nor I chose to be a designer….it came naturally, like a predestined path.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
My creations are a confluence of visual art and design, and all of my fashion projects are also research and experiments as well as being suitable for production in smaller or larger series of wearable objects and accessories.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
To work hard, believe in yourself, be passionate, be consistent and never compromise no matter what
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
I think the difference between good designer and a great designer is like difference between job vs. vocation. A good designer provides accurate design with overall good quality whereas a great designer is fully “IN”. It is fascinating how the great designers, like the Eames, are obsessed with the details…they had been working over the course of 6 years refining the foot/glide on their now-classic upholstered wire chair!
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
My stubbornness and desire to see the final product is bigger than all the obstacles I will likely face during the designing process…I never give up
How do you define design, what is design for you?
I found for myself that there are 2 paths in one’s life - the inner path and the external path. The inner path is to discover who we are, our true nature, that we are all equal because we come from the same source. The external path is to discover what is your unique gift and to nourish it, cultivate and extend it to the fullest potential. My external path is design.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
I will reveal my secret. My biggest dream is to design a collection dedicated to Olivetti. Few years ago I came across Negozio Olivetti (Olivetti showroom) in Venice. It was a love at the first sight. In that small place is condensed everything I admire in design: every detail speaks, while mixture of colors, materials, and forms creates a visual symphony. I want to do a project that will show my deepest appreciation for the work of two masters: Adriano Olivetti and Carlo Scarpa.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
I am afraid we cannot stop the turning wheel of quick-consumption culture and mass production. I would like to see more meaningful and durable design, the revitalization of handcraft. Respect and integration of old traditional technics in contemporary language of modern technology, something that Hella Jongerius does in her projects.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
To finalize a certain project means sometimes working for years on it. Doing researches, testing how a certain material behaves in a long term (after many years of use) and making constant improvement.
What is your life motto as a designer?
I strive for excellence. I always want my next project to be an inch better than a previous one.
Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
I think that nowadays trends set a design and that makes me sad. It should be the opposite. It is designer’s duty and responsibility to communicate the true values and educate the society what a good quality design is and why one should buy it. In that way designers improve the quality of life of society.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
I have never co-worked with other designers. I am the “one woman show” which means that I am involved in all aspects within a project. I direct and design everything: the product (bag), graphic design, packaging, presentation… and I often use my self even as a model. I do co-working with various artisans. Without their meticulously handwork my design would not be that great.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
I was an introvert in my teenage years and I used to spend most of the time by myself reading bunch of books. I am still in love with literature, next to the books on design and art, I reed writers like: F.M. Dostoevsky, O. Fallaci, M. Duras…One of my collections, “Qwerty Limited” is inspired and dedicated to American poet E.E. Cummings. I made typewriter keys with fragments from his poetry and inserted them into a perforated front layer of the bag that evokes the keyboard layout.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
Midnight blue, Murano, all kind of fruits, spring, silk pantyhose from ‘50s, Loewe
When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
I would say I have a cultivated eye and an innate impeccable taste. I remember in my childhood mother and I would go shopping in Venice. I usually stopped in a front of a display widow of a luxury store showing with the finger-this is what I want. My mother tried to explain that the doll or the dress was too expensive but I stubbornly insisted until she gave up. Nothing else and nothing less would not have satisfied me.

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