Rodolfo Bonetto, born to design

Rodolfo Bonetto, born to design

24 September 2019

Rodolfo Bonetto would now be 90 years old. Throughout his career as a designer, he won an impressive eight “Compasso d’Oro” awards, leaving the Italian design scenario with a huge heritage.
A promising jazz drummer, in 1958 he decided to forsake a musical career, dedicating himself instead to full time industrial design, overwhelmed by an irresistible creative passion.

His products have made history as far as custom, society, visual and applied arts are concerned, becoming a veritable icon of design, born of his flair and of an absolutely unique language.

Most illustrious are his collaborations with Veglia Borletti, Olivetti, Fiat, Voxon and Nordica, all companies for which he designed the most diverse objects: ski boots, telephones, dashboards, calculators, motors, motor cars, machine tools, watches.

As opposed to other designers, more devoted to the world of furnishing, what principally “fired him up” was the technical component, the knowledge of the various materials and manufacturing processes.
He liked to define design in this way: “Design is like a butterfly held in your hands, if you hold it too tightly, it dies, if you let it go, it flies away.”

Gifted with vivid foresight, Bonetto approaches design by always acting as mediator between the manufacturer and the user, in a dual attempt to favour the activities of both.

Within the furnishing scenario, designs are plentiful and varied, both in terms of use and dimension, confirming an uncommon flexibility and eclecticism. Even his furniture creations are imbued with all the versatility of his expressive genius. This is the case of 4/4, manufactured by B-LINE, consisting of 4 elements from which little tables or variously shaped small bookcases can be put together at will, an impressive example of ultimate modularity, without doubt one of his preferred themes.

Included in B-LINE’s iconic collection are also his BOOMERANG armchair, BUK magazine rack and AKI umbrella stand. The distinguishing mark is always the same: that unmistakable sense of rhythm that, as a musician, has probably never abandoned him.