The Anzea team recently had the opportunity to meet Ruth Adler-Schnee and her grandson Jacob Schnee at the WEAVING THE PAST AND THE PRESENT program at the University of Texas at Austin. Several of Anzea’s textiles were featured in this exhibit along with fabrics from the archives of Fortuny and Knoll. Mills and Schnee worked closely to develop these fabrics that are still being sold in the contract upholstery fabric industry. The program had several guest speakers including Sina Pearson of Sina Pearson Textiles, Mickey Riad of Fortuny, Martina Starke of BMW Interiors, and Lynda S. Waggoner of FallingWater. website down . Schnee was the featured guest at this event and a documentary of her life was shown to conclude the day.
Ruth Adler-Schnee’s fascinating history, witty personality and life experiences make her a truly interesting person. It is amazing to be able to meet someone who has such a rich life story and has received so many accolades from the architectural and design industries. One thing that Schnee said in her introduction of the film was that, “I never accept compromises, but I willingly accept constraints.” I found this quite thought provoking. As a designer, I believe it is easy to allow outside influences to compromise your work and eventually turn it into something that you never intended to create. When you accept those compromises, you and your design become lost. If, however, you accept only the constraints of the particular project, you are forced to put yourself completely into the design to solve the problem. Thus the result is something that was not compromised but was designed to address the constraints. By accepting the constraints of a project you are being provided with a stimulus that allows you to grow. Without that stimulus you and your designs would eventually become stagnant and stale. I believe that this concept applies not only to design but to life as well.
Anzea Textiles will continue to work with Schnee in developing high-performance upholstery fabric, and will have some new collaborative designs in the future.
Photographs of the exhibit are pictured below.