Mrs Panton, you weren't just Verner Panton's wife and closest confidante, but to some extent also his manager.
MP: In particular at the beginning I took care of all the correspondence. I also went everywhere with Verner and took part in negotiations and so on. However, I didn't get involved in his creative work in any way. Of course I was able to express my opinion, but he didn't often listen to me.
RT: But that was the same with everybody. He always asked you what you thought about his designs, but when it came down to it he didn't want to hear any objections. So when we thought that something was really going too far, we looked for other ways to talk him out of it.
MP: I remember very well when he worked on Visiona 0 and 2. When I saw his designs and models and the carpet patterns on the walls and floor, I thought to myself: "For heaven's sake, this is going to be a scandal. After all, in those days beige and mustard yellow were the omnipresent colours. Fortunately my conservative objections were ignored, because when I saw the finished exhibition I thought it was fantastic.
It sounds a little as if the two of you were the ones who had your feet on the ground in the whole enterprise.
RT: Verner could be very impatient and short tempered, and then it was my main task to calm him down.
MP: Yes, he could be very undiplomatic. He then sometimes said: "I can't work with people I don't like." I often had to encourage him to overcome his feelings and that could be a real strain. Of course his designs constantly met with resistance. Verner couldn't stand it when people told him that his designs couldn't be realised but then failed to offer him an alternative solution.
RT: Verner spent years looking for a producer for the Panton Chair, and after production of the chair finally began in 1967, he never again accepted the statement that "it can't be done".
Obviously he touched a chord with people. Was Verner Panton aware that the time was right for a change in style?
MP: It hadn't been so long after the shock of the Second World War, and I believe that people were yearning for bright colours, but above all it Verner's personal vision that was right for the era.
Development of the Panton Chair at Vitra, ca. 1966, Manfred Diebold (head of development), Rolf Fehlbaum and Verner Panton