Star furniture designer Patricia Urquiola puts the hearth back in the home.
The home is the creative hearth for designer Patricia Urquiola who is planning on turning your house into a much warmer place to live in..
Twenty years working with some of the biggest names in design paved the way for Spanish born, Milan based Patricia Urquiola's tornado of success after launching her own brand 2001.
Her mix-and-match, user-friendly furniture designs are all the buzz—just take a look at the endless list of elite contractors such as Driade, B&B Italia, Vitra, Kartell, Flo, Moroso clamoring for her creations. This year she (re)confirmed her force in the field at the Cologne International Furniture Fair where she was invited to present her vision of an 'ideal house' alongside that of Dutch star Hella Jongerius.
Unabashedly rooted in the cozy landscape of the home, her classic, somewhat formal shapes appeal with rounded curves, whimsical motifs and contact-friendly fabrics. Ever since she switched from architecture to design— encouraged by the great architect-turned-designer Achille Castiglione—home has been her creative hearth. Luckily for us all she's turning the "center of affection" into a diversified playground that's inventively practical and whimsically elegant.
DEFINITION OF LUXURY
What is your definition of luxury?
Managing your time
If luxury were a moment, when would it be?
If luxury were an object, what would it be?
A great book, any one. For me the time to read a book is a luxury.
If luxury were a place, where would it be?
My next trip to India.
If luxury were a person, who would it be?
My daughter and my partner.
Your studies with Achille Castiglioni focused your creative interest on domestic design. What were some of the important lessons you learned about creating for every day life?
For sure to focus your attention on every dimension, whether it is a small object or a building. To apply the same methods to each and make the design as personal as you can. Also, be sure to work on your design each day.
What does "home" signify for you?
The center of affection.
Besides Castiglioni, who are some of your other design icons? Why?
Vico Magistretti from whom I learned a lot as a designer and human being in terms of method and style.
What is your favorite building for its design? Why?
I like the Prada store in Tokyo by Herzog and de Meuron because it has its own personality and modernity.
What has been the most remarkable shift in design since you first began?
The end of minimalism that has led towards more diversification.
What was your first design purchase?
It was a radio that looks like a phone from Phonola that was designed by Achille Castiglioni.
What was your last design purchase?
A 60 GB i-pod.
What is your definition of design perfection?
Sticking to the brief, reach a final mock up which is close to your first idea, being yourself.
Which of your designs are most precious to you personally? Why?
All of them because they are all a part of a moment of time in my life.
You've always been drawn to architecture, and your designs – like the "ideal house" presented at Cologne — are getting larger and larger. What kind of building would you ideally want to make?
I'm already working on residential buildings and houses and public buildings in Shaghai, China and Udine, Italy. I'd like to create a space for myself that's both house and studio, like the old craftsmen.
What do you find inspires you the most right now?
Diversity, because it's a sign of individuality and richness.
What are you currently working?
I'm working on a table set for Rosenthal and a bathroom collection for Axor Hansgrohe.
Any advice to aspiring female designers?
Be the best you can be. Be your self. Do not follow advices.