Be Inspired by Amazing Interior Designer Patricia Urquiola
Patricia Urquiola is a perfect example of a designer who was born in Spain but is Milanese at heart. Her career began during the 90s during which she designed and worked alongside many top bespoke interior designers, and drew some of the best bespoke pieces for some well-renowned international brands. During these last decades, not only did she create and manage her own design studio in Milan, but she also has been recognized by many interior design enthusiasts and won a series of awards for her merit.
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Patricia Urquiola started her journey through this amazing universe when she attended the school of architecture of Madrid Polytechnic and also the Milan polytechnic, where she graduated in 1989 with Achille Castiglioni. Curiously she was an assistant lecturer to both Achille Castiglioni and Eugenio Bettinelli in Milan and Paris, between 1990 and 1992. After that, her career really began to move forward when she became responsible for the new product development office of De Padova, a chance which allowed her to work alongside with Vico Magistretti. However, the Spanish designer recognizes the influence and lessons she won with the influence of having socialized and worked alongside Castiglioni.
“At the moment you can explain to someone what you want to do, and the person on the other side understands, in some way you are getting what design is. Many people interpret this as the lazy way of doing design, but he said that you always divide your works with others, with the company, that’s very important, with the artisans and the industrials. At the same time, you need to have your concept and you have to move. Castiglioni always said the “one fundamental element of the project”, this means that there’s no exchange about this element. But the other things, that are related to the path of a project, you can manage with others, but the fundamental element is the concept. That’s in your hand and you have to drive until the end.”
When it comes to working with other designers Patricia Urquiola has definitely had much socialization with many relevant design figures in the industry (be it in Italy and in other countries). Aside from the aforementioned Achille Castiglioni, Piero Lissoni and Vico Magistretti, she also recently cooperated with Rossana Orlandi on an ironic daybed, more specifically the Wasting Time Daybed, that is made out of recycled plastics. She also cooperated with top bespoke brands which include Alessi, B&B Italia, De Padova, Flos, Foscarini, Glas Italia, Kartell, Maurice Lacroix, Liv’it, Moroso, Mutina, Panasonic, Paola Lenti, among many others. When describing her work, Urquiola pointed out how active it can be on her side.
“I’m quite a social person, I work with others very well, I’m very open to working in the companies, I discuss a lot, I say a lot of no’s, but we have a lot of fun. In the studio, I try to mix physical and digital work. I have a team that works together in the same house. We travel a lot to see clients and to do lectures, and I try to be humble and to things. Now I’m working on a building next to the hospital that will open in June, this is part of my work, my work is to share with other people. Our work is a mix of pragmatic and creative work, and all my work interests me.”
Around a year ago there was an exhibition in a Philadelphia museum in which many of Patricia’s works were showcased. This was an introspective moment in which she might have had her path established by having her work showcased in a museum, however she feels that the real elements that really reflect the quality of her work are the homes she designed, the interiors she handled, and the clients that really give her special feedback regarding her work. For her, the best “museum” she can show is reflected in projects worldwide such as the Jewellery Museum in Vicenza, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Barcelona, Das Stue hotel in Berlin, and also the Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel in Milan.
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“For all designers, these types of situations are our life. We are related to normal life, we are related to the idea of production. It would be nice to do special items, to work more with manifestos and ideas as artists. Our work is much smoother.”
From the 90s to this day Patricia Urquiola definitely has a very complete and unique career regarding a variety of interior design projects as well as luxury furniture. However, when it comes to her victories, she provides an interesting perspective in which she also enhances the importance of oneself looking at failures.
“The things that move your career are when you have a bad moment, a delay when you don’t get what you want when there is a problem in an architectural design project and you know that those are the things that make you grow. When I say that we are perfectionists, it’s because you’re happy about it but there’s something that is always on your mind, it’s natural. And that’s what helps you go on and do better. The failures help you more. The failure of our relationship to the planet is what’s going to help us move. We have to look at failure as a value. Honours and medals are fantastic but it’s not only that that’s important.”
In that regard, despite the fact that recognizing failure as a way of growing, Patricia Urquiola has definitely some relevant advice for both young designers and for any person who needs to find their path in life.
“What’s important for me is, when I think about my daughters or any young person, to see them without any kind of perspective, perspective for me is so important. You can have a big problem if you wake up in the morning with that problem, but if you see a light at the end of the tunnel, things are okay. What is dramatic is the depression, the moment when you really don’t see light and lost your perspective. I think it’s important to always have a perspective.”
See also: Interior Designers Top 20 London
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