Meet Patricia Urquiola

© Albarosa Simonetti

Today I was walking in the centre of Milan admiring the various exhibitions of the Fuori Salone (part of the Design Week)  while directed to the magnificent Palazzo Durini, built in 1648 in pure Baroque style. Above is the courtyard inside, facing toward the street.

© Albarosa Simonetti

There was an installation I wanted to visit, titled  “Ricognizioni” and organized by Nilufar Gallery.
Up the stairs we went…

© Albarosa Simonetti

First encounter was “Apparita” a sculpture by Andrea Salvetti, quite a contrast with the beautiful floor, affreschi on walls and ceilings and various decorations.

© Albarosa Simonetti

Again a contemporary piece, a console by Studio Nucleo titled “Presenze

© Albarosa Simonetti

© Albarosa Simonetti

Admiring the frescos on the ceiling a few steps away was a large room with  a lighting installation … and… who did I see coming toward me? No less than the “estrela” or star of design Patricia Urquiola.

© Albarosa Simonetti

She had a room for her fascinating projects:

© Albarosa Simonetti

The vases were created from about 150 other broken ones she made before, the table was designed only for the installation.

© Albarosa Simonetti

The suns on the wall she said were put there to give warmth to the room.

You can’t imagine how thrilled I was to see her and even more of having a chance to talk to her, actually SHE did the talking, being a volcano of ideas but also a very warm, open person, and she started to explain  every single piece in the room.

She was very proud of the large extraordinary project on the wall, made mostly of sequins creating figures, the most intriguing part of which was that touching it you could change the image.
“Waste, no waste” is the theme of her installation and she was happy that many people responded positively to the theme.

© Albarosa Simonetti

Patricia Urquiola and Ross Lovegrove

© Albarosa Simonetti

© Albarosa Simonetti

Really an interactive piece of art, see how you can make words appear or disappear.
© Albarosa Simonetti

© Albarosa Simonetti

These chairs are a prototype, not in production and it is clear that she has great fun working, inventing new things all day (and probably night too).

© Albarosa Simonetti

© Albarosa Simonetti

Urquiola was born in Madrid from a Milanese mother and she decided to finish Architecture in Milan writing the thesis with Achille Castiglioni, who said to her that being a designer is being full of active curiosity, interested in what other people don’t see or even discard. She always looks at daily objects with a desire to change them into something else.
From the brief conversation we had she said that every object created by a designer must also transmit emotions, people need to love that object, and keep it even when it is faded or worned out. Sustainable design is definetely what inspires her lately.
In her free time (does she?) she loves to be with her partner (in life and at work) and the two daughters, week-ends she loves to sleep eight hours (not seven she said!) and she loves food (unfortunately she said!)
Her team is made of 25 young and talented people from all over the world and laughing she said that when she travels she is sure they all say: “Great, she is away for a few days…!” she knows she is a physical person, needing to be with others, to exchange ideas, to work in team, even literally constantly touching the other person (the Spanish side of her personality). When I asked her why she does not even have a website she said “everyone has one, for me is enough to have my contact information and everyone can be in touch with me”.
What can I say? she is unique and she is pure fire, warm and sparkling!

© Albarosa Simonetti

Did I touch the steps going down or was I just flying over them thinking about the lucky encounter?

All images ©Albarosa Simonetti

©2011 Tent London Interiors writes about new trends, timeless decor, iconic pieces, design ideas, or at times just musing about "a certain Italian way of doing things".
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Write by: A-Efendy - Sunday, April 17, 2011

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