Patricia Urquiola

The Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, a complete unknown in her own country, is warranted by experts to become one of the big names in architecture and interior design in the future. She was born in Oviedo and studied at the Faculdad de Arquitectura de Madrid as well as graduating from the Milan Polytechnic in 1989, with a thesis supervised by Achille Castiglioni. "Professionally I was born in Italy, from masters like Bruno Munari, the intellectual father of the Milanese school. At the same time I consider myself very Spanish: an Asturian of Basque descent."
After graduating in '89, she started working for Maddalena De Padova's product development office, eventually being put in charge of it, and there she met Vico Magistretti, with whom she was later to work. Magistretti and Castiglioni, two key figures in Milanese design, influenced her outlook and led her to cultivate her talents and abilities. In 1998 she began working with Moroso: her upholstered furniture, elegant and comfortable, captured not only the attention of insiders but also the general public. I realize just how much people like one of my products when they touch it, I need people to get close to it, feel the need to stroke it. I'm much less bothered about critics. She devised a new conception of seating, with interchangeable components for a truly modifiable living room. Patricia does not believe in boring modular elements, but an informal arrangement, flexible and easy to modify by mixing sofas and armchairs. In her furniture, she tends to create a setting that is invitingly intimate and comfortable, one that encourages togetherness. She opened her own practice in Milan in '98, continuing to work on numerous commissions. Her sofas Step and Lowland were selected for the International Design Yearbook 1999/2000, Lowseat was chosen to represent Italian design in the Furniture Design Tour 2001. She took part in the editions of Abitare il Tempo in 1998, 1999 and 2000 (Crystal Vases for the 1998 edition, Armchair and Pouf for the 1999 edition, Stone Sofa System for the 2000 one). In 2001, with the experience and influences absorbed from the worlds of art and architecture and above their Milan-based protagonists, she participated in the international seminars of the Domus Academy Design Exhibition in Australia, and chaired the jury of the 19th CDIM Award.