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Friday, April 27, 2012

Fifty years from now: Patricia Urquiola

Patricia Urquiola
Patricia Urquiola (1961- ) was born in Oviedo, Spain. She studied architecture at the Faculdad de Arquitectura in Madrid but later moved to Italy to attend Milan Polytechnic. She graduated in 1989, having completed a thesis mentored by Achille Castiglioni.

From 1990 until 1992 she was an assistant lecturer at Milan Polytechnic. In 1991 she became head of the product development department of De Padova in Milan, which is where she designed her first furniture pieces. From 1993 through 1996 she had a studio with two friends, working on architecture, interiors, showrooms and restaurants.  In 1996 she became manager of the Lissoni Associati Design Group, where she worked for Alessi, Antares-Flos, Artelano, Boffi, Cappellini, Cassina, Kartell and others. At the same time, she independently designed for B&B, Bosa, De Vecchi too, Fasem, Kartell, Liv'it, MDF Italia, Molteni & C., Moroso and Tronconi, as well as designing stands and showrooms for Knoll, Moroso, Sag 80 and Somma.  In 2001 she opened her own studio in Milan, which employs more than 20 people and focuses on product design, displays and architecture.

Urquiola achieved recognition through her work with Moroso. Her products were included in the Italian Design 2001 exhibition and for the International Design Yearbook in 1999 and 2001. In 2001 she was chair of the jury for the CDIM Design Award, and she is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences and at universities. Urquiola is one of the young designers whose work is destined to be considered classic fifty years hence.

From, and

Clip bed for Molteni & C
Flo chair for Driade
Caboche pendant lamp for Foscarini
Tropicalia for Moroso
Nub for Andreu World
Frilly chair for Kartell
Canasta series for B&B Italia
More from the Canasta series for B&B Italia
Bend sofa for B&B Italia
Fjord chair for Moroso
Glove lounge for Molteni & C.
Lowland sofa for Moroso
Husk chair and ottoman for B&B Italia


  1. I love the tropicalia chairs. So fun! You have a great eye - I think these are destined to be classic pieces. You need to encourage one of the grandsons to take over the blog 50 years from now and keep it up!

    1. Aren't those colors fun? They also come in solid colors, but I thought those were perfect for spring! I guess we can start training one of the boys to take over the store and the other to take over the blog...LOL

  2. Just my personal take with no offense to the designer. Hey, everyone has an opinion! I tend to like more old school design and find some of her work a bit avante garde for my personal taste, although I'm sure they will likely go down as great pieces in later years. Some don't appear as functional to me but rather works of art. The husk chair looks comfortable but mismatched somehow. Do like the bold colors! Thanks for the post and broadening our horizons!!

    1. I'm definitely old school too...but a lot of the mid-century pieces we love so much were considered quite a departure from the norm when they were first designed. With that long list of companies she's already worked for, I do think Urquiola has already made an indelible mark on the design world and is likely to have staying power.