Patricia Urquiola is a Spanish designer born in Oviedo in 1961. Initially attracted to architecture, she began her studies at the Universidad Politécnica in Madrid. She graduated from the Milan Polytechnic in 1989 with a thesis entitled Abitare come sistema. The young designer was mentored by Achille Castiglioni, who directed her talent towards product design. Her career began with a series of collaborations with Castiglioni, Eugenio Botticelli, Maddalena De Padova and Vico Magistretti, who introduced her to Lissoni Associati.
In 2001, Urquiola opened an office in Milan, which today includes a team of around 70 people. The studio's projects range from product design to interiors to architecture to exhibition and event design to projects in the hospitality sector. Her work is inspired by the materials, techniques and figurative traditions from her homeland, reinterpreted in a contemporary and innovative way. She often uses recycled materials like glass, terracotta, plastic and fabrics to create products combining excellent artisanship with technological innovation. Her creations reflect a traditional and familiar aesthetic, at the same time characterised by originality and uniqueness.
In 2015, she became artistic director of Cassina, for which she designed products like the Floe Insel sofa and the Bowy Sofa modular seating system. Urquiola collaborates with some of the most important design brands, creating iconic products like the Comback chairs for Kartell; the Antibodi chaise longue for Moroso; the Objet Nomades for Louis Vuitton; the Tuffy Time sofas for B&B; the Azulej terracotta collection for Mutina. Other brands she has collaborated with include Alessi, Molteni, Boffi, Driade, Flos and Axor-Hansgrohe. Urquiola has also designed exhibitions - under the skin at the Design Museum in London; A Castiglioni at the Triennale in Milan, and shows for Ferrari - and projects for hotels like the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona; Das Stue in Berlin; the Sereno hotel in Como.
Urquiola's works are exhibited at MoMa in New York; the Design Museum in Zurich; the Vitra Museum in Basel; the Stedelijk in Amsterdam; Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris; the Triennale Museum in Milan. She has received awards and recognitions throughout her career, including the Medalla de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes (Gold Medal in Fine Arts) awarded by the Spanish government, the Order of Isabella Catholic, awarded by His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain. She was named Designer of the Decade by two German magazines, Home and Häuser, and Designer of the Year by Wallpaper, Ad Spain, Elle Decor International and Architektur und Wohnen Magazine.
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