Born in Spain and rooted in Italy, Patricia always had aspirations to become an architect and designer and wanted to expand and deepen her education so she went where so many great designers go: The Politecnico di Milano where she was mentored by the inimitable Achille Castiglioni.
Since then, Patricia’s work has spanned a vast array of design disciplines. Fashion, furniture, interiors, architecture, objects, textiles, lighting and more. Her work is exhibited in many of the world’s leading museums including MoMA New York, Vitra Design Museum in Basel, the VNA in London, the Decorative Arts Museum in Paris, just to name a few. In 2001, Patricia founded her own studio with her partner in life and work, Alberto Zontone and they’ve done a wide range of work in architecture, product design, art direction, and strategy. Along with the work she and Albert do with the studio, Patricia has been art director of furniture brand, Cassina since September, 2015, where she guides Cassina in keeping alive the classics of the 20th century whilst developing what will be the classics of the 21st.
Recently in 2020, Patricia was the subject of an exhibition at the Madrid Design Festival. The curator of the exhibition, Anna Dominguez Siemens, wrote this about Patricia and it seemed apt. “Exploring the mind of Patricia Urquiola offers many surprises. Among them, discovering the unexpected themes that feed her ferocious curiosity. Virtual reality, economy, politics, artificial intelligence, the theory of color, the anthropa scene, robotics, ecology and sustainability, gender issues, man and machines and so on.”
Patricia Urquiola is one of the most important contemporary designers today. Her work is infused with humanity, joy and a love of materials. Her way of thinking as this quote attests to, is broad and as you’ll hear in this conversation, she fluidly moves through talking about prust to describing the contemporary way she connects with her daughters. We spoke with Patricia when she was here in San Francisco for Arkitektura Assembly, a live event featuring the best designers from around the globe.
Design in Mind is a podcast series from Arkitektura. Based in San Francisco, Arkitektura curates the best design from around the world and makes it accessible through its retail spaces, live events, and this very podcast. Design in Mind is Arkitektura’s way of honoring the life and work of some of the best designers today and celebrating the magic and beauty of design and design thinking. Design in Mind is produced for Arkitektura by Sound Made Public. I’m your host, Arkitektura. To hear more, please visit arksf.com or go to iTunes and subscribe to Design in Mind, rate the show, tell us what you think. Thank you so much for listening.