Patricia Urquiola: “companies are ready to experiment with new production processes”

13 December 2022

Patricia Urquiola

Open mind, contamination, and the will to rethink processes are the designer’s reference points at the moment

The “Urquiola style” is a mix of color, generous shapes, sophisticated ideas. It is a style that generates fascination and amazement, substantial and innovative elegance. Just as innovative are the forays that the designer allows herself into adjacent areas, like fashion design in which she expresses a feminine vision that is never predictable and full of creative ideas. Patricia Urquiola is a living icon just as all her projects carried out with the most prestigious companies in the world are iconic. From Cassina, of which she has been the artistic director since 2015, to Moroso who lends herself to expressing her formal experiments with great openness, passing through Editions Milano, Flos, cc-tapis, Glas Italia, just to name a few. “A unique relationship is created with each of these companies, which is why the projects are all very different from each other, an aspect of which I am very happy,” she explains.

Sengu Cassina
Sengu table by Cassina

Is it correct to say that lately the “trends” are less strong, and the style of the individual designer is establishing itself?

I think we are increasingly open to mingling with everyone else and we have a lot to rethink in this time we are living. Personally, I approached not only the field of fashion design but also very interesting people in the field of philosophy and art. Taking every opportunity to create beautiful relationships and bring them into the work I do. This is very important to me because I believe we must look at things from many points of view and because I deeply believe in contamination. Experimental projects often arise from these encounters. For example, during the COVID we did research to produce masks with a company that deals with technical fabrics, in the end that project was not successful but another one was born on a pair of shoes/socks. These are incursions that make us change our attitude and it is very important to rethink one’s approach not only in terms of design but also of the process. And the same happened with Max Mara for which a capsule collection was born which I made with great fun.

Patcha CC tapis
Patcha rug by cc-tapis

What are the design priorities today?

In the “suspended” time of Covid, a profound reflection was born on the domestic space which has become a space in which one works and spends much more time. It is a beautiful reflection, even if it started from a difficulty, but I believe – and it is certainly what I do with Cassina and others – that the most important issue is that of changing production processes in the direction of sustainability. It’s not just about materials, it’s also about spreading a new sensitivity in relation to surfaces: if we must live more and more with materials that are recycled, terms like “upcycled” are welcome, which means finding new qualities, new value, new beauty in these materials that are regenerated and do not always imitate what they were before. And I think every company and every customer is ready to face this type of discussion: from ceramics to glass. For example, with Glas Italia we have experimented with a mix of glass scraps that create a paste with a different surface from the starting one. It is a glass that offers new visual performances and generates a “new beauty”.

simoon glas italia
Simoon table by Glas Italia

Today many designers are starting to experiment with designing in the metaverse, how do you deal with this coexistence between real and digital?

If global warming is the main theme, another major theme today is establishing how much we want to plan, intervene, participate in this reality which is part of our life anyway, our life is invaded by a physical reality and a virtual reality.

Sestiere Cassina
Sestiere vases by Cassina

In the design of contract and public spaces, is it fair to say that there is a sort of convergence with the design of domestic spaces?

There is certainly a big difference between the design of public spaces and the design of domestic spaces, and it is the time required to create them, which in the case of the former is much greater. An aspect common to both, however, is the growing attention to materials as well as the desire to introduce spaces dedicated to greenery.

Tropicalia Moroso
Tropicalia chairs by Moroso
Flos Almendra
Flos Almendra
Glas Italia Simoon Table
CC-Tapis Patcha
Cassina Sengu Table 559
Cassina Sestiere Vase
Moroso Tropicalia

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