This post initiates a series that I hope to be eye-opening and mostly an educational tool to myself and anyone who reads this. As a design student, I find that women have been unintentionally left out of my design education or conversation in general. Because of this, I want to write this series as a research tool for me and an awareness tool to others where I explore women who are changing the design world with their revolutionary minds. As of my first post, I couldn't write about women in design without mentioning one of my favorite designers: Patricia Urquiola.

Patricia Urquiola is one of the leaders of the furniture design industry with a style that explores the realms of color, shape and craftsmanship. Urquiola was born in Oviedo, Spain in 1961 where her passion for design grew until she later studied in the emblematic Milan Polytechnic and learned under the guidance of renowned designers such as Achille Castiglioni. Later in life, she worked for Castiglioni and Eugenio Bettinelli responsible for new product development whilst worked alongside Vico Magistretti. In 1996, Urquiola moved onto being the design head for Piero Lissoni's Lissoni Associati. In 2000, she left Lissoni and began to design independently where she has created an legendary presence in the design world collaborating with design giants such as Cassina, Kartell, Haworth, Kettal, Alessi, etc... 

Her work is easily describable as playful and dynamic yet simple and timeless. Based on her work, you can tell Urquiola doesn't shy from experimentation, playing with materials, textures, forms and experiences. Below are some examples such as her Garden Layers rug collection for Gandia Blasco on the top left, inspired by the Indian tradition of sitting on the floor and the cushions and textiles that surround it. On the top right I selected her Shimmer collection for Glas Italia composed of an iridescent finish that brings a whole new light to glass as a material (pun intended). Underneath is her Liquefy collection for Glas Italia, which also experiments with light and patterns through glass. The "Palaver" chair designed in collaboration with Louis Vuitton is the last piece, composed of a wooden portable structure with leather intertwined.



Another element I highly appreciate from Urquiola's work is her ability to create art through functional objects. She manages to take a mere cabinet, to an object of question and illusion. Below on the top left we can see the Rotazioni carpet she designed for CC-TAPIS which depicts a series of cylinders that create an illusion of dimension and layering taking the idea of a carpet further. Underneath there is the Credenza shelf for Spazio Pontaccio in collaboration with creative Federico Pepe, together they manage to create a multi-level interaction between color, shape and even physical interaction. To the right, you can see a shelf from the Miscredenza series of architectural furniture for Editions Milano, these shelves depict this merging of art and design with the silkscreen patterns created also by Federico Pepe, that ultimately enhance the sense of illusion.

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