Studio Urquiola was founded in 2001 by Patricia Urquiola and her partner, Alberto Zontone, and it operates in the fields of industrial product design, architecture (hotels, retail spaces, residences, exhibitions and installations), art direction and strategy consulting.
Patricia Urquiola starts each project by building an empathic connection with the user that will eventually interact with her designs, something she learned from Achille Castiglioni, establishing the “fundamental element” as he used to call, the basis of each project which always keeps her on track and accompanies her whole design process: thinking spaces or objects in relation to people. Pushing the limits of research and technology, Patricia Urquiola constantly experiments and dares to move towards better design and architecture, following her earlier mentors’ teachings such as Vico Magistretti and Maddalena de Padova. Used to confront complex processes, working with scales from micro to macro, she works with the available technology to go beyond the limits of what has been already experimented.
Studio Urquiola is frequently asked to design not only objects and architectures but also to think about the future of mobility, workplace and production cycles. Creating links between craftsmanship and industrial research, the heritage together with innovation and technology, Patricia Urquiola also drives companies she works with to upcycle once-waste material and tries to re-image entire processes leading them to change, evolution and innovation.
Patricia Urquiola believes in an original design point of view merging humanistic, technological and social approaches. Her design thinking is the intersection of challenges and breaking prejudices, finding unexpected connections between the familiar and the unexplored.
Patricia Urquiola has been the Creative Director of Cassina since 2015 and works with important Italian and international design companies, including Agape, Alessi, Axor-Hansgrohe, B&B Italia, Baccarat, Boffi, Budri, De Padova, Driade, Coedition, Ferragamo, Flos, Gan, Georg Jensen, Glas Italia, Haworth, Kartell, Kettal, Kvadrat, Listone Giordano, Louis Vuitton, Molteni, Moroso, Mutina, Rosenthal and Verywood…
Amongst her latest projects in architecture are Il Sereno Hotel in Como, the Room Mate Giulia Hotel in Milan, the SD96 yacht for Sanlorenzo, Marienturm and Marienforum towers in Frankfurt, the spa of the Four Seasons Hotel Milan, The Jewellery Museum in Vicenza, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Barcelona, Das Stue Hotel in Berlin; showrooms and installations for Gianvito Rossi, BMW, Cassina, Missoni, Moroso, Molteni, Officine Panerai, H&M, Santoni and the general concept of Pitti Immagine in Florence…
Patricia Urquiola is part of the advisory board of the Politecnico of Milan and the Triennale Milano Museum. She taught the Master’s Degree in Interior Design at the Domus Academy in Milan (2013-2015) and has given lectures at Harvard University, Michigan University, Shenkar School of Engineering and Design in Israel, at the Alvar Aalto Academy in Finland, at the State University and Bocconi University in Milan. She has also given talks at countless cultural events, such as Design Shanghai, Design Week in Istanbul, the Expressive Design conference at the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany, the Bloomberg Design Conference in San Francisco, Festarch Perugia, the Mind Festival in Sarzana and the Mantova Literature Festival, among other events in Italy. She was an ambassador of the Milan Expo in 2015.
Patricia Urquiola’s work is exhibited in many art and design museums across the world, including the MoMA in New York, the Decorative Arts Museum in Paris, the Design Museum in Monaco, the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Design Museum in Zurich, the Stedelijk Museum of modern and contemporary art in Amsterdam and the Philadelphia Art Museum.
At Madrid Design Festival, earlier 2020, an exhibition entitled “Patricia Urquiola. Nature Morte Vivante” opened to public, focusing on the work at different stages of her career. The exhibition was laid out in a non-chronological way around five pillars exploring recurrent themes of Patricia Urquiola’s work and mindset.
“Exploring the mind of Patricia Urquiola offers many surprises, among them, discovering the unexpected themes that feed her voracious curiosity: virtual reality, economy, politics, artificial intelligence, the theory of color, the Anthropocene, robotics, ecology and sustainability, gender issues, man and machines, and so on. They are the foundation of an entire way of thinking that is imperative to the responsibility and coherence of a person that carefully introduces each new object of her creation into this agonizing and ill-treated planet. Patricia Urquiola´s career reveals a “rhizomatic” attitude towards projects, a type of mindset that is also her work method. Thus, all the elements involved have the same importance and influence each other horizontally, without imposing hierarchies.” explains Ana Dominguez Siemens, the curator of the exhibition.
has now a team of around 70, composed of 43 architects and interior designers; 15 product designers, textile designers and model makers; 12 at financial, administration, PR & press department. 18 nationalities are represented and 15 foreign languages are spoken, a very international community with designers and architects collaborating in the most interrelated possible way.