Spotlight On: Patricia Urquiola

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Spotlight On: Patricia Urquiola

Originally from Oviedo, Spain, Patricia Urquiola studied architecture and design in Madrid, continuing her studies in Milan, under the mentorship of Achille Castiglioni. Having founded her multi-disciplinary studio in 2001, Uriquiola operates in the fields of industrial design, architecture and art direction. Craftsmanship, sustainability and innovation are key to her ethos. Examples of her work are exhibited in design museums around the world, including the Decorative Arts Museum in Paris and the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein.



The new Almendra Suspension Light collection, designed for Flos, was born from an ambitious project combining sculptural form with contemporary lighting. Three different models each offer a unique silhouette: Organic, Arch and Linear, can be installed as individual units or suspended together to create a statement feature lighting installation. Each leaf can be rotated up to 60º, offering complete customisation to light direction.





Are there any masters of design who have been inspirational to you?



Vico Magistretti and Achille Castiglioni were both fundamental, both on a professional and personal plane. From Magistretti I learned the courage to put myself to the test, to truly believe in myself as a designer. Castiglioni taught me the value of design, back when I still believed that architecture was a superior art form. He inspired me with the irony, the fun and not taking yourself so seriously.




Urquiola’s design methodology is founded on the intersection between challenges and breaking predefined notions, resulting in unexpected connections between the familiar and the unexplored.The design process always begins with “the fundamental element” - considering the relationship between the object or space and the end user. 


How much time off do you take during the year?


I take enough as they’re often linked to the school holidays of my children. Although, I hardly ever break away from work completely, my passions and work coincide. It’s not a burden, but a pleasure for me to do research. Time, in general, is the true luxury of life.


Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 2010  


Located in Barcelona’s most iconic street, Passeig de Gracia, the Mandarin Oriental hotel is housed in the former Banco Hispano-Americano, an elegant mid-20th century building. The project, designed by Urquiola in 2010, renews the existing interior, with new, surprising spaces on each level. 3D textured walls play with the sense of perspective, enhancing the perception of texture and depth. The project is finished with furniture custom-designed for the hotel and produced by leading Italian and Spanish manufacturers.


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