Throughout her illustrious 29-year career, designer and architect Patricia Urquiola is accustomed to being the minority. The 57-year-old is a woman in a male-dominated industry and a Spaniard living and working in Milan, Italy, where she chose to settle after graduating from university in 1989. And being the odd one out is the way she wants it. “I’m this kind of person,” Urquiola explains. “Experimental.”
Not that her minority status has prevented her rise to designer superstardom. Her penchant for experimentation, preference for casual over formal styles, and her creation of functional pieces that resonate with customers, have made her a darling with headlining labels. Now Cassina’s art director, she has produced iconic products for high-end furniture maker B&B Italia, as well as for Louis Vuitton’s home collection, Objets Nomades.
In between speaking at the recent Brainstorm Design conference in Singapore and launching her latest sofa, the Floe Insel, at Space Asia, she talks to The Peak about adapting design to modern needs, her inspirations and working in a male-dominated industry.