Patricia Urquiola: Chairs for Moroso 12.07.13

Icon121-Urquiola-inside1 copy

"It's not just about showing off the fabrics, this is a room where people can enjoy themselves and have some quiet," says Patricia Urquiola, straining to be heard above the chatter of Moroso's crowded showroom opening.

Urquiola is talking about her Revolving Room installation; a series of soft, revolving acoustic panels, each upholstered in one of the Spanish designer's six new fabrics for textile firm Kvadrat. The idea arrived when she was giving a lecture in a radio auditorium last year; the walls were moveable so producers could create "changeable spaces within spaces", depending on their needs, and what was being recorded, she explains.

Urquiola trained as an architect and her interest in "architecture that is like design, and design that is like architecture," is also evident in her collection for Moroso. Both the Clarissa Hood armchair – a generously padded cocoon in a thermoformed polyester fibre shell – and her boxlike Mafalda chair, made of recycled polyester fibres, create structures where private moments can be had in open plan spaces.

Icon121-Urquiola-inside2

"Ten years ago at the beginning of my profession it was superficial, the way brands were using designers," she says. "I'd give an idea and ask questions about production and they'd say 'Don't worry, we'll handle that'. But now they listen. Now they are more interested in me going hand in hand with them through the whole of the production." The goal, Urquiola explains, is to design this process as much as the product: "It's the beginning of a new attitude," she says. "Really, it's a lot more interesting now to be a designer. The problems are larger, and the arguments are bigger."

B&B Italia held back on the launch of the designer's new sofa as a few production details hadn't been finalised; the brand felt the tone of the fair had changed, and visitors wanted to see finished, ready-for-market products. Moroso, meanwhile, showered its stand with new prototypes. "Patrizia Moroso has reacted to the crisis by supporting designers, to give them a chance and a platform, because she thinks this is very important to design culture," Urquiola says. "We are all trying to think at the moment – to be more credible and intelligent – but for certain to find ways of controlling the process."

Icon121-Urquiola-inside3

 

Image

Moroso

 

Words

Anna Bates

quotes story

Really, it's a lot more interesting now to be a designer. The problems are larger, and the arguments are bigger

Leave a comment

Click to show