Patricia Urquiola studied architecture and design at Madrid Polytechnic and Milan Polytechnic, graduating with Achille Castiglioni. She worked with Vico Magistretti and later head of design at Lissoni Associati, She has received the Gold Medal of the Arts and the Order of Isabel the Catholic by His Majesty The King of Spain Juan Carlos I. Her work is displayed in various museums and collections, such as MoMA in New York, Musée des Arts decoratifs in Paris, the Museum of Design in Munich, the Vitra Design Museum in Basel, The Design Museum in London, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Stedelijk in Amsterdam and the Triennale Museum in Milan. She is the Art Director for Cassina.
When did you know you wanted to be a designer?
From a very young age I wanted to be an architect. I was very good at math and a creative mind and I thought this was a good mix to study architecture. When I moved to Milan to finish my studies in architecture at the Politecnico di Milano my course included a lot of industrial design courses that I had never taken in Madrid. Only then, together with Achille Castiglioni’s teaching did I really start to explore the world of design. It was him who really pushed me towards a multi-disciplinary approach to design.
What is your main source of inspiration?
My surroundings. I am a very observant person and I find inspiration in the most common things, the streets for example are a great source of inspiration. I also like to collect things, little objects from my travels that catch my attention for whatever reason. Even if it doesn’t inspire me straight away, I always take it home; it eventually always find a way into an idea.
What architectural goal does challenge you the most right now?
The drive towards innovation, both in terms of architecture and design. There is such a great potential for innovation in our present and near future, in terms of technology, materials creation and regeneration, interaction, mobility and so much more. The goal to design for this incredible change is something that is both a challenge as well as an aspiration.
Digital technology and architecture: what innovation are ready to emerge?
I think we are beginning to see a change in the world of materials, in how they are used, recycled and how waste is being reduced or eliminated, even at at industrial scale. Digital technology is taking 3d printing to a new level every day, it is incredible to see how much progress has been made in this field in just a few years.
What is, according to you, the most emergent trend for the coming decade?
I think we will see a sort of revolution in how we approach materials in the world of design and architecture. Biotechnology will keep on developing and I believe that nature will come back in the development of materials but no longer as a source of inspiration for ornamental details but rather as a model to replicate in terms of auto-production, self-destruction, replication and growth. I think this will be the future of design.