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Patricia Urquiola: A Quest for Serenity

Dec 14, 2016

TLmag spoke to industry leader Patricia Urquiola about the silver qualities of her Serena standing lamp for lighting giant Flos.

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Text by Lise Coirier
Photography by Jean François Jaissaud

Top designer Patricia Urquiola bases her approach on rigour, emotion, innovation and well-being. Trained by historical figures like Achille Castiglioni and Piero Lissoni, the Italo-Spanish master looks to reinvigorate the discipline by reintroducing the notions of precision, craft and handmade production. This holistic ethos has taken the Politecnico di Milano graduate to different parts of the world; a method that engages her directly with manufacturing processes. Having won numerous awards and national titles, Urquiola’s artisan-oriented designs can be found in the gamut of major design houses Alessi, Axor, Baccarat, Cappellini, Cassina, Kartell, Kvadrat, Moroso, Louis Vuitton, Rosenthal, Panerai and Missoni; just to name a few. TLmag spoke to the industry leader about the silver qualities of her Serena standing lamp for lighting giant Flos.

TLmag : What is your affinity for silver as both a visual and material composite?
Patricia Urquiola :
I have a very curious approach towards all the materials, I like to experiment with their abilities and challenges. Lately I’m attracted to changing surfaces, how the light is reflected and diffused on them. Silver has a unique finish that is able to reflect and play with the light resulting fun and surprising illumination effects still being noble and elegant.

TLmag: Your Containers design features a silver finish. What visual, physical or metphoric treatment does this effect allow you to express?
P.U.: The Jelly container with the silver-like finish enabled plastic to become a more precious material, more like a luxury item. Its sophisticated mirror-like surface has a kaleidoscopic effect multiplying the object inside to the infinity.

TLmag : What process did you use to achieve a silver aesthetic?
P.U. :
We use a leaf in aluminum with a mirror surface in Serena whereas in Jelly in Precious, it is metallic PMMA.

TLmag : How did your choice of material allow you adopt an iridescent, reflective, or luminous effect within your design?
P.U. :
I love the magical, fascinating and animated mirror effect and its continuous variation according to the angle of the light source and the vantage point.

TLmag : In what way can the silver finish and chosen material extend the function of your design?
P.U. :
In a lamp, like in the Serena’s case, it gives a second life to the light. It is lightweight and plays with the diffusers, reflecting or allowing the light to pass through. It almost animates the “foliage”.

25th Biennale Interieur, Xpo Kortrijk,
14-23 October 2016

Spazio Nobile by Pro Material Gallery Brussels
24 November 2016 – 19 February 2017

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(c) Jean François Jaissaud, Luxproductions for Spazio Nobile /TLmag
(c) Jean François Jaissaud, Luxproductions for Spazio Nobile /TLmag
(c) Jean François Jaissaud, Luxproductions for Spazio Nobile /TLmag
(c) Jean François Jaissaud, Luxproductions for Spazio Nobile /TLmag
(c) Jean François Jaissaud, Luxproductions for Spazio Nobile /TLmag
(c) Jean François Jaissaud, Luxproductions for Spazio Nobile /TLmag
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