Where Patricia Urquiola Finds Inspiration

Solitary pursuits and reflection offer creative insight

If you have ever heard Patricia Urquiola speak, or you’ve read any of her books, you know each of those experiences comes as a beautiful rush of creative ideas.

During Haworth Connect, the world-renowned architect and designer recently shared how she explores innovation and design with a balance of craftsmanship and quality—as she works to create global pieces and spaces from a distance.

Using an extended portrayal image of her face and a second image from her patio, Patricia explained her design process. “In this moment, we are a bit like birds in our cages, and that is complex.” Her patio also tells the story about planning her house and studio together, so that she could have more transparency to her family, work, and studio.

Noting that now is a special, dramatic, and challenging time, Patricia shared that she is finding some value in isolation at her home and studio. One way she is spending her weeks of solitude is reading. Among the books occupying her thoughts are Timothy Morton’s Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology After the End of the World and Emanuele Coccia’s The Life of Plants: A Metaphysics of Mixture.

Rediscovering favorite titles on her bookshelves is provoking different thoughts than they did years or decades ago. “You find a book that you’ve read before and try to read it with different eyes. You are in a moment so different now, what you read is completely different than before. It’s an exercise to understand what it means to read, and what we want to learn in this moment,” she said.

Like many of us right now, Patricia is feeling a sense of vulnerability, but she is channeling her emotion into reflection to create a vision she believes will guide future work and interactions with people. In terms of creativity, she said, “I think this visual world is helping us in this moment.”
 

“I hope now, when we come back to reality, we will be stronger and help others on this path. We have to announce the intent. This is the larger idea to understand—that in each project, with each company, it’s about how much you push and move the path you are on with them.”

Patricia Urquiola
World-renowned architect and designer

Patricia Urquiola is a Haworth design partner who lives and works in Milan where she runs Studio Urquiola. For more insights from Patricia, visit the Haworth Connect page to watch her video.

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