Patricia Urquiola - Off the Wall

Even when I'm pretending that I'm still a hard-line steel-and-glass-loving minimalist, I find it ridiculously difficult to deny the allure of layers, patina and texture. After all, I'm a also a Francophile, and the very thought of merely bulldozing the historical heart of Paris and building monolithic high rises to the horizon still makes me shudder. The ability to not only see history, but to feel it and smell amount of glass and steel can match that experience.

[Left: Barcelona - Paseo de Gracia | Right: Franco Guerzoni - Affreschi 1973]

Which is where these tiles come in. Yes, you read that correctly. This post is all about tiles. Patricia Urquiola tiles to be precise. The D├ęchirer range for Mutina to be really, really precise.

The Spanish-born, Milan-based designer extraordinaire has drawn upon Moroccan and Spanish textures to create a patchwork design that just begs to be touched. As Urquiola has also designed for the likes of B&B Italia, Bisazza, Alessi and Kartell, to name but a few, it comes as no surprise that her first foray into the world of ceramics is already a resounding success, winning a Best of NeoCon Silver Award and an Elle Deco International Design Awards (EDIDA) since the product launch earlier this year.

In describing the collection, Urquiola states that the guiding thread is "the reference to the sensations it provides, with patterns that lie in the memory of the past".
I’m very interested in working on large-size formats, such as cement modules and unusual shapes such as hexagons. And I’m also fascinated by the idea of creating an industrial product in which traces of the layers of history are present, a product with a personality. Bas-reliefs of different heights which are not so much decorations as the remains of torn away memories.

In the floor and wall slabs that make up the collection, both plain and decorated elements appear, together with orthogonal and hexagonal shapes and even large sizes. Like traces of previous stratifications, overlapping, contamination, irregular hints of decor and filigree threads run through the surfaces. The slight decors are never evident, but they become clear as light and perspective change.

By referencing the past and using the best of present technology, Urquiola and Mutina have ensured that this range is yet another future Urquiola classic.


Mallory said...

i really enjoy these & how they're slightly futuristic yet rather old-fashioned at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I love the variety of textures and uneven surface. So natural!