Paola Navone, born in Turin in 1950, is one of the world's most famous Italian designers. Curious and restless, she moved away from her city at a very young age. At the time, Turin was too close-minded and stagnant for a free spirit like hers. Between one trip and another, she graduated in architecture from the Turin Polytechnic in 1973 with a thesis entitled Architettura Radicale (Radical Architecture), in which she explored the universe of avant-garde collectives. Her work attracted the attention of Alessandro Mendini, then editor of Casabella, who offered her a job with the magazine. This meeting marked the beginning of Paola Navone's career. She became part of the anti-academic movements with her participation in the Alchimia group founded by Mendini in 1979 and with such personalities as Ettore Sottsass, Andrea Branzi and Alessandro Guerriero. In this context, the young designer came into contact with Abet Laminati, one of the companies supporting avant-garde design with whom she began a collaboration that continues today. In 1983 she received the first prize of her career, the Osaka International Design Award. From 1985 to 1988 she was a consultant for international organisations such as UNIDO and the World Bank, often traveling to the Far East and Hong Kong, where she opened an office. In 1988, Navone began a long and fruitful collaboration with Gervasoni, of which she is now artistic director. At the end of the 1990s, she moved her office, Studio Otto, to Milan, where she still resides today.
Paola Navone's career has been divided between product design, architecture, interior design and set design. Her fields of action are many and varied, all sharing the same creative approach. As she says, travel is her primary source of inspiration - an immense reservoir of images, colours, materials, objects, and craft traditions for the designer. Such inspirations give rise to objects in which she skillfully mixes different cultures, unusual materials and industrial and artisanal know-how. Her eclectic approach has taken her from the most prestigious brands to supermarkets such as Esselunga or Monoprix.
Among the furnishings and accessories designed for Gervasoni are the Ghost collection of upholstered chairs and beds; the Brass hanging lamp; the Nuvola line of upholstered furniture; the InOut collection of outdoor furniture; Sweet lamps; and the most recent Loll collection of upholstered contract furniture (2021). The Cappellini catalogue includes the iconic Panda collection, inspired by the works of the Memphis group. She also designed the Strada collection for Janus et Cie. Navone's washbasins for Ceramica Flaminia are remarkable, just like the wall and floor claddings designed for Decoratori Bassanesi, Bisazza and MCZ.
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