"Paola Navone, great traveler, considers herself a citizen of the world and moves easily between the roles of architect, designer, art director, interior designer and image consultant. She has lived and worked in the East for a long time. Her personal touch: the creation of objects in balance between design and craftsmanship." - Driade

A week later, after a post about Gae Aulenti, here we are at a new appointment with another voice of the female design: today we are featuring Paola Navone, born in Turin but Milanese by adoption.

Paola Navone has a curious and unstoppable personality: many roles in the design world, as an architect, a designer, an art director, an interior designer, even curator of exhibitions and events. Cosmopolitan and always on the go, she has a passion for the colors of the East and shapes of the West.

Travelling is an essential component of her existence, as she described in many interviews: Paola Navone’s idea of traveling is a broad concept, a mental workout - "... open your eyes and go around the world. You can also do micro trips, in town, at the bar, at the market, at home, a day in Paolo Sarpi is already a journey...".

The passion for the East is the result of a job as expert advice for UNIDO and the World Bank in favor of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand: she took care of the image and product design during 1985-88, an experience that will mark positively also her approach to creativity.

After graduating in architecture in 1973 at the Polytechnic of Turin, she approached first the group Alchimia, then the Memphis group, Italian avant-garde design between the '70s and' 80s, so she worked with Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass, Andrea Branzi and Alessandro Guerriero. In 1983 she won the first edition of the International Design Award of Osaka; she was designer of the year for the prestigious German magazine Architektur & Wohen in 2000 and in 2011 she won the Elle Deco International Design Awards with two projects.

In 1988 she creates the division World with Giulio Cappellini, following the project in all its facets: from the design of furniture and objects to the image project, marketing and the management of the creative staff. The same process occured with Piazza Sempione, as Paola has been developing the concept of the brand, the stores and showrooms in Milan, Rome, Dusseldorf, Las Vegas and Tokyo.

Paola Navone collaborates with the most important names in international design (Armani Casa, Knoll International, Alessi, Driade, Piazza Sempione, Casamilano, Molteni, Poliform, Abet, World, Dada, Natuzzi, Swarovski, Riva 1920).

For Riva 1920, for example, she created the iconic Fungo stool, made of solid cedar wood: it’s an example of the synergy between craft and industry, that  finally comes to a synthesis between tradition and contemporary design, with a bit of imagination that makes Fungo suggestive and evocative.

In the way of "little things make a big difference" there’s the table Vulcano, designed for Poliform. Vulcano has a simple and essential shape: this coffee table, with a strong personality, is able to give freshness to any interior, thanks to its clean lines.

Paola has handled art direction at Gervasoni since 1998, in addition to design most of the collections personally.

Among these, InOut is a dual purpose collection, both for indoor and outdoor. Different materials, such as ceramic, stone, aluminum and polyethylene woven by hand, are mixed together, resulting in a wide range of chairs, tables, sofas, armchairs and home furnishings.

Even Croco, which takes its name from the material used for the plot (in the indigenous language of Kalimantan it is called Buaya, and is translated into crocodile) is a line suitable for both indoor and outdoor, where it finds its ideal place. The collection includes chairs, sofas, tables and suspension lamps made with the plot technique over a structure of wood, plywood and rattan.

On the other hand, Ghost is a sort of textile unconventional project: a family of upholstered  furniture that dresses and undresses; acquiring different appearance depending on the cover (luxury appearance, thanks to brocade, or one of simplicity, thanks to linen). Also available in outdoor, Ghost furnishes patio, terrace or poolside with elegance.

In her coming and going from end-to-end of the world Paola has also found the time to furnish two hotels for Christina Ong, an hotel industry magnate (the Queen of Bond Street), in Pucket and Miami.

Paola said about design: "...I always thought that design looks like an omelette: with mushrooms or zucchini, it’s going to be good...", which makes Paola Navone one of the most eclectic, funky and legendary designers of the international scene.

 

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