Paola Navone, a dreamlike design
A native of Turin and Milanese by adoption, Paola Navone has many strings to her bow. From architect, to designer, artistic director, decorator, exhibitions and events designer, she stands out with her avant-garde style and her eclectic nature. Constantly on the lookout of influences from all over the globe, her trips serve as a source of endless inspiration, for a work that could be characterized as a blend of genres, a fusion of cultures with a tangible sensuality.
A graduate of the Politecnico de Turin in 1973, the Italian architect and designer began her career by joining Italian group Alchimia in 1979, alongside the famous Ettore Sottsass and Andrea Branzi. From 1985 to 1988, Paola Navone was a consultant for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and worked in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand for UNIDO and the World Bank. In 1983, she was awarded the prestigious International Design Award in Osaka and was also conferred the Designer of the Year award in 2000 by the German magazine Architektur & Wohnen. From 1995 to 1999 she collaborated with several prestigious Italian furniture houses. The collaborations started increasing after the 2000’s. Artistic Director of Abet Laminati and Gervasoni, Paoloa Navone nowadays collaborates with a sea of furniture makers which include Driade, Molteni, Armani Casa, Orizzonti, Arcade, as well as Roche Bobois and Eno.
A world-famous designer and architect, Paola Navone’s productions are imbued with an eclectic, hybrid, authentic and dreamy momentum. From furniture design to scenography, not to mention exhibitions and interior design layouts, she multiplies prestigious experiences and collaborations. The Milanese designer by adoption signed creations for numerous Italian and international design brands, which include Gervasoni, EMU, and Slide. With a unique form of elation, she manages to blend the flavors and glimmers of the South with Western influences. A curious dreamer, Paola Navone is constantly on the lookout for unexplored materials, forms and structures, traveling between the present, past and future.
Among her references, she designed furniture, sofas, tables and accessories for Casamilano, decorative objects for Mondo and Driade, sofas for Poliform, beds for Orizzonte, the first collection for Armani Casa, jars for Arcade, lamps for Oltrefrontiera, the collection for Roche Bobois, tables for Egizia, and the Punto Rosso and Punto oro collections for Baxter. She also designed the TerreBlu ceramics, the new Ciatti kitchen, the Gingerbread and Nuova Falegnameria per Lando collections, the plastic chair for Slide and bathroom furniture and accessories for Falper and Ceramica Viva. Paola Navone is everywhere! From the metallic garden furniture collection for EMU to textile beds for Redaelli. She is also the artistic director for the collections, catalogs and organizations of Abet Laminati and Gervasoni. Finally, she also designed interiors as a decorator for private residences, a restaurant in Athens, another in Mykonos and exhibition halls in Piazza Sempione in Milan, Düsseldorf, Rome, Tokyo, Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Vienna, New York and Las Vegas. She was also known for creating the Illy Bar concept and the “Pane e Acqua” Restaurant in Milan.
For Aït Manos, the house born in 1995, a team of 70 master craftsmen trained to produce the highest quality carry on the ancient art of zellige through an entirely manual process of cutting and assembling zellige tiles. As such, the vision of Paola Navone aligned with the aspirations of Aït Manos. By blending traditional cutting methods by drawing inspiration from age-old tradition, but also from current trends, the Aït Manos Workshop confers a modern design touch upon Moroccan decorative arts. After recurring collaborations between Aït Manos and Paola Navone, the Italian designer imagined a table entirely adorned with zellige. A minimalist duotone dining table where black and white Moroccan tiles compose a unique chessboard with a wave motion. The massive and graphic feet of the dining table hold up a zellige tray with a striking contrast between the wood and baked clay.