IF Patricia Urquiola had to select three iconic designs which became milestones in her meteoric design career, they would be the Fjord armchair for Moroso, the Chasen lamp for Flos and the Tufty Time sofa for B&B Italia.
"But it's so difficult to choose...," she protests, "I'm a woman, I'm a mummy ... I care about all the things I've done! Even the ones which aren't best-sellers!"
Nevertheless, she has chosen these three iconic designs because they represent points which advanced her practice.
The Fjord armchair has a good mix of rigour and emotional values, but it was also her first conceptual, creative piece after the success of the Lowland sofa for the same company. "After Lowland, the company was quite willing to let me do what I wanted!" she laughs, adding that the Fjord then represented that equilibrium between commercial success and creative freedom.
"The Fjord was born with a lot of freedom," she declares. "When I design, I try not to think of what will sell. Marketing comes after creativity. There must be freedom to do research and be experimental. For the companies that work with me, they have to accept that I work intuitively at first, and then I want marketing to run after me. That's the only way."
But it's a matter of gaining that trust and credibility with clients. "In the end, we don't really know what will sell. All I can offer is that I have experience and intuition."
She says of her design work: "I must take risks everyday ... but it's a lovely risk."