I received a press release from the Philadelphia Museum of Art with information about events at the museum, including the current shows. One of the shows, “Patricia Urquiola: Between Craft and Industry,” caught my attention and mentioned that this is the first solo exhibition in the U.S. devoted to the work of this internationally acclaimed designer, and that it showcases her versatility in creating products, interiors, and architectural spaces.
Some of the first things I saw related to this show included these chairs: below left is the “Antibodi Chaise,” which was designed by Urquiola and made by Moroso S.p.A., Cavalicco, Italy. Below right are a pair of “Gender Chairs,” also designed by Urquiola and made by Cassina S.p.A., Meda Italy (and lent to the exhibition by Cassina). I love these, so I wanted to see more by Patricia Urquiola, and decided to look for her website online.
That’s when I saw this thing … I thought “what the heck is that?” Urquioloa’s website only describes it as a “special project for Kartell,” and lists it as “tableware.” I couldn’t leave it at that, so I had to try to find out more.
It turns out that this special project for Kartell was an opportunity for fifteen invited designers to present their personal vision and create a tribute to the “Componibili,” which is a series of modular furniture pieces (seen below), created by Anna Castelli Ferrieri (1920–2006), an architect, town planner, designer, and Kartell’s Art Director from 1976 to 1987.
So, in this context, this piece by Urquiola is more of a conceptual art piece, in which she shares her idea that the Componibili storage units are capable of storing “tangible thoughts and memories,” so in this case, her thoughts and memories are overflowing and bursting through the seams of the Componibili. I love it! Here’s another look at it below:
As far as I can tell, this Componibili homage piece is not at the Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibition, but you can see many other great works by Patricia Urquiola there through March 4, 2018.