Some may not know that the sofa, chair or coffee table you have in your home were designed or influenced by some of the greatest furniture designers in the world, and a good amount of those designers happened to be women. Inspiring and influential, here are just a few who we can’t get enough of...
Spanish by birth, and Italian by choice, Patricia Urquiola was born in Oviedo, Spain and studied architecture in Madrid before graduating from the Milan Politecnico in 1989. In 2001 she opened her own studio and is designing for the most important Italian and international companies in the world. Her work is widely known to be playful and poetic, yet pragmatic and functional, shown in museums and collections, she was awarded with the Gold Medal of fine arts by the Spanish government. Talk about accomplishments! Here are some of our favorite designs by Urquiola.
Gan Manga for Gandia Blasco
Tufty Time Sofa for B&B Italia
Perriand was a French architect and designer. Her work aimed to create functional living spaces in the belief that better design helps in creating a better society. She was lured into the design world by famed architect Le Corbusier. As she tells it in her memoirs, Une vie de création, she was so inspired by his Towards an Architecture that she sought him out at his studio and invited him to her show at the Paris "Salon d'Automne" in 1927. He came and liked her work enough to establish what would become a lifelong collaborative relationship with her. They worked together to create buildings in which there was no disassociation between the interior furnishings and the exterior form. In the 1920s they, along with Pierre Jeanneret, designed a successful group of armchairs and a chaise longue, many of which were later reissued by Cassina. Perriand described her working life as "a sincere and constant search for a modern living art."
LC2 Sofa and Chairs
Lilly Reich was born in Berlin, Germany in the year 1885. She was a close collaborator of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Two of van der Rohe's and Reich's best known modern furniture designs are the Barcelona chair and Brno Chair. In 1929 she became the artistic director who was to be responsible for the German contribution to the Barcelona World Exposition. This is where the famous Barcelona chair made its first appearance. In 1996, the MoMa in New York presented an exhibition on her work "Lilly Reich: Designer and Architect" which for the first time brought attention to this influential but almost forgotten designer. Now an icon, Reich and her were work is known and loved by many.
The Barcelona Chair for Knoll
Early production of the Barcelona Chair
Reich's tubular-steel cantilever chair (LR120), from 1931.
Image via the Museum of Modern Art