12/01/2022 | DESIGN, PEOPLE


Five women, five creative, witty, groundbreaking talents, have recently received international acknowledgments of paramount importance in their fields. Having met them, hosted them, and enhanced their talents, Superstudio congratulates them. They are: Elena Salmistraro, Paola Navone, Patricia Urquiola, Nika Zupanc, Ilaria Marelli. You will excuse us if we indulge in memories of their past collaborations ­– sometimes of their beginnings –­ at Superstudio, keeping up with their current productions, yet always looking ahead to the future.

Congratulations to Elena Salmistraro for being included for the first time in the AD-Architetural Digest list of the top 100 influential designers of the year. As the first global AD award, the 2022 edition followed a different selection process: 100 names were chosen for their innovative contributions by an international jury composed of AD editors worldwide. The AD acknowledgement goes double from our perspective, not only because Elena is an old friend of ours – she indeed made her Superstudio debut in 2012 when she introduced a family of lanky-shaped vases called The Lankie's Family. Her experimental and imaginative approach, sometimes grotesque, combined with the pottery processing, had already made her one of a kind. Also, the award proves that valuable creativity and wit can surpass gender questions and other topics du jour, giving them a drubbing instead.
Additionally, Paola Navone and Patricia Urquiola were among the award-winning interior designers, architects and interior decorators. Well done! Both are frequent visitors to Milan Design Week and Superstudio. A recent article published on atsuperstudiomagazine described the work of Paola Navone in these words: "Architect, designer, art director, and interior designer, Paola Navone has a 360-degree experience in the world of design, rewarded with success and international awards. Every project tells a thousand stories, brings together the past, present, and future, and illustrates what no one can possibly imagine. In her work she finds emotion in the potsheds she recovers with curiosity, wonder in the combination of opposite elements, poetry from artists and artisans who would never have met otherwise, and imagination from the randomly arranged patterns, textures, colors, and materials. Her houses are spectacular, her hotels amazing, her shops immersive, her events unforgettable."
Patricia Urquiola was Achille Castiglione’s pupil. Despite her Spanish origins, she was adopted by the city of Milan in her university years. At the Superstudio she was involved in the project “Alessi le sue donne da museo” for the 2021 Design Week. Her first appearance at Superstudio was in 2017 when she collaborated with 3M Design and presented the capsule Memorabilia, an interactive installation about the importance of preserving memory. “As the visitor passes through a wall of reflective bands, four boxes containing monitors, cameras, and many other technologies are immersed in the original Novec liquid, that keeps them safe and working over time. Visitors can therefore take selfies and share them on social media platforms." The original liquid took on a new meaning, as it was used to preserve and protect materials, through such a memorable experience.”
Nika Zupanc is a Slovenian designer, precisely from Lubiana. Her works feature an unmistakable style and a surreal female touch. She has just won the coveted award Good Design 2021 for her twoseater sofa Wave designed for Naruzzi Italia. Weave is inspired by the weave movement of the Adriatic sea, which laps on the Italian shores from Slovenia (and viceversa). With its curvy, serpentine shape and poignantly light blue colour, the object creates a space open to sharing, yet also inviting intimacy. Prominent host of Superstudio, Nika displayed the cherry lamp for Queboo and, in 2009, the XL Doll House. This is now included in the atlas of balack architecture, the book Black Architexture in Monochrome by Phaidon. 
Last but not least, we have a last-minute update. Ilaria Marelli entered 2022 with a major achievement in her career: she won the 2022 Wallpaper Magazine Design Award in the category of outdoor living thanks to her Calipso for Ethimo System. Winner of the Milano Donna Award in 2008 and Polimi Award for Architecture in 2015, she has debuted at Superstudio under the guidance of Guilio Cappellini. Her 2021 Calipso project features a holistic and tailored wellness experience. It is comprised of three modules of different sizes, with the cushions resting on oversized teak bases. Three components, three attributes: refined, elegant, engaging. 

Paola Navone. AD-Architectural Digest included her in the global list of the 100 most influential designers for 2022.
Patricia Urquiola. AD-Architectural Digest included her in the global list of the 100 most influential designers for 2022.
Nika Zupanc, winner of the Good Design 2021 award for Wave, the two-seater sofa she designed for Natuzzi Italia
Ilaria Marelli, winner of the 2022 Wallpaper Magazine Design Award for the best outdoor living of year, the System Calipso she designed for Ethimo