Born in 1952 in Balzona, the southern portion of Turin; this young girl learned that instead of Barbie, she preferred handcrafting her own dolls. Paola Navone graduated with a degree in Architecture in 1973 from the Polytechnics of Turin. Few would have predicted she would become the extraordinary exception to Italian design by wining the prestigious Osaka International design award.
When you look at Paola, her self confidence and quiet beauty are apparent. Even her choice of attire speaks volumes to you. Navone has a beautiful way of returning to the past; she manipulates time with her choice of colors. A genius visionary, Navone presents her ideals in a swift, forward leaning tone. She mingles crafted objects with furnishings that have been cultivated with old-fashioned labor and skill.
Her cultural style, figures, resources and colors are combined with a touch of modernity. Navone is a true citizen of the world, though her principle interests are focused in the orient. She can easily design retro and space age at the same time. This points to her enormous design reach.
Navone possesses exceptional knowledge in a vast array of materials such as Indian textiles, New Zealand wool, Moroccan fabrics, African Wood, Asian stone, Philippine weaves, and Thai paper to name a few. Such worldwide material goods coexist, and yet stand alone as the ultimate product; from tea
pots to chairs to sofas. This approach is represented in her Etnicometropolitano project.
It is nearly impossible to define the Paola style; she cannot be placed in a box. Her contributions to the development of design is invaluable. Paola is widely credited as was one of the first pioneers to craft large furniture for the lounge. She also forged the shabby-chic look.
Success has never been far away; between 1970 and 1980 she became a part of the Alchimia and Memphis avant-garde movements. In 1988 she asserted her independence by designing the Deja vu collection under the Mondo brand name. Navone crafts warm poetic ambiences by mingling "everyday" materials with fine soft fabrics,
anonymous works of art, and primal utensils with modern designer furniture. Only Paola Navone could renovate an old rusty garden chair into a unique piece. She found a particular chair in Paris; added a piece of fluorescent yellow and tied it to the chair with bright string from India.
Paola Navone has a direct approach, an independant style and an eclectic philosophy. Her soul over flows with flavors, textures and colors from the East with forms of the West, all saturated in traditions.
Since 1995, she has organized numerous trade shows in Frankfurt, Paris and Florence, consulting for Gervasoni, Orizzonti and Piazza Sempione in 1997. Current clients include Knoll International, Alessi, Mondo, Driade, and Armani's line of home products.
Paola’s Gingerbread Collection for Lando is the pinnacle of creativity. An old fashioned Caribbean house reduced to its geometric core. This is the foundation of Navone’s approach - a combination of modern design and old time craftsmanship. Her pieces are as unique as they are excellent. The past lives on in Navone’s creations.
At the 2005 Furniture Show, Navone was part of a team of architects that created “Mondus Vivendi”, a promotional space for craft creations from Italy's Campania region. At the Milan show in 2006, she presented her new “Gingerbread” collection. Navone is an architect, a designer, critic, teacher and an interior decorator. Originally from Turin, Navone now divides her time between Milan and Paris. Her designs bring together two worlds, East and West. Her nomadic spirit and curiosity are forever inseparable.
Her recent works of interior architecture include; the restaurant “Pane e acqua” in Milan, the new Art Trading office in Moscow and the new collaborative venture with Viva Ceramica entitled Drops (a series of bathroom products).
Paola has designed her own home in Greece overlooking the Aegean Sea. The iron tables in her living room are from the collection that she designed for Gervasoni. The kitchen is straightforward with high chrome chairs. Good luck trying to figure out where these pieces are from.
Paola Navone acknowledges that she has a “compulsive, all-consuming curiosity.” In her owns words, “I certainly have a lot to learn from artisanship, but also from industry and its technological processes. The things that really interest me are those that are different, unusual, non banal, which I try to study, metabolize and re-elaborate in a personal way.”