Singapore Tatler Homes - - STYLE -

aola Navone may be 64 years old, but her cre­ations are re­fresh­ingly mod­ern, quirky and have stood the test of time. Spir­ited and young at heart, her unique de­sign aes­thetic re­flects her life­time of travel, com­mit­ment to hand­craft and pas­sion for global cul­ture. An ex­cep­tion on the Ital­ian de­sign scene, for the past 40 years she has been one of the rare women work­ing among an oth­er­wise male-dom­i­nated Ital­ian de­sign elite, mak­ing a name for her­self by breath­ing new life into de­signs from the past, turn­ing to tra­di­tional ar­ti­sanal tech­niques and pro­duc­ing con­tem­po­rary forms. Al­ways in search of new ways of com­bin­ing things, she blends de­sign, crafts­man­ship and the most ad­vanced in­dus­trial pro­cesses in the same project, bring­ing to­gether the raw beauty of hand­made ob­jects with for­ward­think­ing ideas, ma­te­ri­als and tech­nol­ogy. Valu­ing bal­ance, sim­plic­ity, im­per­fec­tion and unique­ness, whether us­ing ce­ram­ics, hand-blown glass, ham­mered alu­minium or bam­boo, she gives a sec­ond chance to flawed items that she trans­forms into col­lec­tors’ pieces, thus al­low­ing her full cre­ativ­ity to emerge. She aims to de­sign joy­ful, friendly and non-ag­gres­sive prod­ucts that some­how sneak into our houses and give us the feel­ing that they’ve been there for a long time.


Work­ing in a wide va­ri­ety of dis­ci­plines, the ar­chi­tect, de­signer, art di­rec­tor, in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tor and con­sul­tant to fur­ni­ture and ma­te­rial man­u­fac­tur­ers has cre­ated ev­ery­thing from fur­ni­ture, light­ing, table­ware and fab­rics to cloth­ing, jew­ellery, ex­hi­bi­tions and events. You name it, she’s prob­a­bly worked on it. Her client list is full of fa­mous names: Ar­mani Casa, Knoll In­ter­na­tional, Natuzzi, Alessi, Dri­ade, Emu, Casami­lano, Po­liform, Ger­va­soni, Roche Bobois, Swarovski and Molteni, among oth­ers. Her work method con­sists of the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of ideas and con­cepts in the anal­y­sis phase, then the few el­e­ments nec­es­sary for the re­al­i­sa­tion of the project sur­face in the syn­the­sis phase. She con­cen­trates on these and dis­cards the rest. SAINT-LOUIS HULOTTE LAMP Work­ing with crys­tal, a ma­te­rial that is quite dis­tant from her world, Navone ob­tained the po­etic traits of a tawny owl by ask­ing the Saint-louis ar­ti­sans, ac­cus­tomed to reg­u­lar and sym­met­ri­cal cuts, for asym­met­ri­cal cuts, which pro­duced spe­cific op­ti­cal ef­fects. Avail­able in clear or coloured (dark blue, amethyst, flan­nel grey) crys­tal or white enamel. “I love the pro­duc­tion process,” she says. “I like to ob­serve it. I’m very cu­ri­ous and some­times when they ask me to do some­thing, I start from an idea and then there is a meet­ing be­tween my idea and the unit that’s go­ing to pro­duce it. At that magic moment, they give me some­thing and I give them some­thing. And if this com­bi­na­tion works, the prod­uct comes out very fast. But my idea doesn’t come out of noth­ing. My idea comes when I see the place where they pro­duce. I start to put to­gether con­cepts when I know where this con­cept can be ap­plied, and the idea comes from meet­ing these peo­ple. I don’t dream about a chair. If I have noth­ing to do, I don’t de­sign. If I have noth­ing to do, I go to the beach or cook pasta for my friends.”

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