The Dwelling Lab by Patricia Urquiola, Giulio Ridolfo and BMW

Textile manufacturer Kvadrat, star designers Patricia Urquiola and Giulio Ridolfo, and BMW created the spectacular design installation “The Dwelling Lab” for the Salone del Mobile Milano 2010. The project was featuring the new BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, designed by the team of BMW Group Design Director Adrian van Hooydonk. Urquiola and Ridolfo translated the car into a design sculpture whose huge cone-like structures seem to be growing out of the car’s body, drawing the viewer inward just as they reveal the usually sealed-off interior to the outside gaze. Collaborating partner Flos developed a bespoke OLED solution for internal soft lit features.

The spectacular “entrance” to the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is an ensemble of four cone-like elements. The result is a dynamic statement introducing unconventional notions about the worlds of inside and outside. “The Dwelling Lab allows you for the first time in history to see the interior of the car before you see the exterior. It highlights the growing importance of a car’s interior”, says Adrian van Hooydonk.

The stunning installation includes an array of innovative products and interior details in various hues and materials. Several unexpected details and accessories were integrated to create sensory experience and a mood of leisure and gentle surprise. Textile is the fundamental material: the geometrical cones are coated with 700 meters of Kvadrat’s upholstery textile Max in a colour designed especially for the project, and the car’s interior are upholstered with various other Kvadrat fabrics.

Patricia Urquiola

Patricia Urquiola studied architecture and design at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Technical University of Madrid) and completed her studies at the Politecnico di Milano where graduated under the mentorship of Achille Castiglioni.

In Spain, she was awarded the Golden Medal for Merits in Art and received the Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic. In 2001 Patricia Urquiola founded her own studio where she specialised in industrial product design, architecture, art direction and strategy consulting.

Creative Director of Cassina since 2015, she works with a roster of leading design companies. Patricia Urquiola also gives lectures at leading universities and has work shown in prominent museums and design galleries across the world.

Giulio Ridolfo

Italian ‘colour master’ Giulio Ridolfo graduated with a Masters Degree in Fashion Design from Milan’s Domus Academy in 1985 and has since worked as a sought after colour advisor to many of the world’s leading interior, clothing and footwear companies.

Ridolfo draws his inspiration from diverse sources such as photography, art and fashion. He gathers images, colours, patterns and textures then combines these different elements and expressions until he creates something new.