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The historic Gervasoni showroom in via Durini 7, Milan has been completely renovated: the walls were literally “dug” recovering more than 55 cm for each wall. The bricks are now covered with white lime. The renovation was designed by Paola Navone, Gervasoni creative director since 1998.

The showroom fullfills now perfectly its task, hosting and showing the furniture. During the year the space will host different sets up, at the moment there are shades of pink and blue with gold touches but soon Christmas will be here with a special exhibition.

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What I really liked are these large mirror surfaces that simulate industrial glazing walls, now so trendy. This is a very good idea for interior décor: it enlarges optically the room and it’s super decorative too!

gervasoni-via-durini-3 gervasoni-via-durini-4 gervasoni-via-durini-5Thanks to CasaFacile magazine and to Giusi Silighini, its awesome editor in chief, I had the opportunity to meet and interview Paola Navone, architect, designer, art director, interior decorator, traveller, curator… a very energetic woman that has been named  “anthropologist of creativity”.

“Everything starts with a journey that is a total experience, where I collect images in my head. It’s from there, suddenly, I pull out something”

Paola Navone is a great discoverer of cultures, from Africa to Asia, but with “journey” she means a state of mind. Even going to the supermarket can be a stimulating journey where you can make fascinating discoveries!

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Q. How did the idea of this intervention at Gervasoni showroom came into your mind?
A. The showroom had to be redone. We started to strip the walls up to the brick and then I realized what we had to do. The space was perfectly suited to the collections. The furnishings would suit perfectly in here. Very simple! It has also allowed us to gain a lot of space!

Q. When you work for large companies, how do you combine creative ideas with the industrialization of the product?
A. This changes from time to time depending on who you are working with. Working with Gervasoni is always a nice challenge, I propose my ideas, my “creative challenges” and they are always happy, talented and available to accept them prove themselves up to realize the product. It is very important for design and production that the company has a good attitude experimenting and working with new materials.

During the interview a voice-over by the Gervasoni family exclaimed: “Paola is extraordinary: she has an incredible creativity but also the ability to combine it in a concrete way.” This “intrusion” says a lot about Paola Navone!

Q. How do you proceed when you design a space?
A. Every time is different. It is important respect the needs of the client. Here, for example, my job was to give a home to these collections. We will create new set-up according to seasons. Each time there will be a theme.

Q. How do you preserve the identity of a company while you draw a new collection?
A. Speaking of Gervasoni, since we started working together, we have built a corporate identity designing contemporary collections. The base line recalls simplicity and easily convertible furniture. With a simple gesture you can change the “dress” changing the whole object and obtaining different set up. I always encourage Gervasoni to keep few weaving products in each collection, a kind of connection to their origin [n.d.r. Gervasoni was born in 1882 as a small workshop for the wicker weave].

Q. I have read that you love when people personalize your objects. Do you enjoy to see how everyone change them?
A. Yes, I always try to encourage everyone to do it even though it is actually not easy to find people who want to do it. It’s like that an object is detected as complete, when they purchase it they are almost terrified to change it. But the “decorative” action is a great power: I could decorate simple cushions with embroidery and they could change the entire space!


Me and Paola Navone. Photo by Giusi Silighini <3

Did you like our little interview? Now do you want to embroider cushions and to create new sets in the house? If so the Paola Navone’s creativity has convinced you!



Photo Gervasoni