Paolo Zani Design Studio is a multidisciplinary design office established in 1992. Studio works ranges from the design of objects to technological products, interior and graphic design. He was born in 1960 in Italy, trained at ISIA - Istituto Superiore Industrie Artistiche, Faenza and later at the renowned Domus Academy in Milan.
He considers his design activity as the 'homo faber' expression and new applications of materials and technologies, into the design of mass-producible as well as handcrafted products and spaces.
His mutant curiosity for materials, weavings and technology lead him to the creation of Warli, a design brand and cultural expression of contemporary carpets.
He has designed ceramic tiles (Marazzi, Gabbianelli, Ascot), hi-fi accessories (Ross El.), porcelain tableware (Cierre accessories), moquettes (Louis de Poortere), eyewear (Esprit), chairs (V. Bonacina, Kristalia), cutlery (Lagostina, Sant'Andrea, Cierre accessories), lights (Arbos, LumenCenter, Candle, FontanaArte, Warli), home accessories (Schopenhauer), tableware (Cierre Accessories, Guzzini) mobile phones (Fujitsu), appliances (Ocean), sanitaryware and faucets (Queo, Eauset) doorhandles (Dorset).
In 1986 he participated to the project of the 'La Cintura di Orione' for Alessi with Richard Sapper and the consultancy of some of the best italian and european cooks.
From 2001 to 2012 he was the art director of Cierre Accessories, manufacturer of home and kitchen accessories.
In 1992 has created Warli a new brand for contemporary carpets. Warli is an expression of a personal vision of living, a precise aesthetic of the daily life, of the quality that we would like to find in the things that surround us. Warli is handmade by nature, an Italian design product from Milan, hand-made with great textile tradition.
Warli works on signs, materials, and how to translate them into tactile and chromatic contemporary surfaces. It processes the elements of modern design, revisit the ethnic ones, celebrate the beauty of imperfect, impermanent things. A culture of the project that blends the ongoing search for modernity with traditional techniques, craft excellence, detail care and innovation.
Awards | Exhibitions
1984 'Staff Preis Design' Design Center Stuttgart, Germany
1985 1° prize 'Ladie's headphones' Competition. Ross Electronics, UK
1986 1° prize Mexidesign Contest. Louis de Poortere, Domus, Snia Fibre
1989 International Design Association. Axis Center, Tokyo.
1° prize 'Interno e Intorno'. Louis de Poortere, Snia Fibre. Milano.
1990 Design Balneare 3. Cattolica.
1992 Warli. 9 one-off rugs. Shed, Milano.
1997 1° Biennal Arte Ceramica, Castello di Spezzano.
2000 ‘iMade’ material innovation in italian furniture industry, Salone del Mobile, Milan
2001 3° prize ‘Premio Macef’
2002 2° prize ‘Premio Macef’
2005 ADI Design Index, Interiors ceramic tiles for Ascot Ceramiche
2008 1° prize Industrie Creative ed Innovative for Warli. Camera di Commercio Milano
Torino World Design Capital - Geodesign
2009 Domus Academy – Alumni success stories. Milan
Innovation paths. Artex e Macef Milano. Gennaio
2010 Designer's hands | FAI Villa Necchi Campiglio Milano. 450 original drawings donated by 150 selected international designers
2012 Un designer per le imprese / Material connection. Triennale Milan
2013 Cersaie. Bathroom Excellence 1998/2012. ADI Design Index.
60 photographers – 60 great architects. Fondazione Forma, Milan
2013 Decoter | Salone del Mobile 2013 | Regione Lombardia and Interni magazine
2019 India Good Design Award - Door handles Abitare - Dorset
2020 IMM Cologne - Das Haus. Twilight lantern for Warli selected by MUT design
1994 - 2012 Tutor for product design at ISIA di Faenza, Italy
1991 Seminar at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India.
1998 Visiting Professor at 'Kent Institute of Art & Design', Rochester, UK
2000 Visiting Professor at National College of Arts and Design, Dublin, Ireland
2001 Visiting Professor at Kuopio Academy of Design, Finland
2001-02 Tutor for design history at Istituto Europeo di Design, Milan, Italy
2003-06 Tutor at Design Camp – Design Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Usa