Photo: Federico Laddaga
Paolo Zani Design Studio is a multidisciplinary design office established in 1992, whose works ranges from the design of objects to technological products, interior and graphic design. He was born in 1960 in Italy, trained at the renowned ISIA - Istituto Superiore Industrie Artistiche, Faenza and later at 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).
Other projects are for fair displays (Titan Bagno), new products concept designs for office and contract furniture (Artifort), lights (Lumiance), home appliances (SanGiorgio), accessories (MontBlanc).
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.
In 1993-94 he was the art director of LumenCenter for the company's image and product's development.
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 from traditional to innovative weavings.
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