In the past year, Orfeo Quagliata (Wood/Furniture 1999) has designed: exterior vinyl graphics for an Aeromexico 767 airplane; sets for Mexico's massively popular annual 24-hour-long television and radio broadcast benefit Teletón; glass tiles for architectural interiors and exteriors; jewelry; window displays for Barneys New York; hotel lobbies; coffee tables; whiskey glasses; and garden features for millionaires' homes.
Quagliata was born and raised in the Bay Area; today his studio is based in Mexico City, and the world is his oyster. It is extremely unusual for a designer to operate in so many media and at so many scales of production, from a tiny piece of jewelry to an airplane exterior, but maintaining a robust and diverse practice keeps his creative energies high . . . and ensures that his design work will be in demand no matter whether the global economy is ebbing or flowing.
His schedule is typically jam-packed; when we spoke for this piece, he was getting ready to catch a plane for a new overseas commission: "I'm going to Taiwan to work on an installation on the grounds of new high-rise residential towers. The work is two reflecting pools with these big, faceted, blinged-out, illuminated glass sculptural forms. These kinds of huge commissions are always fun and overwhelming at the same time."