Born in Turin, Italy, Paola Navone graduated in 1973 in architecture from the Turin Politecnico. From 1970 to 1980, she worked alongside Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass Jr. and Andrea Branzi in the Alchimia group, the most progressive set on the Italian design scene. Navone developed a highly-productive and stimulating avant-garde stance early in her career, which gained her the prestigious Osaka International Design Award in 1983; bestowed for the first time that year.
Between 1985 and 1988, she was a consultant for the UN-UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization-mission in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. She later moved to Milan although she is first and foremost a citizen of the world. Driven by her extreme interest in the most widely differing cultures- she travels a great deal, bowing to a natural inclination to cross boundaries, and not only geographical ones. Also inspired by the ancient art of topiary: the ornamental pruning of trees and hedges, Navone's Emu Ivy series is light and minimal, exploiting the ingenuity, creativity and the extreme versatility of metal.
In her long and many-sided career she has switched easily between the roles of architect, designer, art director, interior designer, critic, teacher and organizer of exhibitions and events, both independently and for select clients such as Armani Casa, Emu, Knoll International, Alessi, Piazza Sempione, Mondo, Driade, Molteni, Natuzzi, and Swarovski. She has handled art direction at Gervasoni since 1998, in addition to designing most of the collections personally.