Born in Cesena, Italy in 1960, Paolo Zani presently lives and works in Milan. He graduated from the I.S.I.A. in Faenza (Institute for Arts and Industrial Design) in 1986 and in 1987 graduated with the Masters Degree in Industrial Design from Domus Academy, Milan.
As an independent designer he has designed ceramic tiles (Marazzi, Ascot, Gabbianelli), hi-fi accessories (Ross El.), porcelain tableware (Winterling and Bareuther, Cierre accessories), wall to wall carpets (Louis de Poortere), eyewear (Optyl Holding), chairs (V. Bonacina, Kristalia), cutlery (Lagostina, SantAndrea), home furniture (Schopenhauer), light fittings (Arbos, Lumen Center, Candle, Fontana Arte), kitchen accessories and tableware (Fissler, Cierre accessories), carpets (Moroso), mobile phones (Fujitsu).
Zani has also collaborated in developing office seatings (Artifort and Steelcase Strafor), light fittings (Lumiance), home appliances (SanGiorgio), writing instruments, watches and leather accessories (Mont Blanc). In 1992, he established Warli, a collection of contemporary carpets and rugs manufactured in India. Manufactured by local weavers, handknotted according to traditional techniques, these collections are now distributed worldwide by "Moroso".