He’s audacious, flamboyant, spunky and whimsical! All the odd djectives combined together would still not do justice to describe his designs. From creating exuberant interiors to extravagant yachts, from exotic perfumes to AI chairs, you name it and he has designed it!
Philippe Starck, a French designer, completely transformed the contemporary design just by believing in the virtue of ‘form over function’. A few years back, when he launched the squid inspired lemon juice squeezer, designers from all over the world were taken aback. It was coined ‘useless’ and various other designers criticized Starck for creating something so impractical and unaffordable. But all these critiques only strengthened his intensions and design intuitions.
Starck took his formal education in Paris but his main mentor was his father, an aircraft designer. He taught him to be creative and rigorous. Creativity, to think and make a plane fly and rigour to not let it fall. At 70, he still believes and follows this thumb rule given to him by his father. After working in the design industry for over four decades now, he still works on about 200 projects every year. Most of his time is spent in reading and designing. In some of his very famous interviews, Starck mentions his aversion owards socialising and interacting with people. It is a mere waste of time for him. Along with his wife, he spends major time researching and reading about science, human evolution and technology. When asked about his famous designer of all time, he expressed his admiration for scientists, mathematicians and physicists. And how science and art aren’t two facets of coin but one!
Forall the millennial designers, he is a true star! And being a young designer you shouldn’t miss these few out of the box designs that carved Philippe Starck’s name in the design industry are-
1. AI Chair
Use of Artificial Intelligence to design a chair! First of it’s kind and a golden feather on Starck’s hat of achievements. In the biggest design fair, Salone del Mobilie held in Milan in April 2019, Philippe Starck unveiled his first project in collaboration with Italian furniture brand, Kartell and software biggie, Autodesk.
2. ‘Most Controversial Lemon Squeezer of the century’.
In 1990s, when the designer came up with this squid shaped lemon squeezer, it shunned the entire industry and everybody laughed off over the design. They found it funny and a rhetoric depiction of the golden rule of ‘form follows function’. Even after two decades there are still speculations about its shape and design.
3. Vegan fabric Sofa
When the whole world is facing environmental issues, being a designer it is very important to come up with alternative solutions to design. Starck launched a collection of furniture for Cassina, an Italian furniture brand which is upholstered in Apple Ten Lork, a vegan fabric. Every furniture piece is covered with this vegan fabric made from apple skins, a biological industrial product. The products are now available in the shade of white, black and orange.
4. GPS connected wristband for Swimmers
In January 2019, Starck launched GPS connected silicone wristband which could be used by swimmers in case of emergency. Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (SNSM) commissioned this project to increase coastal safety near France. And the design is absolutely brilliant!
5. Interiors for Axiom Space Station
Axiom Space, a privately owned space exploration company is launching it’s first habitation module for commercial space station in 2020. It is definitely a dream project for every designer who is fascinated by aviation and space exploration. Starck designed the interiors in such a way that it gives the feeling of being weightless in a womb. The design is adaptive, luxurious, modern and simulative. We cannot stop raging about this design already!
6. Paris Olympic 2024 Medal
If you aren’t surprised and impressed by this deisgner’s bandwidth, here is another project that will amaze you! Paris government has commissioned Starck to design the medal for 2024 games. The final product is yet to be disclosed, but the concept has already blown our minds. While the façade of the medal remains quite the same, the structure of medal is designed uniquely. Winning a medal in Olympics is a process that requires devotion and dedication of not one person, but the entire family. And this thought inspired Starck to design the medal in such a way that it could be separated in four parts and shared with family members. Truly remarkable, isn’t it?
7. Recyclable flip flops with Ipanema
A bunch of interviews with Philippe Starck mentions him being aware, awakened and authentic about global issues that Earth is facing. But he’s one of the few designers who is actually working on products to combat such problems. Almost three years back he launched recyclable flip flops after teaming up with Brazilian brand, Ipanema. They came up with four variations in design with signature straps. All products were made with 30% recycled material and 100% recyclable after use.
8. Starck Paris
For all your olfactory senses and visual pleasures, Starck came up with this perfume collection, Starck Paris which consists of three eau de toilettes in the catalogue of products. These fragrances are inspired from the scents of his childhood memories of his mother’s perfume boutique. The packaging was kept minimal because he wanted the users to focus on the quality of product and not how it looked.