French designer Philippe Starck is known for his numerous and consecutive successes in a wide range of disciplines, creating some of the most celebrated interior designs, landmarks, and household objects. From hotels to toothbrushes, his populist philosophy has led him to explore and contribute to the improvement of every area of day to day life. With thirty years under his belt, Starck continues to serve and delight his clients with his designs. Here are some interesting things behind this ingenious and game-changing creator:
1. He considered invention as a duty since his childhood.
- His father was an aeronautical engineer and his mother was a painter, inspiring him to create beautiful things that are also beneficial to others.
- As a child, he deconstructed objects such as bicycles to observe their parts understand their functions.
2. He dropped out of school and designed inflatable objects.
- He was apparently so eager to begin designing that he abandoned his five-year course at École Nissim de Camon after only two years.
- He created his first company which produced inflatable items, including furniture and even a house as his first foray into living spaces.
3. He has a stable parallel career in designing interiors and products.
- His first major interior design project involved refurbishing private apartments for the French president. Other notable interiors he designed include the Paramount and Royalton Hotels in New York and Café Costes in Paris.
- He has also designed various products including the Microsoft optical mouse, Puma shoes, Samsonite luggage, Fossil watches, Bénéteau boats, Glacier water bottles, and Thompson Multimedia televisions, and Aprilia motorcycles.
4. He designed two notable chairs for Kartell.
- Using polycarbonate, he created the first completely transparent chair in the world. The robust La Marie chair is unexpectedly light and shock resistant.
- He also created the Louis ghost dining chair modeled after the Louis XVI armchair. It sold more than 1.5 million units, making it the world’s best selling designer chair.
5. His goal is to improve as many people’s lives as possible.
- He designs objects to the best of their means, always economical and never wasteful. He believed that before being beautiful, something must first be useful. This is best seen in the products he has designed, which are affordable and found in mass-market venues.
- His creations are also imbued with playfulness to make daily tasks exciting. A hat is placed on top of his Chapo lamp to serve as a lampshade. The idea was derived from Fred Astaire and James Stewart whose characters threw their hats at the nearest object upon arriving home.
6. The French government has given him national honors and prestigious positions.
- He was appointed the artistic director for the French presidency of the European Union in 2008.
- During the following year, he was named the Ambassador of Creativity and Innovation for France.
With the way his creations have permeated daily living, it is undeniable that Philippe Starck’s rich and extensive career is one of the most successful in modern times. His humanist and ethical vision is truly admirable and inspiring for the future of object design and the world as a whole.
Do Philippe Starck’s designs appeal to you? Which one is your favorite?