PHILIPPE STARCK: SUBVERSIVE, ETHICAL, VISIONARY,
POLITICAL, HUMOROUS, POETIC.
PHILIPPE STARCK: SUBVERSIVE, ETHICAL, VISIONARY, POLITICAL, HUMOROUS, POETIC
“Subversive, ethical, visionary, political, humorous, poetic... this is how I see my duty as a designer.” Philippe Starck
A career rich with 10,000 creations - completed or yet to come - global fame and tireless protean inventiveness should never overshadow the essential, Philippe Starck has a mission, a vision: that creation, whatever form it takes, must improve the lives of as many people as possible. Starck vehemently believes this poetic and political, rebellious and benevolent, pragmatic and subversive duty should be shared by everyone. He sums it up with the humour that’s set him apart from the very beginning: “No one has to be a genius, but everyone has to participate.” In the eyes of this accomplished citizen of the world, sharing his ethical and humanist vision of a more equal planet is a duty, if not a moral imperative, that results in unconventional projects, bearing fertile surprises. It’s easy to guess his course of action: an object must be useful before being beautiful. His prophetic awareness of ecological implications, his deep understanding of contemporary mutations, his enthusiasm for imagining new lifestyles, his determination to change the world, his commitment to sustainable de-growth, his love of ideas, his concern with defending the intelligence of usefulness – and the usefulness of intelligence – have taken him from iconic creation to iconic creation... From everyday products like furniture and lemon squeezers to revolutionary mega-yachts, intensely vibrant, stimulating and phantasmagorical hotels and the miraculous technologies of individual wind turbines and the electric car, he never stops pushing the limits and criteria of contemporary design. It’s as a true visionary that he puts this art of innovation to the service of a design and democratic ecology, actiondriven and respectful to both human and nature’s heritage, whether it’s with the Elise recycling bin or the Zartan, the first entirely recycled roto-moulded chair. The affordable and adjustable P.A.T.H. houses – high-tech pre-fab habitations – recently attested to the durability of an approach that he initiated in 1994 with the prefab house on sale in the 3 Suisses catalogue. Heralding the phenomena of convergence and dematerialisation, Philippe Starck aims straight for the heart, highlighting the essential, extracting the structural minimum of every object, in order to offer creations and propositions closest to Man and Nature, best adapted to the future. Just look at the mega-yacht A, symbol of minimalist elegance, or the Zik earphones for Parrot. He dreams of solutions so vital that he was the first French man to be invited to the TED conferences (Technology, Entertainment & Design) alongside renowned participants including Bill Clinton and Richard Branson. Inventor, creator, architect, designer, artistic director, Philippe Starck is certainly all of the above, but more than anything he is an honest man directly descended from the Renaissance artists.
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PARFUM PEU DE SOIE STARCK
PARFUM PEU DE SOIE STARCK
A POLITICAL AND POETIC DESIGN
“Whether it’s a toothbrush, an airplane or a chair, it’s always the same philosophy: to think about what the user will gain.” Philippe Starck. What is humanity lacking? Certainly not more objects… Because he is acutely aware of this and because he places the individual at the centre of his work, thinking solely of the user’s benefits, Philippe Starck likes saying he wasn’t born to make tables and lamps, but that the first stroke of his pencil is his only tool – weapon even – to express and introduce original alternatives into our daily routines. “The necessity of all jobs should be questioned,” the designer explains, “Design surely hopes to improve life, but it can’t save lives. The only thing design can do is earn the right to survive, at least move in more humanist directions.” Design exists for Philippe Starck solely through its militant and political status, in other words through its capacity to be useful, to help, even modestly, people’s lives. His designs aim to serve more than the object; they aim to offer the best possible service while using the minimum of materials. This is powerfully demonstrated with the first ever Ideas Box, deployed in January 2014 in the Great Lakes region of Burundi. The Ideas Box, a portable multi-media library created by Philippe Starck for Libraries without Borders, offers populations exposed to humanitarian crises access to the Internet, books, various teaching aids, not to mention theatre and film. It thus contributes to giving individuals and communities the possibility to reconstruct what they have lost because “when all else has been lost, all we have left is the ability to dream”. Since then the principal of the Ideas Box has been successfully rolled out in more than 11 countries.
DRIADE TOY CHAIR
DEMOCRATIC DESIGN AND DAILY OBJECTS
From the beginning his designs were never intended for the elite, but for society as a whole. He longs for democratic design, and proffers an illuminating definition: “Improving the quality while striving to make it accessible to the greatest number of people, at affordable prices.” He believes that sincere, modern elegance comes from the multiplication of an object, as opposed to the ideology of limited editions, where premeditation on rarity leads to a selection through money rather than necessity.
This approach, aiming to provide the largest number of people with the best quality, has been deployed by Philippe Starck in all domains: from tableware to issues concerning the body and hygiene.
DRIADE TOY CHAIR
ALESSI JUICY SALIF
ALESSI JUICY SALIF
AN ETHICAL APPROACH TO SPACE
“If there is no vision, humane, social or loving, a project doesn’t have the legitimacy to exist.” Philippe Starck
The emergence of a new space, restaurant, bar or hotel is always an occasion for Philippe Starck to consider the meaning of creation in depth: the sense of a space within its environment, the sense and sentiment of a place for the tribes who inhabit it, the sense of a project, regardless of its size, within human evolution. Creation cannot be vain or gratuitous. It involves an increasing awareness of its implication for Mankind and his environment and a responsibility for the future. “Deserving to exist is part of the notion of work […]. Everyone should bring something – if it’s not a mountain, then a rock, a stone or a grain of sand,” summarises Philippe Starck. This modest approach is marked by the ambition of a dreamer who firmly believes in the possibility of finding solutions to contemporary issues. And yet Philippe Starck refuses to impose his solutions. They unfold like stories available to those who want to listen: “My job is like that of a film director. I tell stories and offer the public the most complete spiritual notion possible of the spaces they visit. Public spaces are above all about emotions and experiences.” Because at the heart of all Starck’s projects lies the commitment to humanity and through the creation of spaces the will to generate powerful emotions, ensuring that on entering these buildings, everyone discovers what they are looking for and more; “a place to go because it’s too cold outside, because they’re hungry, because they’re thirsty, because they want to have fun.”
THE ALHONDIGA PROJECT
THE ALHONDIGA PROJECT
One of Bilbao’s architectural icons is emerging again in the heart of town. It is Alhóndiga (1909), the old wine warehouse designed by Ricardo Bastida, which has morphed into AlhóndigaBilbao –a place swarming with activity for all and sundry that is expected to become a new leisure and cultural hub.
AlhóndigaBilbao is bringing its curtain up with the hope of hosting activities in its 43,000-square-metre surface area that encourage the love of knowledge, awaken cultural sensitivity, lead to positive experiences in the different stages of life, and contribute to the consolidation of strong values.
Culture, knowledge, and fun are coming together in an innovative, multidisciplinary space that will be brimming with life –a meeting point to share, learn, and above all, enjoy with family and friends.
AlhóndigaBilbao is a leisure, cultural, and wellness centre oriented towards personal growth.
The Latin quotation derived from one of Juvenal’s Satires captures the spirit and concept of the centre. The idea is that AlhóndigaBilbao is a place where visitors can accomplish the goal of Antiquity of striking balance between the body and the mind.
Since Philippe Starck first took charge of the rehabilitation project, every task was aimed at the creation of a multidisciplinary space open to all citizens and oriented towards personal growth and the development of human relationships. This is the most interesting thing about AlhóndigaBilbao, for its purpose will make it an ever-changing place.
EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURE AND LIVING SPACES
Although he considers himself no more an architect than designer, in the early 1980s Philippe Starck designed several buildings in Japan, with forms previously unseen. The first was in Tokyo, completed in 1989, and is striking in its originality. Nani Nani was an impressive anthropomorphic building covered with living material which evolves with time. The structure was born from the powerful conviction that creation must invest in an environment without destabilising it while maintaining the greatest respect for its context. Like all of his work Starck’s architecture is virulently and explicitly both ethical and humanist.
A year later he confirmed his status as leader of avant-gardist architecture with the Asahi Beer Hall in Tokyo and then an ensemble of offices in Osaka, known as the Baron Vert, in 1992. A pioneer of impressionist reasoning bursting with relentless enthusiasm, he made buildings that even when dedicated to work reclaimed life in all its continuous exuberance. In France he was commissioned to design the control tower at Bordeaux’s airport (1997) and the extension of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (1998). Jean Paul Gaultier entrusted the designer’s imagination to transform his boutiques in Paris, London and New York.
With the Yoo building project, initiated in London in 2001 along with building magnate John Hitchcox, Philippe Starck ignored “signature” housing conventions, by offering apartments with modern configurations, in line with the expectations of tribe members. The perfect culmination of a lifetime of research and vision, Yoo today has more than 50 projects spread over 27 countries – from Asia and Australia to America, Europe and the Middle East – with new constructions recently announced for Ecuador and Mexico.
In Rio de Janeiro, 2007, Philippe Starck conceived the interior architecture and decoration of the Faena Hotel, as well as the exterior and interior architecture of the Fasano, an eightstory on the seafront. This hotel is a discreet, humble and sincere tribute to the Brazilian designers of the 1950s and 1960s, who’d been so innovative in their approach to the environment. Through his elegant use of wood, glass and marble, Starck succeeds in recreating the sophisticated and relaxed spirit of the city within this magical venue while offering a spectacular panorama over the sea.
Philippe Starck also shows genuine commitment to public spaces where he hopes to establish a humane community determined to strive for change. “I’m carried along by a major theme: the adventure of our human species, governed mainly by intelligence.” It’s time to remember that living together also means living in harmony. This thought was made reality in 2012 in Bilbao when he completed Alhondiga, a cultural centre spreading over nearly 30,000m2: “This project incorporates the crystallisation of life”, the designer explains. “We preserved the 1909 façade along with all walls, nearly 10 meters thick. And it is precisely within these walls that the history of the building unravels. Very few other spaces in the world offer so many activities in one place: you can work here, eat, drink, see an exhibition, do sports or read. I like this idea of communion, the intermingling of activities, while remaining very practical. It provides surprisingly magical moments that are even more astonishing because it’s such a unique experience. Passers-by can see it all happening through the windows. I’m devoted to putting life on show.”
2010 was a key date in the world of sea adventurers, as this die-hard boat lover - “I can’t live without the sea” – unveiled his project in Port Adriano in Majorca. There he offered an entirely new conception of urbanism, blurring the boundaries between port and the boats, the sea and the land. Through the creation of an underground parking lot, the site’s beauty remains intact while access to the spaces is facilitated. He stuck firmly to his beliefs about invisibility and dematerialisation, “The architecture is almost invisible,” he explains, “You only notice it when you look a second time.” And because he’s placed man and nature at the centre of the project, thus fully respecting environmental standards, the reduction of CO2 emissions has been made a priority. Through this project, with his crystal clear view on our society, he perpetuates a responsible approach to creation: “We are the prisoners of a “throw-away” society. The only way to escape is to create sustainable design,” he affirmed on this occasion.
On the site of an old structure at the entrance to the Saint Ouen flea market on the outskirts of Paris, a large building in brick, concrete panels and zinc was constructed in 2012. With the external architecture of the restaurant Ma Cocotte, Philippe Starck pays tribute to the typical buildings of the neighbourhood and its inhabitants, a kingdom of market traders whose authenticity and effervescence has long fascinated him. It’s a lifestyle he has endeavoured to reproduce with this comfortable and welcoming place. This honest architectural vision, cultivated within the rules of art, favouring life in all its forms will organically continue to develop elsewhere over the next few years. Le Nuage, which saw the light of day in 2014 in Montpellier, has established itself as a poetic destination, a vertical village, conducive to the socialising of all tribes, complete with cultural, sporting and relaxing activities. Enveloped with a transparent membrane in polymer known as ETFE, this is the first inflatable private building to be made in Europe. With the P.A.T.H. (Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes) project, available since October 2014, Philippe Starck offers a new take on individual, hi-tech pre-fabricated houses destined for as many people as possible.
On the other side of the ocean the Matarazzo Hospital in Sao Paolo is one of the city’s few historical monuments to have been preserved. Eclectic, bustling and full of determined energy in 2016 it will be endowed with a new cultural and polymorphous life. It will be home to a hotel, exhibition halls, theatres and cinemas, metamorphosing into an indispensable epicentre of creativity.
The architectural ensemble has been restored with the utmost respect for its historic heritage. It will be surrounded by a park with covered stalls selling the work of local craftsmen and artisans. This project shows Philippe Starck’s profound belief in the power of rehabilitation of space by culture and his sustained will to create venues that improve “living together”.
The Château des Carmes Haut-Brion domaine goes back to the 16th century: while its prestige is clearly timeless, its new owners, the Pichet Group, wanted to project it into the future. Thus 2016 will see the inauguration of its new winery designed by Phillippe Starck to resemble a raw blade, minimalist and elegant, perfectly integrated into its surroundings, naturally embodying “the evocation, intuition and reflection” of a great vineyard.
This ethical approach, for everyone, from the architecture of buildings, public spaces and the multifunctional modular urban furniture (for JC Decaux), realised in absolute symbiosis with its human and topographical context, to his numerous interior projects for restaurants and hotels, is expressed in a truly global manner.
THE ALHONDIGA PROJECT
GIRO BY S+ARCKBIKE HELMET
AXOR STARCK V
AXOR STARCK V
KARTEL MISS LESS
KARTEL MISS LESS
DRIADE LOU READ
DRIADE LOU READ
The timeless game of seduction and poetry that Venice has always suggested to people’s imagination, the enthusiasm and passion of a young and visionary entrepreneur, Philippe Starck’s deep-rooted love for the lagoon and an artist, based in Murano, capable to interpret and transpose such energy, helped by the shared closeness of these three people to Venice, are the driving forces behind Palazzina Grassi.
Turin-born entrepreneur Emanuele Garosci, who created the innovative Hotel Nhow in Milan’s new Zona Tortona design district, came to Venice for a short period of time in 2008. It was not his first stay, but, on this occasion, he breathed its air, he experienced this city and discovered its most hidden treasures, falling in love with it. He then decided to create in this city an unprecedented hospitality project and chose Philippe Starck as the only designer capable to create this new dimension he dreamt to set in the lagoon landscape. He chose him and succeeded in being chosen…
The entrepreneur’s vision and wish are to offer the more sensitive and curious visitors a place capable to send them, inside and outside the hotel, on a journey of what Venice has been and can be for the more sensitive eyes and spirits, making each guest feel “temporarily Venetian”. He already has a great legacy at his disposal: the city’s colour palette, an atmospheric building rich in history, and a concept of hospitality and conciergerie able to offer experiences that are different each time.
The subversive French creator, who, when designing hotels, works like a movie director trying to create mental spaces in people’s brain, had been in love with Venice for decades since he has chosen a tiny island in the Venice laguna as one of his homes. Starck had already designed and created several hotels around the world which all became classics, but in Italy he had yet to be seduced by any hospitality project and a visionary entrepreneur.
However, he was fascinated by Palazzina Grassi, also due to the passion he feels for this city. His idea was to “mount” in this aristocratic building, which had been inhabited by the nobility and later had been a warehouse for merchants and even a spa, a true jewel, a summary of the city’s materials, emotions and architectures. In the 2,800 square metres of Palazzina Grassi, all was conceived to set off tradition and history, but also to play with new intellectual and emotional dimensions.
The atmosphere is that of a lived-in home, full of life and charm, where the extraordinary nature of the spaces and furnishings combines with a selection of the most refined luxury antiques, including valuable books, antique glasses and luxury vintage objects.
In order to collaborate to the creation of the Palazzina Grassi project, Starck also called Aristide Najean, a French painter and sculptor who, five years before, had chosen Murano to live and work. The artist took part in the project with enthusiasm, adding, with his glass masterpieces, important elements that convey splendour and phantasmagoria.
‘’ Venice is not only at the centre of the world, of Europe and, above all, of Western civilisation, but it also represents the sum and the absolute synthesis of all Western and Eastern intelligences, cultures, refineries and the most sophisticated luxuries.
Palazzina Grassi conveys in a single place – through an innovative concept, but, above all, through details, materials, mental games and cultural references – the spirit and essence of Venice, which has never been and will never be equalled.
Palazzina Grassi is a jewel set along the Canal Grande, made exquisite by Murano crystals, mahogany and precious woods brought by all the ships that along the years have arrived in Venice and which come to life here.
The mix, conscious and unconscious, of all these elements turn Palazzina Grassi into an unspoken poem, which allows visitors to find themselves immediately and deeply immersed in the special history, culture and vibrations of such a unique city. ‘’
AXOR STARCK ORGANIC MIXER
AXOR STARCK ORGANIC MIXER
MAMA SHELTER BORDEAUX
MAMA SHELTER LYON
Ever since his first creations, Philippe Starck hasn’t stopped revolutionising the codes of the hotel world. From the 1980s onwards he made his mark on the hotel industry and those years saw a flamboyant revolution. Along with Ian Schrager, Starck offered a new approach and new codes to hotel conception starting with the Royalton in New York. The experience continued with the Delano in Miami in 1995, followed by the Mondrian in Los Angeles and then London saw the arrival of Saint Martin’s Lane in 1999 and the Sanderson in 2000 while New York welcomed the Hudson in 1999 and the Clift in San Francisco in 2001. While most of his hotels have taken other paths (Royalton, Mondrian, Delano, Sanderson and St Martins), Phillipe Starck has none the less made his mark on hotel design with these original creations. Every project is a destination that generates emotions and experiences. The hotels are no longer venues of fleeting impersonal passage but living spaces distilled with friendly, fun signs and fertile surprises. Under the impetus of Philippe Starck they’re transformed into theatres where everyone acts out their own destiny. In 2005 the Faena Hotel in Buenos Aires, having opened the previous year, was named best hotel of the year by the magazine Wallpaper* and complimented by Conde Naste Traveller for its atmosphere and design.
The 2000’s gave rise to another revolution in the hotel industry. The SLS Beverly Hills (2007) was Starck’s first real hotel resort in North America. It has the unique concept of a double entrance, where one is for the exclusive use of the clientele and the other for the general public, opening into what is known as the Bazaar. “People know that when they stop by there’ll always be something to discover, someone to meet, it’s like a constantly bubbling of energy. It has something of the village square about it.” Starck resumes. This collaboration with the hotel chain belonging to the visionary entrepreneur Sam Nazarian continues today: new SLS hotels have opened with the same success in South Beach Miami (2012), with other versions on the horizon in New York, Miami Brickell (2016) as well as Philadelphia and Seattle (2017). “The SLS South Beach Miami doesn’t have a particular style; we worked hard to achieve that. It’s a sophisticated cocktail of poetry, surrealism, fertile surprises, tenderness, unexpected sculptures in the Japanese restaurant, elegance in a Milanese bar, Jose Andres’ unusual blend of Spanish and Chinese cooking and my grandmother’s dining room. Wherever you look you’ll be surprised and you can imagine your own dream, your own life. Wherever you go you can feel the humanity of Sam and my craziness,” explains Philippe Starck, artistic director of the entire hotel chain. Since the opening of the SLS Beverly Hills, more than 60 accolades from Conde Naste Traveller, Wallpaper*, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times have been showered upon the SLS hotels. Starck is revolutionary in his refusal of an exclusive approach. From the 1990s onwards Starck committed himself to another revolution, that of the democratisation of quality, designer hotels. The Paramount in New York offering rooms for $100 came first and it has since become a classic of the genre. This human-centric approach has led Philippe Starck to develop projects that contribute essentially to the process of democracy of the hotel industry. “The only desirable revolution is a social and economic revolution: offer the best quality to people for whom money is not the point. It is without a doubt the most interesting future and creative territory to develop,” summarises the designer. In 2008 he applied this generous, humanist idea to Paris in the design of the Mama Shelter. This hotel bears witness to the new social values of an open minded cultural tribe founded on rigour, honesty, humour, intelligence and sharing. On its origins, he explains, “We wanted to bring a democratic dream to fruition... give the best to the most people possible while drawing from the newest ideas and the energy of the young.” Born from a philosophical and political desire this establishment in its neglected urban yet buzzing landscape, accompanies the most inventive, most determined aspects of the future. Its pertinence and audacity of vision sees the Mama Shelter regularly featured in the most prestigious international publications (50 Best Hotels in Europe by the Sydney Morning Herald, Die 100 Besten Hotels in Europa by Geosaison Award, 8 Best Hotels in France by Frommer). Starck’s dreams are devoted to sowing their seeds far and wide: after Paris, the Mama Shelter took root in Marseille in 2012 quickly followed by Lyon and Bordeaux in 2013. Conscious that the hotelier business must reflect the movements and flux of the world and its ideas, in 2008 he started reinterpreting the codes of Parisian luxury hotels with vigour and fantasy, adding a dash of poetic and surreal folly to the oldest five-star hotel in the French capital, Le Meurice. He added new notes to his score in 2016 with the introduction of yet more mystery and humanity to the palace spaces. He applied his artistic direction once again in 2010 to the Royal Monceau, where he wrote a fantastical and previously unseen script where every room is imbued with the cultural energy of an imaginary occupant. Philippe Starck broke with custom and thrust the heritage of a luxury hotel embodying Parisian heritage into another timeless, whimsical dimension. “For me, the Royal Monceau was an opportunity to explore the nature of French identity and to reinvent it. To rediscover this rebellious and subversive spirit that manages simultaneously to be very elegant, detached and noble.” The Royal Monceau has become the refuge of the honest man, interested in the cultivation of mind and body as witnessed by the installation of the Spa My Blend by Clarins (2011). In 2011 La Co(o)rniche (2011), Starck proposed a “a cabin on the water”, a “venue as strong, as beautiful, as poetic, as surreal and as powerful as nature itself.” Suspended between sky and sea, between sand and pine trees, this hotel and restaurant preserves the authenticity of a basque house while overlooking the Bay of Arcachon, paying tribute to the sparkling and generous people who live there. And then in July 2015, the Café Ha(a)ïtza opened its doors in Pyla-sur-Mer. But this was less a step and more a prologue to the 2016 opening of the eponymous hotel with its open spaces, central bars and tables d’hôtes. This emblematic venue in the Bay of Arcachon, a landscape so dear to Philippe Starck, will rediscover its life and panache of former times in summer 2016
LORENZO LE MAGNIFIC
LORENZO LE MAGNIFIC
GOOD GOODS 41
VITRA WW STOOL
VITRA WW STOOL
KARTEL LOUIS GHOST
A DEMOCRATIC ECOLOGY
“In order to save our planet, change our societies and make them more inclusive, we need initiatives, major actions.” Philippe Starck.
Long before environmental concerns became mainstream, a pressing urgency had told a prudent visionary that they would lie at the heart of our present, and be essential to our future. His concern for developing durable creations imagined independently of any notion of a perishable world, and that they be above all useful and perform their essential function, has inscribed his work right from the beginning, in a responsible, ethical approach. His objects, his solutions, Philippe Starck wants to share them with the most people possible by offering hi-tech, ecological objects at affordable prices, without hesitating to make beautiful things or encourage responsible consumption. A visionary and enthusiastic citizen, Philippe Starck is committed to the future of mankind via a democratic ecology that will help his contemporaries live in harmony with their natural surroundings, all while being a part of “the big picture”. He aims to go beyond survival by offering future generations the possibility of writing their future on a fresh page, so that they can invent another story and a new romanticism. This is the vision: to change the perspective of his creative actions, to go further and to share them with the greatest number of people. “Increasingly aware, we can all take the destiny of the human species in hand instead of drifting into the mechanisms of a market.” It consists of giving up the insane cycle of fashion for sustainable, durable objects. As a visionary Philippe Starck captures the mutations of a contemporary world by bringing about concrete answers through a bionist approach, among others, inspired by the organic and a will to initiate a sustainable degrowth, always looking for the most in the least. Even if there’s no proposition to provide a definitive solution to the issues of our times, the designer hasn’t stopped offering new models, other means of consuming and travelling, convinced that it is the inventors who draw the path to a better world. Recognising the urgency to develop a democratic ecology, his civic battle has become increasingly radical today. It’s a personal commitment and an invitation to join him. In 2006 he invented an individual wind turbine for the Italian industrial group, Pramac, which is
attractive and invisible, easily accessible and usable at an affordable price. It also responds to the new criteria of mobility imposed by our nomadic destiny. Beyond its technical characteristics, it completely changes our approach to consuming and generating energy. In 2015 with Speetbox by Starck, the first collection of high performance heated furniture, Starck pursues an approach that lies at the heart of ancient preoccupations: rethinking our ways of consuming and generating energy as a key issues. An airtight wood burner can be added to by a system known as “box” with a variety of functions: storage boxes adapted to the storage of firewood, and boxes that accumulate heat allowing for a gradual diffusion of warmth over a 24h plus period. Thanks to an original smartphone app, the wood burner is controllable and programmable outside the home, high technology allowing for the personalised control of all heating parameters. Speetbox by Starck makes ecology and technology accessible to all, and offers the possibility of an economic, high performance and adapted heating solution.
KARTEL LOUIS GHOST
KARTEL LOULOU GHOST
KARTEL VICTORIA GHOST
KARTEL VICTORIA GHOST
KARTEL LOULOU GHOST
A COMMITTED, POLITICAL, VISIONARY DESIGN
“I’ve tried to steer the craft of design towards a political and social action, complicit and yet denouncing, to generate action and reaction.” Philippe Starck
Philippe Starck has always sought to convey a political, subversive message. He works by associating humour and poetry with spectacular undertakings. And he likes nothing more than knowing these surprises will provoke love or rejection. “An object that is instantly accepted doesn’t have the right to exist,” he likes to repeat.
PLASTIC: DEMATERIALISATION AND INVISIBILITY
“In the long term design will join one of the most fundamental lines of our evolution, which is dematerialisation.” Philippe Starck. By deciding early on to use plastic in his furniture creation Philippe Starck demonstrated a profound comprehension of dematerialisation and invisibility. Less material for greater intelligence, this is how the designer imagines objects. “When waiting for certain objects to disappear, they have to be rendered bearable by a choice of view coming from an attempt at invisibility through transparency.” So he developed plastic furniture – from the WW Stool (1990 Vitra) to the Masters (Kartell) and Pipes chairs (Driade) – whose culmination would be the icon chairs Marie and Louis Ghost (Kartell 2002) a veritable treaty of modernity announcing this inevitable dematerialisation. The Marie, a pure ‘mathematical’ chair was created by the designer to have the least possible style, the least possible weight, the least possible material and the least possible presence. But it’s with the Louis Ghost that this approach to dematerialisation found its greatest success with more than one million examples sold. And Philippe Starck is convinced the chair is the result of this new approach but also a legacy and collective Western thinking as well as the bridge he has built between dematerialisation and democratisation. “The Louis Ghost was made by our collective subconscious; it’s just the natural result of our past, our present and our future. Thanks to its technology it equally allows for good design and good technology at the right price. It’s the continuity of democratic design.” With the Masters chair of 2009, Philippe Starck continues his reflections on the notions of dematerialisation and inheritance. He takes apart, cleans and dissects design icons in order to identify and extract their structural lines that, to use the words of the creator, “add together to create a new product, a new project, reflecting our new society.” With the Masters, Starck offers his reading of the generic lines of three great designers from the history of design (Eames, Jacobsen and Saarinen). In 2016 with the GENERIC.A and the GENERIC.C (Kartell) chairs he liberates the outside lines, going to the heart of every detail, to the interior generic lines. “An interesting approach intellectually, but one that’s also about Economy and Ecology because it’s primarily a work on the intelligence of matter, on the intelligence of structure” offered by Starck through the GENERIC collection. The production of plastic furniture takes on a new dimension with the establishment of the TOG – All Creators TOGether in 2014. The Italo-Brazilian brand strives mainly to express a political mind-set, affirming a philosophy that proposes to “reconcile two opposing worlds: that of industrial high technology, that of mass production with that of the craftsman, reflecting original, unique and human excellence.” Through TOG Starck attempts to resolve the paradox generated by our society in crisis, aspiring to products strengthened by a vital hope for cultural and material life, functional and available at affordable prices. http://www.starck.com/en/about
DRIADE LOU THINK
MAGIS LE CHIEN SAVANT
DRIADE NEOZ SOFA
GUN LAMP 2015
TOG LIGHT ROCK
TOG LIGHT ROCK
KARTEL UNCLE JIM
FIRST 35/41 S5 VOILIER L COQUE
The marine environment is another source of inspiration. Starck loves the sea, boats and has a profound, natural knowledge of the ocean, defining himself as an amphibian, "webbed feet and a back covered in scales". He collaborated with Bénéteau for the sailing boat First (1988) where he reinterpreted the timeless codes of the sea, then he went on to create the Virtuelle (1997), a racing boat with minimalist forms, in perfect harmony with the sea. He has also created several mega-yachts. The Wedge II (2002), innovative in its purified appearance contrasting with the conventions (and did he have fun) of this type of boat and whose elegance was rewarded the prize of best boat of the year. Then in 2008 he designed the A (119 meters long), a discreet and ecological vessel, inspired by the rhythm of the waves and the shape of a fish, it has an immense and revolutionary bow: “I designed one of the first hulls that doesn’t make any waves, even at 25 knots,” reminisces Philippe Starck. With its Tenders, the aesthetic and philosophical innovation that the mega yacht A was given companions of equal elegance, with a ‘Limousine’ version offering an interior worthy of a super-yacht itself and an ‘open’ version with its sumptuous circular cockpit. Two major prizes were awarded to the yacht A: “Most Innovative Yacht in Yachts France” at the Cannes Maritime Fair 2009 and “Most Innovative Exterior Yacht Design of the Year 2008” at the Asia Boating Awards Ceremony in 2008. His collaboration with Hobie Cat (2009) came out of a longing that was very personal, "I was given the honour and joy to possess and steer every model of the Hobie Cat. This addiction was a religion. The religion of minimalism." Fun, elementary and destined for all, his re-writing of this mythical boat brings together the democratic vocation he gives all of his products and his dream of mobility, in every possible
way. The Venus (2012) more than 70m-long yacht, born from a philosophy of dematerialisation is the fruit of a regular and nourished dialogue with its backer, one of the century’s geniuses. “For four years we analysed every single detail and brought together innovations to develop a concentration of the highest level of intelligence and quality,” explains Starck, “We reinvented marine technology through our work, it was philosophy in action.”
“Offer our children another history, a new romanticism.” Philippe Starck
A polymorphic designer, a nomad perpetually travelling the world with his wife and muse Jasmine, always present where he is least expected (just like in life, “that’s what happens when we do other projects”, joked John Lennon), always looking for natural elegance and a hero of democratic obligation, Philippe Starck will never give up his hopes, desires, visions and duties and shows himself to be an honest man directly descended from Renaissance artists.
From high technology for the individual to necessary mobility, from food, housing, energy production and even clothing, there is no aspect of our daily lives in all its implications that has escaped his visionary, poetic and subversive approach. Nothing human is foreign to him. Everything concerns Philippe Starck. From a precocious consciousness of our perilous lifestyles he has drawn even more energy and a will to share his vision: that which is inscribed in the “big picture” of the history of our evolution.
Because we are witnessing so many changes - some positive, others catastrophic - it’s vital for Philippe Starck to try and find answers. And it’s by orientating design towards the future, politics and responsibility that the creator is attempting to lay a foundation stone for the new world. Aware that time on earth implies a responsibility, he promotes the “courage to exist”, to invent and reinvent, to play a role in contemporary evolution and mutation. Because, “Whatever we do, the extent to which we take account of it, we will soon be obliged to move towards de-growth, because it’s in man’s DNA to progress. The subject of the forthcoming years will be to find a model for positive de-growth that will save us.” While design might not be able to answer every question, it can none the less add a vigilant contribution. This has always been Philippe Starck’s combat, from democratic design to democratic ecology; he wishes above all to create accessible, ecological objects for the largest possible audience. So decades after his early battles for his creations to be made available to all, the present has proved him to be right: from the environment that needs to be defended to the necessity of leaving this planet, we’re all involved in this story, our story. Refusing the state of things isn’t good enough; we have to react to change things, to reinvent. Starck is offering to lead a revolution, nothing more, nothing less: a revolution in our life styles so that precisely this life can continue. To be necessary, indispensable, this fight for democratic ecological is inherently joyful, vibrant, questioning our practices to encourage us to change and finally achieve a moral market.
Philippe Starck has repeatedly demonstrated that whatever its size or purpose, the honest object – in the introduction we evoked the honest approach of the man and designer Starck – does what it can do to the best of its means, most efficiently, most usefully and most respectfully, with a minimum of materials. The most intelligent part of human production is, after all, found in the idea of reducing materials and moving towards lightness and invisibility all while augmenting competence. For Starck the future is a question of materials, “Man needs nothing material, only the capacity to love, intelligence, humour and ethics.”
The generosity of his activity, which he refuses to restrict to a single field or a single elite, shows us that behind this famous designer with all his accolades, is a man aspiring to the best for all his fellow men.
A major figure on the world’s cultural stage, exhibited in the biggest museums (the Pompidou Centre, the Guggenheim and MoMA in New York and the MoMA in Kyoto...), at the avantgarde of contemporary environmental concerns and responsibility, the subject of numerous books, omnipresent in the media, professor at the Domus Academy in Milan and at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Philippe Starck is respected for the originality, rigour and quality of his work. Today his name and personality almost belong to the general public, with a waxwork statue in the Grevin Museum in Paris. For everyone Philippe Starck embodies the desire for a better life, here and now of course, but also for tomorrow.
Ever since his consecration as Officier des Arts et des Lettres in 1985 (promoted to Commandeur in 1998) Philippe Starck has been honoured with more than 100 prizes and decorations: the Médaille de Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur, in 2000 attests once more to the recognition of his country. His influence extends beyond France’s frontiers: witness the President’s Award from the British association D&AD and the Harvard Excellence in Design Award given to him by the prestigious American university in 1997. His career – and the movement free of constraints it has led to – was consecrated in 2008 when he accepted the job of Artistic Director for the French Presidency of the European Union and then in 2009 when he accepted the post of Ambassador of Creativity and Innovation. He is constantly being contacted to share his experience and his vision as much by international conferences as by businesses that see themselves in his work of a 1000 facets, inspired by his pioneering approach. His expertise shines way beyond the world of design. He has quite simply defined new paradigms for our very existence.
“Life is only worth what it allows you to learn and by the opportunities it offers to transmit” Philippe Starck
His concern for democracy, whether it is ecological or design, is combined with a pedagogical desire to put intelligence and ideas first, wherever they are sexiest. So in June 2009 he presented La Nuit des Idées (The Night of Ideas) on Canal +, during which he presented the famous TED Conference to demonstrate the sheer brainpower that contributes to our living well and well-being. Starck likes quoting Boileau’s famous maxim, “Whatever we understand well we express clearly, and words flow with ease”. In the documentary “Futur by Starck”, shown in June 2013 on Arte, the designed introduced the men and women inventing the world of tomorrow. In front of the camera Philippe Starck talks to the astronaut Jean-François Clervoy and the economist Jeremy Rifkin as well as scientists and researchers from around the world in a discussion on our collective future and its ethical, ecological and economic stakes.
The truth is Philippe Starck never wants to stop communicating ideas. Fascinated by science and constantly exploring, he has launched himself into the creative project of the first laboratory of fundamental research on pure creativity. Scientists from multiple backgrounds, who are working on creation itself and not its application, are working to understand how creativity works, and from there how it can be transmitted, taught to those who don’t think of themselves as creators, who won’t let themselves create, or who don’t know how to set the right conditions. “I think that every individual holds within them a creative potential, which can be developed if he is shown how,” resumes Philippe Starck. It’s in this same spirit that he plans to build the biggest ever brain by federating 220 million unemployed people and turning them into thinkers. “I would like to create the biggest think tank so we can have a tool that is capable of responding to the most important priorities and issues of our society.”
In 2012 for the first time Philippe Starck accepted to do a book of interviews, in order to better share his existence. With Impression d’Ailleurs, this creative mind, always one step ahead of his time, reveals himself to be modest, emotional and brilliantly intuitive. As with all his projects, his ambition for truthfulness led him to this dialogue with Gilles Vanderpooten, who’d initiated the project.
After three decades of creation, looking to the other side of the stars and the horizon, Starck is now turning towards the future more than ever, the destiny that brings us all together. By stimulating vocations and electrifying spirits, his gestures are guided by love, an unsinkable passion for his neighbour and the resolution to build happy tomorrows. While Rimbaud wrote, “Dawns are heart-breaking” Starck will never give up on making sure that they continue to amaze us.
Through his commitment he hopes to help his emotional tribe place itself in a fundamental perspective: that of the progress of our humanity mutating in the heart of the universe. By humbly setting an example, he has shown us that we all have a responsibility to merit our existence and honour the link that unites us by showing inventiveness, courage, intelligence and responsibility
A CHILDHOOD OF ART
“My father was an aeronautical engineer. For me, that made invention a duty”.
Philippe Starck was born in 1949. From a childhood spent beneath the drawing tables of his airplane building, aeronautic engineer father, he retained a primary lesson: everything should be organised elegantly and rigorously, in human relationships as much as in the concluding vision that presides over every creative gesture. He’s convinced it’s this philosophy that allows for creativity beneficial to all and he works with unrelenting enthusiasm on even the tiniest detail. Years later has he really left that first improvised office? According to him, not entirely. “Ultimately it was child’s play, imaginative games, but thanks to various skills, especially engineering, something happened. I’m a kid who dreams and I’ve got that simultaneous light-heartedness and gravity of children. I fully accept the rebellion, the subversion and the humour.” Laughingly he completes this admission: “There is no work in my life! There’s only playing, curiosity, generosity and vision.” He was a listless student at the Ecole Nissim de Camondo in Paris, but in 1969 Starck designed an inflatable structure, based on the idea of materiality, reflecting his early interest in living spaces. This revelation bought his first success at the Salon de l’Enfance. Not long afterwards, Pierre Cardin, seduced by the iconoclastic design, offered him the job of artistic director at his publishing house. In 1976, after the creation of several emblematic objects including a floating lamp and a portable neon sign, this intrepid dreamer designed an audacious decor for the night club, La Main Bleue - in Montreuil – demonstrating that no venue is less respectable than another just because of its eccentricity. He went on to complete the legendary Parisian nightclub Les Bains Douches and the Starck Club in Dallas. At the same time he founded his first industrial design company, Starck Product, which he later renamed Ubik after the famous Philip K. Dick novel. Here he initiated his collaborations with the biggest design manufacturers in Italy - Driade, Alessi, Kartell - and the world – Drimmer in Austria, Vitra in Switzerland and Disform in Spain, to mention but a few. In 1983 Philippe Starck was discovered by the general public when, on the advice of Culture Minister Jack Lang, President François Mitterrand chose his project to decorate the private residence at the Elysée Palace. It symbolised an institutional recognition of design. The following year his international fame was confirmed thanks to the success of the Café Costes, a new venue that was both functional and elegant, that contained all the essence of Starck architecture while converging with the birth and blossoming of a community. His reinvention of the codes of the Parisian cafe made it the cafe par excellence.
You may read entire information about Philippe Starck to click above link.
You may read entire information about Philippe Starck to click above link.