05 Sep Designer Spotlight: Philippe Starck
More than the many pieces of functional art and the notable restaurants and hotels he designed, perhaps the most remarkable imprint of Philippe Starck’s career is his concept of “democratic design.”
Starck has seen how society favors the individual works of artists and their application in creating everyday objects, and he embraced this trend while making it uniquely his brand. He was commissioned to design everyday things into objects of luxury; a chair designed by Philippe Starck is not only a chair, but an art piece you can just casually stow in your living rom. Starck believes that art should be accessible to everyone, and he lets anyone in to his craft by creating everyday objects.
Photo credit: Kartell
Starck’s line of furniture offers products at a price point. These products were mass-developed in order to cut production costs, but their quality remained on par with the products targeted for upper-tiered incomes.
The Kartell Masters Chair by Philippe Starck, a tribute to three design classics by arguably the most famous designer of the modern era. Photo credit: Switched On Set
The concept of offering artist-driven products to the general public sounded like a lofty utopian ideal to many critics in the beginning, but Starck proved his critics wrong after the massive success of the Kartell Louis Ghost chair, selling more than 1million pieces around the world.
The famous Louis Ghost chair.
After earning many accolades and marking his place at the design world, Starck is now devoting his time to uphold his political beliefs. He is an advocate of conserving our natural resources and he supports endeavors to curb global warming. Ecology has become the focus of his recent work, and his latest work alludes to the unstable dynamics between politics and climate change.
He has designed power-generating turbines, for personal use. Made from polycarbonate, these quirky and eccentric pieces can generate up to 60% of an average home’s needs.
His two power-generating turbines, called L’éolienne Individuelle Pramac.
Starck also speaks out his views on current affairs, and express it through his art. His 2005 work for Flos called “Collection Guns” are a reflection of his thoughts on the guns laws in the United States. When asked about his inspiration for Collection Guns, he candidly answered, “We get the symbols that we deserve.”
Often imitated but never replicated, his colorful, vibrant, inventive, sometimes quirky, oftentimes surprising, pieces of functional art and engaging spaces have become the world-famous. Hotels and restaurants employ Starck to design their spaces, a sign that the world has fully embraced the Philippe Starck unique aesthetic. Some of his remarkable interior designs include the fashionably chic Café Costes in Paris, and the M Social in Singapore.
Café Costes in Paris, one of the many restaurants whose interiors he designed. A pop of color in classic room with classic color schemes is always an interesting way to give personality to the space, such as this handsome staircase in tiffany.
M Social’s restaurant is a fusion of classic elements and post-modern sensibilities, and the vibrant yet nuanced color schemes masterfuly translates Starck sensibilities.
Philippe Starck has been recognized worldwide for his quirky, eccentric, colorful, and surprising designs. He made everyday objects into subjects of interest, and most often, admiration. For him, it is important to keep yourself relevant because art must be accessible to everyone. His democratic design ideals guide him as a designer, and he keeps his creations accessible to everyone by maintaining a friendly price point.
Among the most important pieces that he has created throughout his career, the most successful ones, aside from the Louis Ghost chair are the Ero|s| chair, the Bubble Club Sofa and Armchair, and the La Boheme stool. But his most important legacy remains to be the democratization of art. It is now easy to spot a Starck design; a testament to Starck’s success.