Philippe Starck is one of those designers who has become a household name literally because he has championed designing everyday useful items in creative and innovative ways. One of his main clients, Target who specializes in offering mass produced consumer items just a notch up on the design scale.
Born in Paris January 18, 1949 and educated at the Ecole Camondo, he opened his first design firm when he was 19 years old which surprisingly specialized in inflatable objects. From here he was fortunate to design the private interiors for French President Francois Mitterrand as well as joining the Domus Academy in 1986 as an associate lecturer.
Moving into the role as a freelance designer, he is part of the New Design movement but unlike most who produce one of a kind items he creates products and furnishings accessible to the general public that marry seemingly disparate materials. This mix includes such materials as plastic and aluminum and glass and stone. He won the 2005 Industrial Design Excellence Award for a toothbrush sanitizer. His use of organic forms for industrial design he has continued into his design of contemporary furniture.
Along with his industrial design, he has been busy designing for the Italian manufacturer Kartell whose contemporary furniture pieces use polycarbonate plastic a popular material for many mid-century modern furniture designers. Playing with both material and spatial volume, the Louis Ghost chair, the Eros chair and the Bubble Club sofa and armchair are all transparent.
His name synonymous with modern furniture has also become famous for creating the boutique hotel. Featuring his contemporary furniture and industrial designs, he continues to brand public spaces with his unique perspective and synthesis of modern furniture and mass appeal. He has done considerable design work for Starwood launching their “W” Hotels with his unique style of modern and hip. The lobbies, his specialty are known as the “Living Room” and are geared to appeal to a younger crowd.
An interesting note is his involvement with an energy group where he has designed a polycarbonate windmill that also functions as a wind instrument. “Ecology is not just an urgency of the economy and protection of our world but also creativity and elegance.”
His inspiration for his contemporary furniture designs is his stated position that risks are what makes life interesting, “Without risk, you don’t deserve to live.”, spoken so well from a designer who claims to be able to work on 250 different designs at a time.