Tribute to Philippe Starck Who Blends History, Art and Science to Perfection
3rd Feb 2016
“Subversive, ethical, ecological, political, humorous... this is how I see my duty as a designer.”
French designer Philippe Starck’s words are just as forthright and thoughtful as his designs are. While he admits that he never thought of becoming a designer, it is hard to believe that, given his repertoire of projects and his innate ability to create spectacular designs.
Born in Paris in 1949, Starck’s father was an aeronautical engineer who gave him the freedom to think big and explore his creative abilities. After graduating from the École Nissim de Camondo in interior design and architecture, he founded his own company in 1976. He first gained international recognition when he was commissioned by then French President François Mitterrand to refurbish some private apartments in the Élysée Palace (1983-84).
His inspiration comes from the simple idea that there are two kinds of projects – ones that fuel our evolution, and ones that are useless. Utility, humor, surprise, flamboyance and ingenuity are common aspects of his creations.
Philippe Starck has no qualms about admitting that rather than looking up to veteran designers, he considers mathematicians, scientists, biologists and astronauts as his admirers. Greatly inspired by Plato, Ptolemy, Einstein and Galileo, Starck believes that every creation must contribute towards the improvement of the society. His vision and mission revolve around helping his community to live a better life.
From watches to furnishings, Philippe Starck has dabbled in almost every thinkable genre out there. Known for his iconic lighting designs for FLOS, his creations include Romeo pendant lamp, Miss K, Rosy Angelis and Bibliotheque floor lamps.
The stimuli for such an outrageously wide range of ideas arise from his desire to contribute to the evolution of mankind. Starck gives a lot of thought to how he can truly alter and enhance the way things are done – rather than simply creating something that looks aesthetically appealing.
Over the course of his career, Starck has been the recipient of multiple awards and honors, such as:
- Excellence in Design Award from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (1997)
- National Order of the Legion of Honour (2000)
- President’s Award from the British association D&AD
- Ambassador of Creativity and Innovation, French Presidency of the EU
- Work exhibited in the world’s best museums, including MOMA, Pompidou Centre, etc.
A true visionary in every sense of the word, Philippe Starck lives by his philosophy and things that he believes in. His unprecedented approach to designing things – from everyday utility objects to luxury yachts and iconic hotels – has inspired several designers to see the world through his lens.
Explore FLOS designs by Philippe Starck here.