Video: Gun lamp, umbrella chandelier and love: How designer philosopher Philippe Starck made luxury affordable
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
A gun lamp, an umbrella chandelier and statements that the world does not need design, and love is more important than technology - scandalous projects and loud statements made Philippe Starck famous even for those who are far from design. In fact, he is an excellent designer and subtle thinker who made design masterpieces available to the mass consumer.
Philippe Starck was born in Paris, the son of an aircraft designer and artist, and since childhood he loved to spend time near drawing boards, sitting in a heap of plywood scraps and scraps of paper. At first, it seemed to his parents that young Philip was just busy playing, repeating the actions of his parents - but it soon became clear that the boy was passionate about the design process - like a real designer. He absorbed knowledge literally with his mother's milk - and subsequently he only needed a subject design course to gain the missing knowledge in the field of design and management.
As an adult and famous designer, Stark claims that he does not follow the path of functionalism and does not create any purely engineering solutions.
For example, from a formal point of view, the iconic spider juicer is an extremely inconvenient thing. But it is beautiful and almost erotic when the lemon juice runs down the chrome surface. While critics argue whether to classify Stark as eclectic or stigmatize as a kitsch designer, he calls himself a Freudian designer, because his work is based on playing with symbols and associations.
He is a real postmodernist - he flirts with sexuality, changes the usual forms, combines the incongruous and, placing a crystal chandelier in the interior over a classic table with carvings and bent legs, he does it as if in jest, as if playing.
At the same time, postmodern nihilism is alien to Stark - in his interviews he remains a subtle, sensitive, caring person, speaks a lot about love, about world peace and the fight against social inequality.
He, the greatest living designer, argues that design is not needed in the modern world. “Why make beautiful TVs if everything you can see on the screens is complete crap?..” he says. He himself does not watch TV and does not go to parties - he has no time.
When he does not create something new, but does consultations and lectures.
That is why he seeks to make his design experiments available not only to the elite, but also to mere mortals. His creative peak, his best creation, he calls the chair for nine dollars, which can be purchased by a representative of the middle class. He created budget and non-trivial things for ordinary people - plastic food containers, scissors, toilet paper holders, pencil cups, bags, baby chairs …
Stark hates the word "consumer" - it depersonalizes, it seems to producers that the consumer will "consume" low quality products, but they will not buy anything like that for themselves. Stark asks - would you do a similar thing for your husband or your mother? And, thinking, designers and company directors often give a negative answer …
Back in the 70s, Philippe Starck began to collaborate with Pierre Cardin - for his fashion house, he created sixty pieces of furniture. He woke up famous back in 1982, when he designed the apparatus for French President Francois Mitterrand in the Elysee Palace, where he made a bathroom with a tapered toilet, bidet and bath. Stark never limited himself to either style or direction in design.
He created interiors and buildings, toothbrushes, food (for example, pasta, in the form of a yin-yang symbol), clothes and shoes, chairs and lamps.
He loves to play up classical forms with unexpected materials (plastic, plush) and include streamlined forms resembling a horn in geometric, purely functional objects - or, if we take as a basis the Freudian interpretation of Stark's work, the phallus (in any case, in a series of his shocking projects there is a television remote control in the form of a dildo).
Critics often refer to Stark as more of a showman than a designer - mainly because he doesn't agree to stay behind the scenes. On everything he does, the seal of his personality burns with a bright flame. Sometimes - literally: Stark decorated the furniture he designed with his own portraits. He willingly gives interviews, shares his philosophical ideas and views on life.
But the main thing that shocks the modern sharks of capitalism is the humanism and adherence to principles of Philippe Starck, and not at all a fractal bear cub (however, this toy from Stark made a splash on the Russian Internet - people saw in it literally the horseman of the apocalypse). He does not design weapons (even his famous gun lamp is a pacifist manifesto), does not work with the producers of alcohol and tobacco. Stark does not want to deal with religious organizations and is scrupulous about the sources of income of those who pay him.
"Business ethics" is Stark's main requirement for customers and production. This adherence to principles forces the designer to abandon many profitable projects, but the main thing for him is to be true to his convictions. Another tough position of Stark - the project should be interesting: "If I'm not interested, I'd better go to bed."
In 2012, Steve Jobs commissioned Stark to design a yacht, but unfortunately was unable to see the completion of the work.
Philippe Starck strives to bring beautiful things into the life of every person, but he himself lives ascetic, is a supporter of reasonable consumption and minimal impact on the environment.
To reflect, he retires to the island (after all, everyone dreams of their own island - and Stark made it happen). There is no gas and light, environmentally friendly rice grows, and it is in this heavenly place that Stark clears his mind in order to return with new brilliant ideas.
“I dream alone and work alone … luckily, I am not sleeping alone,” Stark smiles in an interview. He considers the main thing in his life not to work, not design, but relations with his wife.
So Philippe Starck brought to life his most important idea: "From technology to love!"
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