Philippe Starck is perhaps the most well known and influential modern designer of the 21st century. Starck has designed everything from his famous “ghost chair” to a $150 million yacht for Steve Jobs. And yet, in addition to his incredible designs, Starck continues to be one captivating character. To highlight this marvelous personality, we have put together a list of five things you may not know about this flamboyant designer. May this list inspire your creativity!
Five things that you may not know about Philippe Starck.
1.) Design is in his blood.
Philippe Starck’s father, Andre Starck, was a successful aircraft designer and engineer. He designed several aircraft, including the AS.57 and the AS.70 just after World War II. In addition to his aircraft designs, Andre Starck also invented a twist up lipstick tube. Philippe Starck believes that it was his father's influence that has helped with the longevity of his own career. “My father used to tell me that for a plane to fly you need to be creative, but for it to stay up you need rigor.”
2.) Starck believes in democratic design.
Philippe Starck once said that he rather sell 1 million chairs for 1 dollar than one chair for millions of dollars. The idea is that he wants his designs to be accessible to all people, not only to the wealthy. So although he did design a 150 million dollar yacht for the late Steve Jobs, he has also designed everything from toothbrushes to a citrus juicer, thus bringing good design to all.
3.) Starck always puts ethics first when choosing a client.
Starck has a somewhat exhaustive list of types of clients for which he will never design. That is because he always puts "ethics" before money. Along those same lines, Starck also believes that the product he designs has to be good for all involved, including the end user.
4.) Starck still designs using a paper and pencil.
In today’s CAD driven world, it is a bit surprising, and refreshing, to learn that Starck still designs the “old-fashioned way." This is designing in its simplest form: a designer, his ideas, a pen, and a piece of paper. Starck creates everything, with precision, on paper and then gives it to his engineers to "put it on the computer."
5.) Starck lives by himself three months out of the year and prefers to design naked most of that time.
Perhaps it is his “back to basics” mentality, but Starck says that he designs by himself, naked, three months out of the year. During this period, Starck also exercises his incredible work ethic, as he works from 8 am to 8 pm sometimes switching it up with a routine where he works for three hours and then sleeps for 45 minutes, works for three hours, sleeps 45 minutes. Starck claims that he is one of the "fastest organic computers," but that he needs to be by himself to design. It is in Starck’s ability to separate himself from the rest of the world that one sees the value of delegating non-creative tasks to others so that the designer can focus on what he or she does best.
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