For the French, the world widely knows them better probably in design, art and fashion. For years now, the French have almost taken a leading role as market leaders in the clothes, hotel, art, winery and cooking industries not to mention natural sciences and philosophy.
Although France may not exclusively claim for the one of the best positions in the world in comparison to other giants like Spain, Italy and Britain, it however warrants its own space and mention in such a work. Emanating from this view, France therefore comes into light though in general.
In specific terms though, France as a nation has got nothing to take credit for unless in the dissection of its citizenry and great individuals who have poised it to the tip of the mountains. In this respect therefore this work focuses on Philippe Starck among the many great designers of the world and from France.
Philippe Starck was born in Paris in January 18th 1949 to an inventor and aeronautic engineer father. It is through his father’s works and life that he desired to become a designer and creator thus the birth of the New Design Style genius Starck. Born almost immediately at the end of World War II, Starck’s arrival could not have been any better.
At this period design had come far back from the Industrialization period. In the course of development, design had started from simple carpenters using hands to industrial designs using the invented machines each unique era characterizing its own genius behind.
Starck who had already started ‘designing’ as a child besides his father thus was educated at the Ecole Nissim de Camondo in Paris (Hauffe, pg 164). In his pre star years, Starck worked to produce inflatable designs in the notion that they are usable and must not extend to the higher levels of live that a common person may not afford.
The difference between him and other designers of his or before his time was that he was interested in designing for the mass rather than for the elite. In this concept therefore, Phelipe acted and doubled as his own marketing manager without paying fro such profession as is often the case as others.
Dealing in products and goods that had an impact to every day house hold usage and significance endeared him to the world and thus he won many hearts. Notable among such was the French President Francois Mitterrand who he designed for the interior private Elysee apartments thus propelling Starck to his heights in his career.
In 1969, after a stage of probably trial with bad boy reputation and after a stint in designing houses and imitations he become of his own class and he set up his first firm. In the combination of style, streamlining and organic look Starck has had this rarity of making unusual materials work together like plush fabric combining with chrome or glass joining with stone.
Starck as he was insatiable to national and international recognition could not be destined for great things. Starck has set himself apart a star designer who despite being pleasant in his works includes practicality, simplicity and beauty as one piece of aesthetics easily noticeable.
His career as art director would lead him to owning his company in 1979 after years of designing inflatable objects. Starck’s drive all along can be explained by the fact that he spent years in his father’s workshop and under his drawing board thus ideas in aeronautics and science have greatly shaped his view.
As Houze and Lees-Maffei (46) postulate, the coming into existence of this great star is warranted and accountable back from his childhood and thus shapes his current status as a star designer.
By 1980s shortly after founding his Starck Company, he already had gotten international recognition as an expert interior designer, architect, ecologist and hotel designer, furniture guru and other usable objects like kitchen utensils, computers door handles and frames.
In the famous Juicy Salif design Starck inverts the conventional way of extracting juice from a lemon to Alessi’s behest stunning him and the world. Starck is into an opposite thinker but fits perfectly in his view.
Though drawing criticisms from such geniality use of his talents, Starck has not stopped with a one hit wonder. This was just the case for personal request specifications not to mention others.
As an artist he rises above the par on the context that he is interested with the usable real designs and thus solves or seems to, the world challenges in such refined brilliancy and finesse. In the ensuing challenges of political, economic, moral and social perspectives Phelippe’s work is apparent in a unique yet desirable way.
Starck’s personal life as an international expert is also characterized by the same flair he has in his work. He has got homes in Italy, France, Britain and America. And as if this is not enough Starck’s marriage life spans in the same formula. He has been married about four times siring four children. He has been a lucky parent in the sense that one of his children has taken after him and this is just a chip off the old.
Looking at him as an interior designer he designed the interiors of La Main Bleue” bar in Montreuil in 1976 and “Les Bains Douches” in Paris in 1978 and later the Cafe Costes in 1984 and this augured well with his already international reputation on the world stage. He has not stopped and seems filled by demons that take him higher and higher in this career.
One after the other Starck would combine forces with an entrepreneur Schrager to re-invent the Royalton and Paramount Hotels in New York.
These hotels captivating appearance and the seeming invitation to pleasure and relaxation have served as a mark of excellence in the hotel industry attracting international and even royal personalities for pleasure and even design. Keeble and Sparke (223) describe his work as mismatched furniture and yards of fabric combined beautifully with spaces of lightness and darkness that is worthy of a stage.
On this note Starck occurs as a designer who escapes criticism due to his high level understanding of images, shape and colour in the making of interiors.
His is a combination of design, decoration, ensemble and celebrity spiraling away and breaking from academics and traditions to bring home special natures of designs that allow designing its fresh approach and frees from age old traditions thus new design style (Keeble & Sparke 89).
In Japan, the Manin restaurant could not resist inviting him and other known cities like, Madrid, Mexico, Miami and Los Angeles. They all can attest to this expert’s class of touch and taste. The moment he sets to work on projects in interior design, his expressionist mark is left clearly and yet these are so mundane ideas but that cannot be copied as easily as they may seem.
Besides international acclamation as an interior designer, Starck has been sought for architecture design by commissions and from companies, individuals and private agencies all over the world to assist in architectural designing.
Among his famous architectural brilliance lie with the Japanese Asahi, Baron Vert and Nani Nani buildings in the late eighties and early nineties that leave their gigantic sense of expression to the world. In architecture Starck has combined his interior design intelligence to redesign new places and hotels that have made him more respected than ever. Other cases to be cited in architecture include the Laguiole knife factory and others like Ecole Natioale des Arts Decoratis in his home country France.
Starck the ecologist believes that we make the world a better place than it is and thus emanating from this philosophy he designed the Bordeaux Airport air traffic control tower in Bordeaux in France in 1977, a Parisian recycling plant and artistic school of arts in Paris. As if this is not enough Starck as a product designer makes heads turn in his industrial design brilliance.
In his comment about searching for magic in reality, Starck baffles one in his easiness of coming up with practical approach. In industrial design Starck’s shadow towers high just like in interior design. As a pioneer of democracy his industrial works has been cited as one of the most inexpensive and popular among the masses thus endearing him to the world more than ever.
His enthusiasm in his designs and the way it is reciprocated by the masses that he dies cannot be ignored. He believes that good things give us signals of intelligence, poetry and humour and thus we can refer to him as conscious doctor.
In his famous industrial designs he is to be remembered for the Juicy Salif, a juice extractor made for industrialist Alessi in 1986. In this design he inverts the way juice is extracted in a most peculiar way by combining the idea of a squid.
This has been a timeless design that awes every eye coming into contact. With the inception of Starck Products Company, he comes across as an enterprising star designer who is ready to earn honestly and diligently coupled with naturalness.
One thing contrary to this fame is that Starck in early life was innately shy. He showed signs of depression and felt like an outcast who only got his relief in his designing as a hobby. For a teen who had lost his father things were meant to be hard for him but his talent has since then raised him from the abyss though he still espouses such boyish tendencies (Hauffe, 206).
In retail break, Starck joined with Target stores to produce a range of products that were directed to the people. In this line he has designed toothbrushes, bathroom suites flower vases and lighting apparatus.
It can never be any better that this for Starck who marketed himself as the people’s designer a brand that was and is found in the community not used to Starck’s irony but had to . To his credit in this field, he has designed boats, eye glasses, toys Olympic flame and also in the cars world.
In international leadership Starck has served as the artistic director for Eurostar train in 2001 and the Thomson Consumer Electronics Group in 1993 to 1996. Starck could have not been well prepared for this mark in his life were it not fro his recognition of his strengths, study and most of all his stint as Professor in Domus Academy Milan in Italy and in Ecole des Arts, Paris France.
Having come from well –off family this star designer’s life probably might be said to have been given but when we come into terms with his problem as a teen and in college we realize that he has come from far.
He has been a subject of jealous and ungrateful competitive designers and companies that he believes deal with products harmful to human beings. His marriage life has been on the rocks far too many times and thus Starck is not perfect as it might be perceived by reading this work.
However, he deserves praise as a one who has changed the peoples view about him and about democracy. He has remained relevant in the application of reality in a most beautiful way that which he knows but cannot be copied. He is therefore a role personality to future artists and a guiding visionary to design history. Among his believes, lays the respect for nature, a point strongly later he expressed as ‘democratic ecology’.
In his own right Starck designs illustrate respect for humanity and seem to urge for change in expressing new designs that change cultures as well as old rooted ways of doing things. In one of his claims Phelipe asserts that it is one of his duties to share with the world his subversive vision of a better world though of his own but accommodates us all perfectly.
He is therefore worthy of awards from word of mouth and even by mementos. With such brilliancy to go unnoticed is to break the heart of all other aspiring talents and assert that the world wallows in unfair treatment of its best sons and daughters. Thus, Starck has been awarded some of the best and top awards for his exemplary talents and work in design.
Starck has been nominated and awarded the Oscar du luminaire of 1986, and has also won an award for excellence in design in Cambridge MA in 1997. To illustrate the luster of this designer a judge in the Raymond Loewy Foundation described Starck as unusual, quirky and a very exciting designer of contemporary times when awarding him the 2004 Lucky strike Designer.
By observation of his ghost line chairs and the club sofa, any one can be sure of the words the judge used. Starck has not stopped being on the limelight, what with his press statements and interviews. He has spanned his career from interior design, architecture, industrial design waving in to waste management and thus has endeared himself all the more to the world (Burdek, 25).
As in stiff competition he ha raised the bar level to lofty heights by being on everybody’s lips again. Starck’s latest works in cooperation with the Leview Boymelgreen developers has seen to the rise of Downtown Condominiums that are amazing in the center of New York, Wall Street.
These penthouses are right in the middle of the city with the right connections to transport and major freeways. As usual rather, they will provide a compliment to the entertainment, arts and culture, nightlife and world class shopping just like the world class star designer.
These forty stories are set to grace New York skyline comprised of three bedroom penthouse suites that are already causing ripples in the market. They are up for grabs from home buyers to real estate investors which amount to three hundred and twenty six each with a space of about of 1145 to 2762 sq foot and going as much as $4.3M US dollars.
Starck’s design of these penthouses still brings ot the star we have described as a celebrity who likes to make the life of others better. In his design of these houses he has included a number of factors that still describe him as the judge did in 2001 Lucky Strike Raymond Loewy award.
He has incorporated the community aspect in that he has introduced entertainment, dining table, reflecting for relaxing, a hedge and his famous lounge. To receive the guests a special high ceiling entrance lobby lays in welcome to mention a basketball court, a bowling alley, a health fitness center, a children’s playroom and a theater room.
In this respect, Starck demonstrates that he is an all round thinker who cares about the families and kinds of human relationship whether old or young.
In this pre-construction analysis the penthouses are set to light up the urban living spaces of the time with spacious rooms, open floor plans, large view windows with the fixtures and finishes coming from the high end world.
His genius is at the best in these projects as his rare combination of materials, taste and touch of his designed products and the fittings and the floor plans are all works of a self styled people’s designer who has the talent to live up to his name.
Burdek Bernhard E. Design: history, theory and practice of product design. New York, Birkhauser, 2005. Print
Hauffe Thomas. Design: Concise History Series. New York, Laurence King Publishing, 2006. Print.
Houze,Rebbecca and Lees-Maffei, Grace. The Design History Reader. New York, Berg Publishers, 2010. Print
Keeble, Trevor and Sparke, Penny. Designing the modern interior: from the Victorians to today. New York, Berg Publishers, 2009. Print