Legendary French creator Philippe Starck has a vision, a mission, in fact, a “duty, a moral imperative, that should be shared by everyone”. It is to improve the lives of as many people as possible.
“No one has to be a genius, but everyone has to participate”, says the creator, who, when not on a plane, or in Paris, can be found in his “middles of nowhere”, in Portugal, on the Venetian island of Burano or in a wooden fishermen’s hut at his oyster farm in southwest France.
“No one has to be a genius, but everyone has to participate”. Philippe Starck
The name ‘Starck’ has become a brand in itself. His creations have a Surrealist and poetic dimension with a pared-down playfulness. They range from lemon squeezer, the AI chair born from artificial intelligence and the furniture collection made using leather made from apple waste, to individual windmill, Steve Job’s yacht and living quarters for the Axiom International Space station. Starck also creates wondrous, stimulating and intensely vibrant hotels and restaurants, “places like films of which I am the director. I imagine people coming and going, what they will experience, what they will feel.’”
Starck’s hotels include Delano South Beach in Miami for Ian Schrager – the Delano lobby was named in 2019 by the New York Times as one of the 25 rooms that influence the way we design. Lily of the Valley Hotel in the bay of Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera, for the WHM group – a “hotel of the future inspired by a fantasy of Mediterranean Antiquity”, with a unique offer of wellbeing and beauty treatments. La Réserve Eden au Lac in Zurich where Starck has created an “imaginary yacht club” that opened its doors early January 2020.
Some of his works in progress include : The Rosewood São Paulo, in which he is collaborating with French architect Jean Nouvel, at Cidade Matarazzo, a symbolic project at the heart of Sao Paulo and its inhabitants. Maison Heler Metz, “an out-of-scale phantasmagoric architecture, a game about uprooted roots” said Starck, when talking about the 14-floor hotel topped by a traditional 18th century Alsatian home.
“Whether it’s a toothbrush, an airplane or a chair, it’s always the same philosophy: to think about what the user will gain”, he says.
With his limitless innovation and creativity, Starck sees his duty as a designer as being “subversive, ethical, ecological, political, humorous”.
And what would his wish for the future be? Have a “happy civilisation, finally civilised for ever more”.
Philippe Starck was due to speak at MIPIM 2020, with Hep’s Anna Kulik.