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Internationally acclaimed French creator, designer and architect, Philippe Starck is untiring and rebellious citizen of the world, who considers it his duty to share his ethical and subversive vision of a fairer planet, creates unconventional places and objects whose purpose is to be “good” before being beautiful.
Most of his designs have become cult objects, and his hotels are timeless icons that have added a new dimension to the global cityscape. An enthusiastic advocate of sustainability, this visionary recently developed the revolutionary concept of “democratic ecology” by creating affordable wind turbines for the home, soon to be followed by innovative wooden prefabricated ecological houses and solar boats. He himself lives, with his wife Jasmine, mostly on an airplane, and in Paris, Burano, and on his oyster farm in the southwest of France.
Starck still remembers how he spent his childhood in the tables of drawing from his father, as they passed the hours sawing, cutting, pasting, dismantling bikes, motorbikes and other things. Hours (or rather a life) devoted to the creation and dismantling of everything that affects you, to reshape the world around him.
A couple of years later a prototype and Italian entrusted our facility, President Mitterand asked him to change his life in the Champs Elysées and the Café Costes became “El Cafè” par excellence. Designed with the Royalton and the Paramount in New York the first classics of the new image of the hotel sector. Dispersed in Japan its extraordinary architectural skills that make him the father of expressionist architecture.
Enrich their hotels American territory thanks to its eccentricity: the Delano in Miami, the Mondrian in Los Angeles, the Hudson in New Cork, and the Clift in San Francisco. In London the opening this year of a new gallery of Jean Paul Gaultier becomes the answer to the Sanderson and St Martins Lane hotels. It is unlikely that museums worldwide mistake. Munich, New York, Paris, London, Chicago, Barcelona, Kyoto – all these cities devote him and his work exhibits and honor him as just another great honor teachers.
Present always and everywhere seems to understand our dreams, desires, needs and our responsibility towards the better than any other and the need to respect his fellow citizens by making his work a political and civic future issue. He moves us deeply with their work, which is really smart and great at the same time it also does not affect or affects us all that comes from the depths of the heart and thus produce objects that are first good, then beautiful.
Baccarat House, Museum, Store, Restaurant, Moscow, Russia (2008)
Le Nuage, Life and Sport Center, Montpellier France (2014)
Starck House, Individual House in wood sold by correspondence, 3 Suisses (1994)
Zik Sport, headphones, Parrot (2012)
Bathroom Radio, Princess (2000)
Alfie Funghie, TOG (2012)
Anton Ho, TOG (2012)
Cashmere clothing, Ballantyne (2007, 2008)
Starck naked, underwear, Puma (2004)
See also: Top Architects | Santiago Calatrava
Although he considers himself no more an architect than designer, in 1989 Philippe Starck started devising buildings in Japan, each with completely new forms. The first was in Tokyo and was striking in its originality. Nani Nani was an impressive anthropomorphic building covered with a living material that evolved with time. The structure was born from the powerful conviction that creation must invest in an environment without destabilising it while maintaining the greatest respect for its context. Like all of his work Starck’s architecture is virulently and explicitly humanist.
Romantic, audacious and luxurious, the Palais de Cristal de la Maison Baccarat (2004), in a Parisian town house that once belonged to Marie-Laure de Noailles, blazes under its own impulsion. Adjacent to the museum and boutique is the restaurant, the Cristal Room Baccarat, which immediately imposed itself as an incontrovertible venue for Parisian gastronomes, but also as a space that spectacularly links the festive Noailles years to our own era.
Hotels are no longer impersonal transitional venues but living, pleasurable spaces bursting with humour and irony. They are theatres where we act out our own destinies. With the Hudson in New York (1999) he continued his dream-like quest, conjuring up an acid-tinted phantasmagoria with numerous dreamy and reflective surprises. In 2001 he designed the Clift in San Francisco and pushed the spectacle even further combining the city’s classical codes and archetypes with cutting edge technology – undoubtedly a bit mischievously yet with the constant aim of keeping the creation in perspective with its context.
Philippe Starck is also a writer: Impression d’Ailleurs, avec Gilles Vanderpooten, Editions de l’Aube (2012) is his first adventure as writer. His respect for the environment and men also arrived in France for what he is granted the realization of the State Higher School of Fine Arts in Paris and the incinerator Paris area and the construction of the tower Bordeaux airport control.
As sincere and enthusiastic citizen feels compelled to share with us his subversive vision that only belongs to him and that seems to us very well. Found again harmony with the marine Beneteau, gives a noble touch to simple toothbrushes, makes furniture garden gnomes, squeeze lemons in the opposite direction and achieves even our televisions give the impression of being more sympathetic introducing more humanity Thomson’s electronic world.
For Philippe Starck telling a story is an integral part of the creative process: the meaning nourishes the form. His attachment to public places pleads his case for the setting up of a humane community determined to strive for change. “I’m carried along by a major theme… the adventure of our human species, essentially governed by intelligence.” It is time to remind ourselves that living well together is also living intelligently.
Last year, furniture brand TOG – ALLCREATORSTOGETHER – launched with an innovative goal: to pull together the best of humanity with craftsmanship, along with the best industry development with its highest technology. TOG tries to solve a strong paradox that is to offer all the advantages of democratized production – that permits high quality and service – with the best of human craftsmanship that grants the uniqueness.
At TOG there is no style but freedom. TOG provides the consumers and contract users with the perfectly designed “naked” products, mass-produced in Italy, yet enables them to personalize the products if they wish. The customization is an intrinsic part of the products conceived at their creative process. Customers can choose from a large range of colours, shapes and other options in store or through digital platforms. And this year TOG goes further, with a focus on the final user customization: a do-it-yourself concept in order to foster uniqueness leaving it to the customer’s fantasy and creativity. An even further step is selecting a customizer from a network of creative around the world for a bespoke commission.
“I have this mental sickness called creativity”
“Providing a real way to deal with the urgent needs of environmental issues that is accessible to everyone is the new fight for the democratization of design.”
“The best everyday example of relativity, the finest symptom of human intelligence, is humor. (…) Design without humor is not human. The word ‘beautiful’ does not mean anything. Only coherence counts. An object, design or not, is primarily an object that meets the parameters of human intelligence, which reconciles opposites. The lack of humor is the definition of vulgarity.”
“Freedom is the only style. That is why I never speak about beauty or beautiful products but ‘good products’. Nowadays, we have so many challenges; it is not really a priority to care for beauty. The only way for us is to focus on an ethic and ecological behavior.”
“I am inspired by the big story of our evolution. I do not do projects that don’t fit in this big vision, meaning a project has to deserve to exist. One way to deserve to exist is to serve.”
“My father was an aeronautical engineer. For me it was a duty to invent”.
Talent is a heritage
Philippe Starck was born in 1949. From his childhood spent beneath the drawing tables of his airplane building, aeronautic engineer father, he retains a primary lesson: everything should be organized elegantly and rigorously, in human relationships as much as in the concluding vision that presides over every creative gesture. His absolute belief that creation should be used and enjoyed by all sees him relentlessly endeavoring to do well, right down to the tiniest detail.
But years later has he really left his first improvised office? According to him, not completely. “Ultimately they were children’s games, imagination games, but thanks to various skills, especially engineering, something happened. I’m a kid who dreams and at the same time I’ve got that light-heartedness and gravity of children. I fully accept the rebellion, the subversion and the humour.”
Starck first showed interest in living spaces while he was a student at the Ecole Nissim de Camondo in Paris, where in 1969 he designed an inflatable house, based on an idea on materiality. This revelation bought his first success at the Salon de l’Enfance. Not long afterwards, Pierre Cardin, seduced by the iconoclastic design, offered him the job of artistic director at his publishing house.
In 1976 and a few emblematic objects later, including a flying lamp and a portable neon sign, this intrepid dreamer created the audacious decor of the night club, La Main Bleue – in Montreuil – demonstrating that no venue is less respectable than another just because of its eccentricity. He went on to do the legendary Parisian nightclub Les Bains Douches and the Starck Club in Dallas.
The Creator’s Awards
In 1983 the general public discovered Philippe Starck when, on the advice of Culture Minister Jack Lang, President François Mitterrand chose his project to decorate the private residences at the Elysée Palace. It symbolised an institutional recognition of design. The following year his fame went global thanks to the success of the Café Costes, a new venue that was functional and elegant, that contained all the essence of Starck architecture while converging with the birth and the flourishing of a community. His reinvention of the codes of the Parisian cafe made it THE cafe par excellence.
Some of the many Philippe Starck‘s awards:
- La France s’engage, Ideas Box, 2015
- Elle Decor International Design Award EDIDA, Bathroom category, Axor Starck V, 2015
- Wallpaper* Design Award, Best Domestic Design category, Axor Starck V, 2015
- Label Leading Spa awarded by Leading Hotels of the World, Spa Royal Monceau (2014)
- “The Best New Hotels”, Travel & Leisure USA Hot List 2014, Mama Shelter Istanbul (2014)