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Philippe Starck

by Michael McHale

February 27th, 2012

News & Views

Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design defines design as ” the process of taking something from its existing state and moving it to a preferred state.” This transformative process is what we focus on at Michael McHale Designs in our industrial style chandeliers and lighting and — as such — we are inspired by other design trailblazers. One of our foremost design inspirations is, without a doubt, Philippe Starck.

Pilippe Starck is an innovator of what has become known as industrial design, Philippe Starck, born in Paris on January 18, 1949, attended the Ecole Camondo and has been a prolific designer, architect, and inventive thinker in pretty much everything from clocks to yachts to furniture. Unlike many of his New Design & industrial design peers — who tend to make one-offs or limited runs — Starck often designs for mass production – and was an early designer to have signature work in Target stores.

here Starck juxtaposes metal and wicker in this gorgeous lamp. Notice (as if it were hard to spot) the innovative play on scale, as this is essentially a desk lamp rendered huge.

Starck commonly combines contradictory elements — such as wood and chrome — in his work, seemingly juxtaposing the organic with the industrial, and we draw a lot of inspiration from this aspect of his industrial design aesthetic.

Starck incorporates contradictory organic and industrial elements (here with a chair designed for Sutherland furniture via Grandeurblog)

Starck is quoted as having famously said “i don’t design, i dream”. The dreamlike quality of his lighting design is apparent in this punching bag and umbrella light.  There also seems to be a kind of lighthearted and playful quality to some of his work.

Philippe Starck’s “Juicy Salif” fruit juicer design idea reportedly came to him while he squeezed a lemon over squid (the design of the juicer is shaped like a squid body). The Juicy Salif, made in 1990, is widely considered an ideal example of industrial design – at one point being displayed in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Starck has said that this item “was not invented to squeeze lemons, but to start conversations”.  Functional art as conversation piece, we just love it.

Already arguably the most famous designer living today – we continue to look forward to seeing what is on the horizon with Philippe Starck’s contributions to modern design.

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