Designer Profile

Home»Featured Designers»Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck is one of the most versatile and acclaimed designers of the late 20th century - and he shows no sign of slackening his pace. He was born in Paris in January of 1949. His father, an aircraft designer, trained him to create uncluttered lines - since then he claims to have learned nothing, except by leading the life of "an adventurer and explorer."

From catalogue design to architecture, with stops to launch the punk movement in France, create luggage, spectacle frames, noodles and boats as well as execute commissions for the French President, Starck seems to be everywhere. More than forty of his furniture and lamp designs are in production all over the world, bearing out his motto: "beautiful things for everyone." He is honored here for his lamp designs, but his hand has shaped objects of every size and description in the modern landscape.

From the mid-sixties, Starck attended the Ecole Nissim de Camondo in Paris, and he set up his first company in 1968 to produce inflatable objects. In the 1970s he fitted out the Paris night-clubs La Main Bleue (1976) and Les Bains-Douches (1978). In 1979 he founded the "Starck Product" company. As an interior designer, he was responsible in 1982 for refurnishing the private apartments in the Elysee Palace in Paris for President Mitterrand of France. He went on in 1984 to design the interior of the Cafe Costes in Paris, along with those of other establishments, such as the Manin in Tokyo (1985) and Teatriz in Madrid (1990).

In New York, he was responsible for the interior design of the Royalton and Paramount hotels (1988 and 1990), and played a leading part in the design of the Groningen Museum in the Netherlands in 1991. In Japan, Starck was responsible for the La Flamme building commissioned by the Asahi brewery, the Nani Nani office building for Rikugo (both in Tokyo, 1989/90), as well as for the green baron office block (1991) commissioned by Meisei in Osaka. He has also designed a number of private dwelling houses and apartment blocks, including Lemoult in Paris (1987), The Angle in Antwerp (1991), 18 rental apartment buildings in Los Angeles (1991) and a private house in Madrid (1991).

Starck designed commercial premises for the French cutlery company Laguiole (1989) as well as for an organic products manufacturer near Bordeaux (1991). In Paris a whole street block, La Rue Starck, is going up under his design (1991). In addition to all this, during the 1980s, Starck designed numerous collections and individual items of furniture for manufacture by firms in France, Italy, Spain, Japan and Switzerland.

In addition to his line of lamps for the FLOS company, he has designed noodles for Panzani, boats for Beneteau, mineral-water bottles for Glacier, kitchen appliances for Alessi, toothbrushes for Fluocaril, luggage for Vuitton, "Urban Fittings" for Decaux, office furniture for Vitra, as well as vehicles, computers, door-knobs, spectacle frames, etc. Starck's work has brought him numerous prizes and awards. His objects can be seen in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, and the Museum of Design in London, among other venues. Exhibitions of his work have been held in Paris, Marseille, Rome, Munich, Dusseldorf, Kyoto, Tokyo, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. He lives and works in Paris.