Philippe Starck (1949 – ) the artist-designer

Phillippe Starck featured image
Phillippe Starck featured image

Phillippe Starck is one of the most widely known artistā€designer ‘names’ in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Starck is one of France’s most fĆŖted designers who has worked across a wide range of media. His work epitomises the intersection of art and design, its often fanciful qualities attracting both critical approbation and criticism, particularly in such commissions as pasta for Panzani (1987). 

Clients

His clients have included many leading international companies with a commitment to extending the visual syntax of design in Europe, the United States, and East Asia. These have included; AlessiCassinaDriadeFlosVitraKartellBaccarat, and Magis

Education

Starck attended the Ɖcole Nissim de Camondo in Paris in the 1960s.

Biography 

Starck established a company to produce inflatable products in 1968. In the following decade, he designed a series of nightclubs, establishing the Starck Product Company in 1979. Starck’s celebrity status owed much to the French state’s design policies, following the VIA’s establishment (Valorisation pour l’Innovation dans l’Ameublement) in 1980 and its involvement with designers such as Martin Szekely, Garouste and Bonetti, and Starck himself. 

He also designed a suite of rooms for President Mitterrand at the ElysĆ©e Palace in Paris in 1982, a commission that led to considerable media attention. 

Interior design

His interest in interior design continued during the rest of the decade with commissions in Japan, Spain, and France, including the CafĆ© Costes in Paris in 1984 with a threeā€legged chair put into production by the Italian furniture manufacturer Driade. His collaboration with Driade had commenced in 1984 and, in addition to the Costes Chair, included the Ubik range (1985), the Lord Yo chair (1994), and, later, the Pipe Armless chair (2010).

Alessi Company

Another significant collaboration with Italian manufacturing industry was with the Alessi company, commencing in 1986 and incorporating such iconic products as the Hot Bertaa kettle and the Juicy Salif lemon squeezer (1990). Much of Starck’s work was highly individualistic, with strong artistic leanings. His work was experimental, as in his competition design of a plastic bottle for the mineral water company Vittel in 1986. 

Alessi PSJS Juicy Salif Citrus Squeezer (Design Classic) – Encyclopedia of Design

designed by Philippe Starck Philippe Starck designed the Juicy Salif citrous squeezer in aluminium in 1990. Iconic design of the twentieth century that gracefully combines form and function, with a sense of humour.

Homage to fine arts

On other occasions, he paid homage to the fine arts, typified by his celebrated toothbrush (1990) for Fluocaril, a brand name of Goupil Laboratories, its sinuous form paying tribute to the work of the sculptor Brancusi.

Reference to other creativity fields embraced the film, acknowledging the work of a fashionable director in his design of the Wim Wenders stool (1992) for Vitra. Lighting designs ranged from the intimate to the large-scale, such as the playful Miss Sissi table lamp (1991), the Romeo Babe pendant light (1996) and Chapo (2014) for Flos, and distinctive street lamps (1992) for Decaux. 

Industrial designs

Industrial designs have also, since 1990, culminated in audioā€visual products for Thomson such as the Rock’n’Rock CD player, the Lux Lux television for Telefunken (1996), and the To Yoo mobile phone for Thomson/Alessi (1996), as well as the Moto 6.5 motorcycle for Aprilia (1996). 

Amongst other notable commissions were an imaginary house for Les 3 Suisses and the Good Goods catalogue for La Redoute in which, in 1998, he presented over 200 product ideas. He also designed several ‘designer’ hotel interiors, such as those of the New York Royalton (1988) and Paramount (1990) hotels for the entrepreneur Ian Schrager, providing competitively priced accommodation. 

Affordable designer

This notion of affordable ‘designer’ boutique hotels was also followed through in the 2000s in France and Turkey in the Mama Shelter brand of hotels, for which Starck was the chief designer. He was also involved in the design of more luxurious hotels, most notably as the SLS brand’s creative director, and restaurants such as the Katsuya (2006) in Los Angeles and the A’trego (2011) Cap-d’Ail. 

Recognition

Starck’s work has been the subject of numerous articles and books ranging from professional and critical journals to glossy fashion magazines and coffee-table books. 

His work is held in the permanent collections of museums around the world, including the Design Museum, London, the MusĆ©e National d’Art Moderne and the MusĆ©e des Arts DĆ©coratifs in Paris, the Vitra Museum in Basle, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. 

He has also been recognised officially through the mounting of a one-person show of his work at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1993, and at the Pompidou Centre in Paris in 2003. 

Awards

He has received many awards and honours over the past three decades including the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, France (1980), the Grand Prix National de la CrĆ©ation Industrielle, France (1988), the Officier des Arts et des Letters, France (1991), and the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la LĆ©gion d’Honneur (2000). He was also the first recipient of the Harvard Excellence in Design Award in 1997, winner of the Red Dot (Best of the Best) Award (2001), as well as the recipient of other Red Dot Awards in 1998, 2000, 2005, and 2006, the Compasso d’Oro (2001), the IF Design Award (1998, 2002), the German Design Prize (2011), and other awards in Spain, Switzerland, the USA, and Japan.

Works

Sources

Woodham, J. M. (2006). A dictionary of modern design. Oxford University Press.

More French Designers

  • Jean Puiforcat (1897 – 1945) French Art Deco Silversmith

    Jean Puiforocat

    His silver work was based on the geometric series and had smooth surfaces. Pieces were embellished with ivory, onyx, lapis lazuli, and rosewood. He also used gilding.Read More →

  • Jean Luce (1895 – 1964) French ceramicist and glassware designer

    French designer. He worked primarily in ceramics, but also designed for glass and gold. His ceramics, in an Art Deco style, were manufactured in Limoges Read More →

  • Alessi PSJS Juicy Salif Citrus Squeezer (Design Classic)

    Alessi PSJS citrus juicer - featured image

    Alessi PSJS Juicy Salif Citrus Squeezer designed by Philippe Starck Philippe Starck designed the JuicyRead More →

  • Jean-Michel Frank (1895 – 1941) French Interior Designer

    French Art Deco Rattan Chairs Design Jean-Michel Frank for Ecart International

    After World War I, he worked as a cabinetmaker at Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann’s studio in Paris, where he met decorator Adolphe Chanaux, who had collaborated with AndrĆ© Groult and Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann on the 1925 Paris ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts DĆ©coratifs et Industriels Modernes.’Ā Read More →

  • Eugene Printz (1889 – 1948) French Decorator and furniture designer

    couronne lumineuse

    He set up his workshop at 12 rue Saint-Bernard in Paris, where he produced cabinets, rugs, drawings, and paintings. In 1930, he rendered the interior scheme of the boudoir of the Princesse de la Tour d’Auvergne in the ChĆ¢teau de Grosbois, the private office of Jeanne Lanvin, the reception salon of Field Marshal Lyautey, and the arrangement of the MusĆ©e de la France d’Outre-Mer on the occasion of the 1931 Paris ‘Exposition Coloniale.Ā Read More →

  • Robert Goosens (1927 – 2016) French jewellery designer

    Chandelier by Robert Goossens featured image

    Monsieur Bijou was the moniker given to Robert Goosens, a French jeweller who lived from 1927 to 2016. He was born in Paris, France, the son of a metal foundry worker. He learned the techniques of casting, engraving, and embossing semi-precious and simulated stones into gold and silver metals during his apprenticeship in jewellery making. Read More →

  • Ɖmile Diffloth (1856 – 1933) French ceramicist

    EĢmile Diffloth featured image

    In 1899, he became artistic director of KĆ©ramis, Belgian pottery owned by Boch Freres in La Louviere. In c1910, he moved to University City, Missouri, to work for Taxile Doat as a ceramics teacher at the School of Ceramic Art. He went back to France. He belonged to the SociĆ©tĆ© des Artistes FranƧaises.Read More →

  • Jacques-Ɖmile Ruhlmann (1879 – 1933) outstanding furniture designer

    Jacques-EĢmile Ruhlmann interior featured image

    Jacques-Ɖmile Ruhlmann (1879 – 1933) was a French designer who was born and lived in Paris. n 1907, he took over his father’s house painting company in Paris. He first exhibited his work in 1911, with architect Charles Plumet and couturier Jacques Doucet, Frantz Jourdain, and Tony Selmersheim.Read More →

  • Jean Fouquet (1899 – 1964) French Jewellery Designer

    Jean Fouquet and an aquamarine, diamond, enamel, white gold and platinum

    In 1919, he joined as a designer in the family firm, 6 rue Royale, Paris; he was a friend of Louis Aragon and Paul Eluard. Between 1920ā€”25, he collaborated on Le Corbusier’s and AmĆ©dĆ©e Ozenfant’s review L’Esprit Nouveau: Revue International d’EsthĆ©tique. In his jewellery, he developed a liking for abstract compositions. From 1931, his jewellery designs were characterized by pure and simple geometry. In 1929, abandoning the SociĆ©tĆ© des Artistes DĆ©corateurs, he became a founding member of UAM (Union des Artistes Modernes).Ā Read More →

  • Paris and Art in 1950s – influence on design

    Max Factor advertisement

    Paris, newly liberated from the German occupation, sprung to life during the 1950s as a centre for all modes of artistic endeavour, most notably in fine art, literature, and music. Its association with romantic literary figures such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Roland Barthes made the city incredibly appealing to every serious-minded man or woman. Read More →

  • Taxile Maxmilien Doat (1851 – 1938) – French ceramicist

    Taxile Doat featured image

    Taxile Maxmilien Doat (1851 – 1938) was a French ceramicist. He was born in Albi, and he was active in University City, Missouri.Read More →

  • Lucien Levy Dhurmer (1865 – 1953) a French Ceramicist

    Lucien Levy-Dhurmer Vase

    Levy-Dhurmer may have been responsible for the rediscovery of the metallic lustre glaze technique used in Middle Eastern ceramics from the 9th century and in Hispano-Moresque pottery of the 15th century. However, the sheen on pieces by Massier and Levy-Dhunner has not lasted. He used primarily light-coloured earthenware with gold highlights and sombre-glazed stoneware.Ā Read More →

  • Ɖcole nationale supĆ©rieure des arts dĆ©coratifs

    EĢcole nationale supeĢrieure des Arts DeĢcoratifs

    The Ɖcole nationale supĆ©rieure des arts dĆ©coratifs was instrumental in the emergence of the Art Deco design movement and the development of modern design trends in the 1920s. Animation, photography, scenography, industrial design, communication design, interactive design, film, interior design, fashion, textile, and engraving are among the subjects taught at the School.Read More →

  • Paul Follot (1877 – 1941) French decorative artist and sculptor

    Paul Follot featured image

    His early graphic design reflected a fascination with mediaeval and Pre-Raphaelite art. He joined Julius Meier-shop Graefe’s La Maison Moderne in Paris in 1901. He met Maurice DufrĆ©ne and designed bronzes, jewellery, and fabrics.Read More →

  • Le Corbusier Swiss born architect designer and theorist

    Le Corbusier black and white image

    Born Charles Ɖdouard Jeanneret, Swiss-born architect, designer and theorist, Le Corbusier was one of the most influential artistic figures in 20th-century architecture, publisher of the Esprit Nouveau Modernist newspaper in 1920, author of several influential books including Vers une architecture (1923), L’art dĆ©coratif d’aujourd’hui (1925) and Les 5 points d (CIAM). He also coined the principle that ‘a machine for living in’ was the modern home.Read More →

  • Ɖcole Estienne (Paris) – 120 years of design training

    EĢcole Estienne

    In honour of the Estienne family, the school was named after a famous family of printers from the 16th century, including Henri Estienne (elder), Robert Estienne and Charles Estienne. Its mission was to address the poor printing and book-making qualifications and standards, covering theoretical and practical aspects.Read More →

  • Gilbert Poillerat (1902 – 1988) French Designer and metalworker

    Gilbert Poillerat featured image

    In 1927, he started working for Baudet, Donon et Roussel, a carpentry and metal construction workshop. He was in charge of the new wrought iron section. Grillework, tables, chairs, consoles, screens, lighting, and firedogs were all designed and manufactured by him. Poillerat’s metalwork was rendered in characteristic winding calligraphic forms in various media ranging from jewellery to clothing.Read More →

  • AndrĆ© LurƧat (1894 – 1970) French Arhitect & Furniture Designer

    Andre Lurcat chairs

    He joined the CIAM (Congres Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne) as a founding member in 1928. Lurcat led the commission on urbanism. His furniture and architecture of the 1920s were geometrical forms influenced by Cubism. Thonet produced his furniture for the Ecole Karl-Marx, which resembled Marcel Breuer’s twisted metal tubular furniture.Read More →

  • Henri Lancel (1912 – 1976) French Decorator & Furniture Designer

    Henri Lancel Side Board

    Jean Dunand, Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann, and Pierre Legrain of Groupe des Cinq were among his friends. He travelled to South America and Cuba between 1928 and 1930, working in exotic woods.Read More →

  • Charlotte Perriand (1903 – 1999) French designer and architect

    Charlotte Perriand in the famous ā€œChaise longue basculante B 306,ā€ from 1929

    Charlotte Perriand (1903 – 1999) was a designer and architect from France. Perriand’s designs are most commonly associated with furniture created in the 1920s in collaboration with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. Still, her contribution to design was much more critical.Read More →

You may also be interested in

Coffee Machine 9090 – Alessi

The first espresso coffee maker that hasn’t been unscrewed for more than 30 years. With a handle, it opens up. The Alessi Coffee Machine – 9090 is not just the first espresso coffee maker in Alessi’s history: it is also Alessi’s first kitchen object after 1930, the first of Alessi’s many Compasso d’Oro awards (1979) and the first Alessi object to be inducted into the Permanent Design Collection of the New York MOMA.

Alessi Italian Design sophistication in the everyday

Alessi is an Italian domestic metal products factory. You would think that Alessi Italy’s foremost design factory would have its headquarters in an imposing palazzo in Milan. Instead, the company is nestled near a small northern Italian lake called Lago d’Orta, a mountain range from its more famous big brother, Lago Maggiore.

Serge Mouille French Lighting Designer – Encyclopedia of Design

Serge Mouille was a French Lighting Designer; he was born and active in Paris. Mouille studied silversmithing, Ɖcole des Artes AppliquĆ©s, Paris to 1941. In 1937, he worked in silversmith and sculptor Gilbert Lacroix’s studio. In 1945 he set up a studio while teaching at Ɖcole des Artes AppliquĆ©s, Paris.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.