Philippe Patrick Starck (born January 18, 1949, Paris) is a French product designer and probably the best known designer in the New Design style. His designs range from interior designs to mass produced consumer goods such as toothbrushes, chairs, and even houses.
He was educated in Paris at the École Camondo and in 1968, he founded his first design firm, which specialized in inflatable objects. In 1969, he became art director of his firm along with Pierre Cardin.
Starck's career started to climb in earnest in 1982 when he designed the interior for the private apartments of the French President François Mitterrand. In 1986 he joined Domus Academy Department of Design as an associate lecturer. Starck has worked both independently as an interior designer and as a product designer since 1975. Most notably, in 2002, he created a number of what are considered relatively inexpensive product designs for the large American retailer Target Stores.
His most recent notable designs include an optical mouse for Microsoft, yachts, and even new packaging for a beer company. He was commissioned to design the Virgin Galactic "spaceport" in New Mexico (Foster and Partners are its architects).
Unlike most other New Design artists, Starck's work does not concentrate on the creation of provocative and expensive single pieces. Instead, his product designs are of usable household items which Starck himself helps to market for mass production. His products and furnishings are often stylized, streamlined and organic in their look and are also constructed using unusual combinations of materials (such as glass and stone, plastic and aluminum, plush fabric and chrome, etc.).
Two of Starck's designs include stylized toothbrushes (1989) and a sleek juicer dubbed the Juicy Salif created for Alessi in 1990. The Juicy Salif has become an affordable and popular cult item. In 2004 he designed the first toothbrush sanitizer for the Yonkers, NY based company VIOlight which won the 2005 Industrial Design Excellence Award. In 2008 he created wireless speakers for the iPod and iPhone known as the Zikmu Parrot. He has also designed some external hard drive enclosures for hardware manufacturer LaCie. Philippe also has a line of Starck watches with Fossil.
Regarding Starck's furniture designs, he is widely known for his designs for the Italian manufacturer Kartell, many of which are made from polycarbonate plastic. These include the transparent Louis Ghost chair, Ero|S| chair, Bubble Club Sofa and Armchair, and La Bohème stool. He has also been involved in the relaunch of the World War II-era Navy Chair in the U.S., designing a classic furniture collection around it.
The Bubble Club chair is featured prominently in the television series Boston Legal. A pair sit on the balcony outside Denny Crane's office, where he and Alan Shore end each episode with a cigar and a glass of Scotch while discussing the events of the episode.
The Louis Ghost chair is also featured in Ugly Betty: two such chairs can be seen front of Wilhelmina's desk in the 2010 episodes.
Starck's furniture has been featured at Pinkberry locations.
Among his interior designs for restaurants, Starck designed the Felix restaurant-bar at The Peninsula Hong Kong, a classic hotel facing the Hong Kong harbour on the Kowloon side. This design, located on the 28th floor, is known for several design features including the men's washroom, which features urinals facing glass, and a spectacular view of the Kowloon cityscape.
An earlier design by Starck, now world famous, was for the Café Costes in Paris (1984). His design presence is heavily noted in Los Angeles, where his work is evident in numerous trendy restaurants, lounges and nightclubs including Katsuya, XIV by Michael Mina, The Bazaar at SLS Beverly HIlls, and s-bar Hollywood.
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