Philippe Starck is one of the best-known contemporary designers in the world. He has not only received public acclaim for his amazing building interior designs but has also proved to be an accomplished architect and product designer.
Philippe Starck was born in Paris on 18th January 1949. As a youngster he was already an enthusiastic draughtsman, probably inspired by his father, who worked as an aircraft designer. 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 1979 he founded the "Starck Product" company.
As an interior designer he was responsible in 1982 for refurnishing the private apartments in the Elysée Palace in Paris for President Mitterrand of France. 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. He has also designed a number of office buildings as well as private dwelling houses and apartment blocks. In Paris a whole street block, La Rue Starck, is going up to his designs (1991).
In the field of industrial design, he has been responsible for the creation of a wide variety of objects including 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. Objects designed by him can be seen on display in the collections of a number of European and American museums.
The items Starck designs become objects of adoration and desire. Although many of them are eventually mass-produced, they often remain akin to artworks in their basic function. Starck has created his own style, which, although not uniform, remains highly recognisable. Rather than sharing common forms, his designs share a metaphoric dimension that is sometimes loaded with irony and parody.