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The Starck Democracy

DQ editor Alice Blackwood steals 5 Minutes with Philippe Starck.

The Starck Democracy


June 2nd, 2010

With Philippe Starck’s Design for Life program now airing in Australia on ABC2  Wednesdays at 8.30pm, we take a moment to ask him about his work and practice.

Q Tell us about some of the products you launched with major brands at Milan this year.

A One of the major pieces is the ‘Light Photon’. It is the new OLED light by Flos and [represents] an incredible revolution in high technology. It is unique in the world today – the first, and shows the future of what will be energy tomorrow.

It was a big project, we worked two years on it. You cannot imagine the technology involved [in creating] this nano-thickness, which is like a slice of energy.

With Kartell we have also launched the ‘Masters’ chair. It’s very interesting, it’s not a normal chair, but a silhouette of three famous, iconic chairs. It’s interesting to see this mixture of three icons and, by [combining] them all, I have made a new chair.

masters chair for kartell by phillippe starck

The ’Masters’ chair from Kartell

philippe starck

Q A lot of your design is about usability, can you tell us about that?

A I have spent 30 years creating this concept of democratic design. It is about raising quality to the maximum, and downing prices to the minimum, so as to spread design to everybody.

My productions start from $1 and go up to millions of dollars. My main goal is this idea of democratic design and we continue with this. People need it, so we do it. Now is the time to develop our ideas. [It’s so much more possible today than it was 30 years ago.]

philippe starck

Q What is your opinion on sustainability in design?

A Well, it’s not a choice. The best way [to tackle sustainability] is to invest in longevity. Recycling is just to fix a mistake. The best way to be ecological, is not to make a mistake.

First, is to buy less, and when you are obliged to buy, buy something with the right quality which has 20, 30, 50 years longevity in the quality of materials.

It’s silly to have a product that’s brand new for 20 years but obsolete in design. And silly to have something you love, but the quality is dead. That means today the best thing [to aim for] is timelessness, longevity, transition, and retention.

Special thanks to Classique, who made this interview with Starck possible. Starck’s XO range is available through Classique in Australia.

Watch Philippe Starck in Design for Life, premiering Wednesday 16 June at 8.30pm on ABC2.

Philippe Starck Network


philippe starck


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