Philippe Starck

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Philippe Starck
Phillippe Starck 2011.jpg
Philippe Starck in 2016
Born (1949-01-18) January 18, 1949 (age 69)
Paris, France

Philippe Starck (born January 18, 1949)[1] is a French designer known since the start of his career in the 1980s for his interior, product, industrial and architectural design including furniture.[2][3]


Son of André Starck, aeronautical engineer and founder of the André Starck Aircraft4, Philippe Starck began his schooling at the Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix institution in Neuilly. then is a student at Camondo School in Paris, under the leadership of Henry Malvaux.

Married four times, since December 2007 he has been married to Jasmine Abdellatif (former press secretary of his company) 6, with whom he has a baby girl in May 2011. He chose for his children original names: Ara, Oa, Lago, K and Justice Starck.

His eldest daughter Ara, a painter and musician, collaborated on some of his father's projects, such as the decoration of the Parisian palace, Le Meurice hotel, from which she designed the ceiling canvas of the restaurant Le Dali.

In the eyes of this accomplished citizen of the world, sharing his ethical and humanist vision of a more equal planet is a duty, if not a moral imperative, that results in unconventional projects, bearing fertile surprises.

It’s as a true visionary that he puts this art of innovation to the service of a design and democratic ecology, action-driven and respectful to both human and nature’s heritage, whether it’s with the Elise recycling bin or the Zartan, the first entirely recycled roto-moulded chair. The affordable and adjustable P.A.T.H.houses – high-tech pre-fab habitations – recently attested to the durability of an approach that he initiated in 1994 with the prefab house on sale in the 3 Suisses catalogue.

Heralding the phenomena of convergence and dematerialisation, Philippe Starck aims straight for the heart, highlighting the essential, extracting the structural minimum of every object, in order to offer creations and propositions closest to Man and Nature, best adapted to the future.

Just look at the mega-yacht A, symbol of minimalist elegance, or the Zik earphones for Parrot. He dreams of solutions so vital that he was the first French man to be invited to the TED conferences (Technology, Entertainment & Design) alongside renowned participants including Bill Clinton and Richard Branson.

Starck Product[edit]

In 1969 Starck designed an inflatable structure, based on the idea of materiality, reflecting his early interest in living spaces.  Not long afterwards, Pierre Cardin, seduced by the iconoclastic design, offered him the job of artistic director at his publishing house.

At the same time he founded his first industrial design company, Starck Product, which he later renamed Ubik after the famous Philip K. Dick novel. Here he initiated his collaborations with the biggest design manufacturers in Italy - Driade, Alessi, Kartell - and the world – Drimmer in Austria, Vitra in Switzerland and Disform in Spain, to mention but a few.

In 1983, then-French President François Mitterrand, on the recommendation of his Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, chose Starck to refurbish the president's private apartments at the Élysée. The following year he designed the Café Costes.[6]

The prolific work of Philippe Starck has progressively touched all areas where design can be applied: furniture, interior decoration, architecture, street furniture, industry (wind, photo booth, Freebox, etc.), home equipment (kitchens, utensils, coverings, sanitaryware, etc.), lighting, household appliances, office equipment (from television to lemon squeezer and toothbrush to stapler, etc.), tableware, clothing and accessories (clothing, footwear , eyewear, luggage, watchmaking, etc.), toys, glassware (perfume, mirrors, etc.), graphics and publishing, or even food (Panzani pasta, Christmas log Lenôtre), and vehicles (bicycle, motorcycle, yacht, plane) , etc.), on land, at sea, as in the air and space.


Since 1989, Philippe Starck has designed many buildings in Japan. The first, in Tokyo, Nani Nani is an impressive anthropomorphic building, covered with a living material that evolves with time. A strong conviction then appears: creation must invest an environment, certainly, but without upsetting it.

A year later, he founded Asahi Beer Hall in Tokyo, then Le Baron Vert in 1992, a group of offices in Osaka. In France, he signs the extension of the National School of Decorative Arts (ENSAD) in Paris (1998).

In 1994, he created a wooden house kit for 3 Swisses. Sold 4,900 FFR in the form of a box containing plans, videotape, sketches and instructions, it is his only failure.

The Alhondiga in Bilbao opened in 2010, is a place of life, culture and sports of 43 000 m2.

Since the late 1980s, Philippe Starck has invested in the design of hotels in different countries of the world. He created in 1988 the Royalton then the Hudson in New York, the Delano in Miami in 1995, the Mondrian in Los Angeles, in London the Saint Martin's Lane in 1999 and the Sanderson in 2000. In 2005, Philippe Starck receives the prize for the best Hotel of the year for the hotel Faena de Buenos Aires opened the previous year and the Condé Nast Traveler distinguishes it for its atmosphere and its design. Also in South America, Philippe Starck designed the Fasano hotel in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 using materials such as wood, glass and marble. Then Philippe Starck attacks luxury hotels. In 2008, he revisits Le Meurice, and after two years of work, the Royal Monceau opens its doors in 2010 after its renovation.

In North America in the 2000s, Philippe Starck developed with the entrepreneur Sam Nazarian a new chain of luxury hotels, the SLS, with always this idea to break the codes of the sector. Thus, the SLS Los Angeles Bazaar lobby becomes a center of life where tapas restaurants and Norwegian health bar meet, gourmet pastries and even the Moss concept store.

Starck has at the same time engaged since 1990 in the democratization of so-called "design and quality" hotels. First with the Paramount in New York which offers rooms at $100 and becomes a classic of its kind. In 2008, in association with Serge Trigano, he applied this idea to Paris by designing the Mama Shelter. The openings follow one another in 2012 and 2013. The following year, when Accor joined Mama Shelter, he sold his shares; Thierry Gaugain, his former right-hand man, succeeds him.

The Alhondiga, a 43,000 sq. m culture and leisure venue in Bilbao  opened in 2010.[7]

In 2011 LaCo(o)rniche, Starck proposed a “a cabin on the water”, a “venue as strong, as beautiful, as poetic, as surreal and as powerful as nature itself.” Suspended between sky and sea, between sand and pine trees, this hotel and restaurant preserves the authenticity of a basque house while overlooking the Bay of Arcachon, paying tribute to the sparkling and generous people who live there.

And then in July 2015, the Café Ha(a)ïtza  opened its doors in Pyla-sur-Mer. But this was less a step and more a prologue to the 2016 opening of the eponymous hotel with its open spaces, central bars and tables d’hôtes. This emblematic venue in the Bay of Arcachon, a landscape so dear to Philippe Starck, will rediscover its life and panache of former times in summer 2016.


Mama Shelter, Marseille, France, 2012

Philippe Starck has several restaurants to his credit: Bon (2000), Mori Venice Bar (2006) and Le Paradis du Fruit (2009) in France, and the notable launch of Katsuya in Los Angeles in 2006, the first in a series of Japanese restaurants. The A'trego opened in Cap d'Ail in 2011. He designed the interior and exterior of Ma Cocotte, a restaurant that launched in September 2012 at the Saint-Ouen flea market near Paris. In 2013, he designed Miss Ko, an Asian-centric concept restaurant in Paris.

In September 2014 the Caffè Stern run by the Alajmo brothers, masters of La Serenissima cooking, opened its doors in the historical Paris arcade, the Passage des Panoramas.

Philippe Starck will continue to work with the Alajmo brothers for the restaurant Amo (2016) in Venice and the renovation of the historic Venetian restaurant Le Quadri (2018).


Starck, who loves ships and the sea, designed the new infrastructure for the Port Adriano harbour on the south-west bay of Palma de Mallorca, and was also artistic director for the interior. It opened in April 2012. He also designed Steve Jobs's yacht, Venus, which launched in October 2012.[8]

Other projects[edit]

In November 2012, Starck published his first book of interviews, Impression d'Ailleurs, with Gilles Vanderpooten. In it, he expresses his view of the challenges facing the world to come – ecology, solidarity, youth, science – and, as a humanist, suggests ways we can make a difference.

His work is seen in the collections of European and American museums, including the Musée National d'Art Moderne (to which he has donated several pieces, in particular prototypes) the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the MOMA and the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, the Vitra Design Museum in Basel and the Design Museum in London. More than 660 of his designs were inventoried in French public collections in 2011.[4]

Philippe Starck was the first designer to participate in the TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment & Design).[citation needed]


Democratic design[edit]

Volteis electric car, 2012
Kartell Tic Tac® wall clock by Philippe Starck

In August 2011, he told Challenges business magazine: "When I created my agency thirty-two years ago, I had an ethics charter adopted, forbidding me from certain sectors such as arms, alcohol, tobacco, oil and religion. It is extremely expensive, because these people have a lot of money and would give everything to take your integrity. "

Through his "democratic design" concept, Starck has campaigned for well-designed objects that are not just aimed for upper-tiered incomes. He has expressed this as a utopian ideal,[18] approached in practice by increasing production quantities to cut costs and by using mail-order, via Les 3 Suisses. In January 2013 he redesigned the Navigo travel pass.[19]

One of the ways Philippe Starck has economized costs for the public,[20] is his plastic-furniture line, producing pieces such as the Kartell Louis Ghost chair, over a million of which have been sold. He has also been involved in the development of Fluocaril toothbrushes to bathroom fittings for Duravit, Hansgrohe, Hoesch and Axor, from Alessi's Juicy Salif lemon squeezer to Zikmu speakers, Zik headphones by Parrot, Laguiole knives, Starckeyes glasses by Mikli and the Marie Coquine lamp for Baccarat.[21]

In parallel to this positioning, sometimes called political, he leads media companies such as the Gun Lamp (Flos, 2003), a giant architect lamp, the Superarchimoon (Flos, 2000), 214 cm high, the lights Haaa! And Hooo !!! Imagined with the artist Jenny Holzer (Flos / Baccarat, 2007) or monumental chandeliers from the Darkside collection, including the iconic Zenith (Baccarat, 2011).

Philippe Starck created Good Goods in 1998, a catalogue of “non-products for the non-consumers of the future moral market,” sold by mail order (La Redoute), and his first organic food company OAO. He launched the concept of “democratic ecology” by offering personal wind turbines and by announcing solar boats or hydrogen vehicles. His latest ecological works are the Volteis electric car designed by Electric Car or the Pibal bike, commissioned by the city of Bordeaux, Zartan chairs Magis and Broom Emeco.

Philippe Starck and Sébastien Blaquière, founder of the Brasserie d'Olt have created a beer with the certified organic farming composition, inspired by nature to create a beer in resonance with the terroir of the Aubrac plateau.

After three years of development, in the fall of 2015, Philippe Starck unveils his first collection with the Brazilian brand Ipanema. Ipanema with Starck sandals, with minimal and organic design, are produced in eco-friendly plants in Brazil, from 30% recycled material.

In 2010, Philippe Starck is working on a new aspect of well-being: perfume. He began a collaboration with Nina Ricci to create the new bottle of L'Air du temps.

In 2016, Philippe Starck presents Starck Paris, a first collection of perfumes made in collaboration with great master perfumers: Annick Ménardo, Daphné Bugey and Dominique Ropion.

In 2014, Philippe Starck and Riko, manufacturer of wooden constructions, launched a collection of prefabricated technological and accessible houses, P.A.T.H. A positive energy home, P.A.T.H is built using industrial prefabrication methods and offers cutting-edge technological solutions that significantly reduce the energy costs of their owners.

Alongside his work Philippe Starck partnered with Moustache Bikes for the M.A.S.S. (Mud, Asphalt, Sand and Snow). A portfolio of four e-bikes that use a Bosch electrical engine and battery pack.[16]

Philippe Starck imagined for Xiaomi a borderless smartphone: the Xiaomi Mi Mix, announced on October 25, 2016. He retried the experience the following year for a second version of this phone: the Mi Mix 2, released on September 11, 2017 .

Philippe Starck was asked by Axiom the world's largest private space exploration company, to create  to create interiors of the habitation modulefor private individuals to reach the International Space Station (ISS) from 2020.

Today, become one of the most famous contemporary French designers in the world many companies call upon Philippe Starck whether in food, technology, transport, furniture, aeronautics ...

Political messaging[edit]

Sometimes pointed political messages[5] can be found in projects, such as the subversive Gun Lamp (Flos, 2005), the Superarchimoon floor lamp (Flos, 2000), in fact a giant architect's lamp standing 217 centimetres high, the Haaa!!! and Hooo!!! lamps he imagined with the American artist Jenny Holzer (Flos/Baccarat, 2009) and the chandeliers in the Darkside collection, featuring the Zenith chandelier (Baccarat, 2005).

With environment and ecological concerns, he created the Good Goods catalogue with La Redoute. He also set up AOA, an organic food company. His latest eco-friendly designs are the V+ Volteis electric car, the Pibal bike for the city of Bordeaux, Zartan chairs for Magis and Broom by Emeco.


  1. ^ "Philippe Starck French, born 1949". Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  2. ^ Les Années 80, Flammarion, 1984
  3. ^ Le Petit Larousse Illustré 2012
  4. ^ Design Portal, 20th and 21st century objects and furniture in French public collections (archive)
  5. ^ I'm convinced that for many, the political nature of his work is not only hard to detect but of little interest [...] yet for most of us, the most sensational thing about Starck's architecture and design is the combination of fun and the unexpected, Zoom sur Philippe Starck, Courrier International, 2 September 1995

External links[edit]