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Philippe Starck is a famous French product designer who has enjoyed much success with his contemporary furniture designs and interiors as well as his mass produced designs for chairs, toothbrushes and even houses.

Born in 1949 he was educated in Paris and in 1968 founded his very first design firm which specialized in inflatable objects. In 1969 he went on to become art director of his firm along side Pierre Cardin. His career however, started to develop and grow when he successfully designed the interior of the private apartments belonging to the French President at the time Francois Mitterrand.

In 1986 Starck joined the Domus Academy as a lecturer and began to work as an independent interior designer and later a product designer completing successful projects for the American retailer target Stores.

His designs went on to include the notable Apple TV design, an optical mouse for Microsoft, new packaging for a well known beer company and even several luxury yachts. In the autumn of 2009, Starck featured in the BBC 2 TV programme ‘Design for Life’ which took 12 aspiring students and let them compete to gain a 6 month placement at Starck’s Paris based company.

Philippe Starck Designs.

Starck has created many stylish designs and modern classics. In 2008 he created wireless speakers which were to be used with the iPod and iPhone and where known as the ‘Zikmu Parrot’. He also designed a line of watches alongside the firm Fossil.

However, Starck is widely known for his furniture designs and most prominently his work with the contemporary furniture brand Kartell. Working mainly with polycarbonate plastic, Starck created designs such as the transparent Louis Ghost Chair, the Bubble Club Sofa and Armchair as well as the La Boheme stool. The Bubble Club Chair featured heavily in the TV series Boston legal, whilst the Ghost Chair featured in Ugly Betty.

Restaurant Interior Design

Starck has designed the interior of some of the most stylish restaurants and a notable classic is The Peninsula in Hong Kong. This beautiful hotel faces the Hong Kong Harbour and the restaurant sits on the 28th floor. The Peninsula restaurant is known for several design features including its men’s washroom which features urinals facing glass and offers a spectacular view of the cityscape. Other examples of Starck’s work can be found in Los Angeles where trendy restaurants and clubs include Katsuya, The Bazaar and S-Bar Hollywood. Earlier examples of his work can be found at the now world famous cafe Costes in Paris which he designed in 1984.

Hotel Designs

In 1988 Starck was commissioned to refit the Royalton Hotel in New York. It was to be a design moment which was to change the hotel industry and its design. The birth of the Boutique hotel began here and Starck went on to form successful partnerships which saw the design of the Paramount Hotel in New York, the Delano Hotel in Miami’s stylish South Beach and on to the Mondrian hotel in LA.

Are you a fan of Starck’s work? Do you have a favored piece of Starck furniture in your home? Join the conversation below.

Author: Nat Slater is a massive fan of Philippe Starck’s work, and all other designers from the Kartell stable.

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