Karim Rashid

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Karim Rashid
Rashid (2016)
Born1960 (age 62–63)
Cairo, Egypt
Alma materCarleton University
OccupationIndustrial Designer
Known forIndustrial design of plastic consumer products
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Karim Rashid (born 1960) is an Egyptian-born and Canadian raised industrial designer.[1] His designs include luxury goods, furniture, lighting, surface design, brand identity and packaging.[2] Time magazine has described him as the "most famous industrial designer in all the Americas" and the "Prince of Plastic".[3][4] He is based in New York City, as well as Belgrade, Miami and India.[5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Karim Rashid was born in 1960[7] in Cairo, Egypt to an English mother and Egyptian father, who was an abstract artist.[8] Rashid is the brother of famed architect, Hani Rashid, of Asymptote.[9] His sister is a painter and musician, Soraya Rashid.[6] He was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and had developmental delays, unable to speak until the age of four.[8] The family emigrated to Mississauga, Ontario, Canada when Karim was five years old.[10] Rashid showed an interest in designed objects from a young age, sketching the luggage he saw on the ship to Canada.[11]

He attended high school in Mississauga Ontario (Woodlands Secondary School), where he further pursued his passion for design and sewed himself a pink satin suit for his graduation.[8] Rashid received a Bachelor of Industrial Design in 1982 from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.[1] He pursued graduate design studies in Naples, Italy, with Ettore Sottsass. He then moved to Milan for one year and worked at the Rodolfo Bonetto Studio.


Starting in 1984, Rashid worked with KAN Industrial Designers in Canada for 7 years, where he created x-ray equipment and small useful objects, such as a mailbox and a snow shovel.[12][7] From 1985 until 1991, he co-founded and designed the Babel Fashion Collection and North.[7] In 1993 Rashid opened his own private design studio in New York City.[7]

Rashid's work is featured in 20 permanent collections.[citation needed] His pieces are exhibited in museums worldwide, including the MoMA,[13] Centre Pompidou,[14] and SFMOMA.[15] He is known for designs such as the "Garbo" waste can and "Oh Chair" for home accessories company Umbra,[16][15] a concept store for Giorgio Armani,[citation needed] perfume bottles for Kenzo, bobble water bottle, watches and tableware for Alessi, lighting for Artemide and Martinelli Luce,[17] and products for Veuve Clicquot.[18][19] He has also worked with Audi, Samsung, Swarowski and Armani.[20] In addition Rashid has designed for Kenzo, Method, Bombay Saffire, Finé Water Japan, Sexy Beast USA, Davidoff, Issey Miyake, Estee Lauder.[21] In 1999, he designed manhole covers for the sewers of New York.[22]

While working for Ettore Sottsass, Rashid became dedicated to infusing his pieces with a welcoming "human" quality, finding the majority of industrial designs to be too imposing.[23] Rashid has discussed his interest in the psychological power of objects and spaces, and often works with color palettes which have emotional significance to him; pink, for example, is a staple in his designs as he believes it "creates a sense of well-being, or energy, or of positive spirit," and lime green is used in kitchens as it is "conducive to dining".[24] The mid-century modern influence is evident in Rashid's work, though he prefers to embrace the digital world and look toward the future for inspiration. His style is sometimes described as "sensual minimalism".[23] He was the first designer[25] to participate in the "design burger"[26] "Design Dialogues", a series of visual interviews in which the designer is given a Copic pen and number of written prompts, and responds to these with only drawings.[27]

In 2004, he designed his first hotel, the Semiramis in Athens, Greece.[11]

In 2008, Rashid teamed up with prizeotel Founder & CEO Marco Nussbaum, to become the exclusive Designer for the Economy-Design Hotelbrand.[citation needed]

In 2012, Rashid had a collaboration with artist Terence Koh, for a limited edition of winter coats for the 10th anniversary of the Italian Brand Peuterey.[28][29]

Rashid was selected in 2014 to design several real estate developments in New York City for HAP Investments, a New York City-based International investment group.[30]

In 2016, it was announced that Rashid is designing the multimillion-dollar makeover of Temptation Resort and Spa,[31] in Cancun Mexico.[32]


He holds an honorary doctorate degrees from the OCAD University (formerly Ontario College of Art & Design) in 2006,[33] Pratt Institute in 2014[34] and Corcoran College of Art & Design in 2005.[35] And in 2016 an honorary doctorate, Doctor of Laws, or honoris causa, from Carleton University.[36] Karim is a frequent guest lecturer at conferences, speaking about the importance of design in everyday life.[37]

In 2012, Danish designer and manufacturer BoConcept collaborated with Rashid to create the Ottawa Collection, which won the Red Dot Design Award.[38] Rashid has won the George Nelson Award in 1999 and the Canadian Designer of the Year award in 2001.[3]

In 2010 Rashid won the Pentawards, a worldwide packaging design awards competition. The award (silver) was won jointly by Box House and Karim Rashid Studio. He is the very first designer to receive this special Pentaward for his creative excellence in packaging design.

In 2017 Rashid was awarded the Lawrence Israel Prize by the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.[39]

He is also part of jury panel of Aisa Design Prize in South Korea[40] and FEEEL Design World Prize in Canada[41]

Personal life[edit]

Rashid's first marriage was to digital painter Megan Lang in 1995.[42] The couple later divorced in 2005.[6] He met Lang in 1991 while Rashid was briefly teaching as an assistant professor at Rhode Island School of Design, she was an undergraduate student at the time.[43]

In 2008, Rashid married Ivana Purić, a Serbian chemical engineer.[44][6] He met Ivana Puric at a party in Belgrade in 2006, while working as an ambassador for the second installment of Belgrade Design Week.[45] Together they have one child, Kiva Rashid born in 2013.[46][47]

In 2016, they legally separated, and their divorce was formally concluded in 2018.[48]

Karim Rashid is known for wearing white or pink clothing.[49]


  • 2014 Karim Rashid: From the Beginning ISBN 978-8896780602
  • 2013 Karim Rashid – Ideologija ljepote Tihomir Milovac. (in Croatian). Zagreb: Muzej Suvremene Umjetnosti, 2013
  • 2012 I Protagonisti del Design: Karim Rashid. Milan: Hachette, 2012
  • 2012 Sketch: Karim ISBN 978-9077174616
  • 2009 Karim Rashid Space: The Architecture Of Karim Rashid
  • 2006 Design Your Self: Rethinking the Way You Live, Love, Work, and Play
  • 2005 Digipop ISBN 978-3822839959
  • 2004 Karim Rashid: Evolution New York, NY: Universe, 2004. ISBN 978-0789311979
  • 2004 Karim Rashid. San Francisco: * Marisa Bartolucci, Raul Cabra. Karim Rashid. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, ISBN 9780811842082
  • 2003 International Design Yearbook 18
  • 2001 I Want to Change the World. New York, NY: Universe Rizzoli, 2001. ISBN 978-0789305312


  1. ^ a b "Karim Rashid". Carleton University. 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  2. ^ Velocci, Cristina. "Office tour: Karim Rashid". TimeOut. Archived from the original on 2014-10-24.
  3. ^ a b Belinda Luscombe (July 02, 2001). Design: The Poet Of Plastic; Karim Rashid wants to change the world one ordinary object at a time. Time Magazine. Accessed October 2013. (subscription required) for full article.
  4. ^ Daubs, Katie (2016-05-15). "Karim Rashid's message: lose the fear and face the future". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  5. ^ "Karim Rashid's new home is fun yet practical". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  6. ^ a b c d Casamonti, Marco; Andreini, Laura (2014). Karim Rashid – From the beginning. issuu.com: Forma Edizioni. p. 7.
  7. ^ a b c d "Karim Rashid – Designers". Tonelli Design. 2017-03-27. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  8. ^ a b c "The Man Behind The Garbage Can". Toronto Star. May 14, 2016.
  9. ^ "Karim Rashid Interview". DesignBoom.com. 2002.
  10. ^ "Karim Rashid Interview • Design Father". Design Father. 2013-07-16. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  11. ^ a b Daubs, Katie (2016-05-15). "Karim Rashid's message: lose the fear and face the future". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  12. ^ "World-famous industrial designer Karim Rashid is also "DJ Kreemy"". Archpaper.com. July 10, 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  13. ^ "Karim Rashid | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  14. ^ "Karim Rashid". Centre Pompidou. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  15. ^ a b "Karim Rashid, Oh chair, 1999". SFMOMA. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  16. ^ Volf, Misha (January 19, 2016). "Karim Rashid's Garbo at 20: Does It Still Hold Up?". Metropolis. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  17. ^ "Karim Rashid". martinelliluce.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  18. ^ Caroline Ryder ([n.d.]). Karim Rashid. Swindle. Archived March 7, 2009.
  19. ^ "KenzoAmour Product Page at kenzousa.com". Archived from the original on 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
  20. ^ "Self-heating baby bottle, iiamo go: Less planning, more adventure! · [German] iiamo – BPA-free, classic and self-heating baby bottles". Iiamo.com. Archived from the original on 2015-10-31. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  21. ^ Fairs, Marcus (2003-10-03). "Culture: 'I want to change the world'". The Guardian.
  22. ^ Roane, Kit R. (1999-09-16). "For Stylish Millennium, Official Manhole Cover". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  23. ^ a b ""What is left if you take the design away?" – Karim Rashid". DesignWanted. 2021-06-23. Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  24. ^ Lagios, Vasilis. "Karim Rashid Interview – Design Father". www.designfather.com/. Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  25. ^ "Karim Rashid". www.design-burger.com. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  26. ^ "design burger". www.design-burger.com. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  27. ^ "Design Dialogues". www.design-burger.com. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  28. ^ "karim rashid: peuterey 10th anniversary coats". designboom architecture & design magazine. 2012-04-13. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  29. ^ "Peuterey 10th Anniversary Coats By Karim Rashid and Terence Koh – Pursuitist". pursuitist.com. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  30. ^ Bernstein, Fred A. (May 14, 2014). "Karim Rashid Brings Kool-Aid Colors and Curves to Manhattan Condo Buildings". Architectural Record. McGraw Hill Financial, BNP Media.
  31. ^ "Temptation Resort Press Release" (PDF).
  32. ^ "ArtPremium – Karim Rashid: Designing the Future". ArtPremium. 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  33. ^ "Honorary Alumni – Our Alumni – Alumni". OCAD U. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  34. ^ "Karim Rashid to receive honorary doctorate from Pratt". The Editor at Large. 2014. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  35. ^ Villarreal, Ignacio. "Tim Gunn Awarded Honorary Degree, Special Speaker at Corcoran College of Art + Design 2009 Commencement Ceremony". Artdaily.com. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  36. ^ "Karim Rashid Receives Honorary Doctorate from Carleton University". Carleton University. 2016. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  37. ^ Stone, Andrew. "10 Questions with...Karim Rashid". Interiordesign.net. Sandow.
  38. ^ Susan Thurston (April 17, 2013). BoConcept furniture, Smart car join hands. Tampa Bay Times. Accessed October 2013.
  39. ^ "Karim Rashid". 17 November 2017.
  40. ^ asiadesignprize.com https://asiadesignprize.com/jury. Retrieved 2022-04-28. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  41. ^ "Feeel Design World Prize". Feeel design world prize (in Russian). 2020-09-12. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  42. ^ "Lord of creation". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  43. ^ Bartolucci, Marisa (2004). Karim Rashid: Compact Design Portfolio. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. p. 13. ISBN 0811842088. an undergraduate painting major named Megan Lang. They fell in love, and married four years later.
  44. ^ "Karim Rashid". gawker.com. Archived from the original on 2015-02-17.
  45. ^ "The King of Kool is so over New York". The Globe and Mail. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  46. ^ "Karim Rashid Interview". Design Father. 2013-07-16. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  47. ^ Daub, Katie (2016-05-15). "Karim Rashid's message: lose the fear and face the future". The Star. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  48. ^ Beker, Jeanne (November 2023). "The brilliant, beautiful and ultra useful design world of Karim Rashid". Living luxe (Toronto edition) (Toronto edition): 199 ( 3rd paragraph).
  49. ^ Goddard, Joanna (Spring 2008). "One Is the Loveliest Color". nymag.com. New York Media LLC.

External links[edit]