Philippe Starck

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Philippe Starck
Phillippe Starck 2011.jpg
Philippe Starck in 2011
Born (1949-01-18) 18 January 1949 (age 72)
Paris, France
Alma materÉcole Camondo
AwardsOrdre des Arts et des Lettres
Legion of Honour
BuildingsAsahi Beer Hall

Philippe Starck (born 18 January 1949) is a French industrial architect and designer known for his wide range of designs, including interior design, architecture, household objects and furniture, boats or other vehicles.


Starck was born on 18 January 1949 in Paris. He is the son of Andre Starck, an aeronautics engineer. He says that his father often inspired him because he was an engineer, who made invention a "duty". His family was originally from and lived in the Alsace region, before his grandfather moved to Paris. He studied at the École Camondo in Paris.[1]


From restaurants to hotels, furniture to space modules, Starck has put his ingenious stamp on more than 10,000 designs.[2] While working for Adidas, Starck set up his first industrial design company, Starck Product, which he later renamed Ubik[3] after Philip K. Dick's novel, and began working with manufacturers in Italy (Driade), Alessi, Kartell, and internationally, including Drimmer in Austria, Vitra in Switzerland and Disform in Spain.

Aprilia Moto 6.5

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.[1] The following year he designed the Café Costes.[4]

Starck's output expanded to include furniture, decoration, architecture, street furniture, industry (wind turbines, photo booths), bathroom fittings, kitchens, floor, and wall coverings, lighting, domestic appliances, office equipment such as staplers, utensils, tableware, clothing, accessories, toys, glassware, graphic design and publishing, food, and vehicles for land, sea, air and space.[5]


Asahi Breweries Headquarters

The buildings he designed in Japan, starting in 1989, went against the grain of traditional forms. The first, Nani Nani, in Tokyo,[6] described as a biomorphic shed.[1] A year later he designed the Asahi Beer Hall in Tokyo, a building topped with a golden flame. This was followed in 1992 by Le Baron Vert office complex in Osaka.[7] In France he designed the extension of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD) in Paris (1998).

In 1991, Starck designed one of the pavilions for the new Groninger Museum.[8]

Since the late 1980s, Starck has designed several hotels in different countries, these include the Royalton Hotel[9] (1988) and Paramount hotel(1990) in New York City,[1] the Delano in Miami,[1] the Hudson Hotel[10] and the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, the Sanderson [11] the Saint Martin's Lane in London,[12] Le Meurice renovations in 2016, the Royal Monceau (2010)[13] as well as more recently the Hotel Brach (2018)[14] and the Hotel 9Confidentiel (2018),[15] in Paris. Also in France, in the South West, Philippe Starck designed La Co(o)rniche[16] and Ha(a)itza[17] hotels, both in Arcachon, near the Dune of Pilat. In 2019, Starck created the Lily of the Valley Hotel[18] on the French Riviera and in 2020 opened La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich.[19]

Starck has designed several restaurants, including in the early years, the Café Costes (1984) in Paris, Manin (1985) in Tokyo, Theatron (1985) in Mexico City, Teatriz (1990) in Madrid[20][1] or more recently several restaurants with the Alajmo brothers in Paris, Venice and Milan – Caffe Stern (2014[21]), Amo (2016),[22] Gran Caffe Quadri (2018)[23] and Amor (2019),[24] La Réserve à la Plage in Saint Tropez with Michel Reybier Hospitality, The Avenue at Saks in New York in 2019.[25]

The Alhondiga, a 43,000 square-meter culture and leisure venue in Bilbao designed by Starck, opened in 2010.[26]

Starck also designed affordable and adjustable pre-fabricated P.A.T.H. houses.[27]

Starck was commissioned by the Hilton Worldwide to create entirely a new hotel in Metz, France. Maison Heler is a phantasmagoric building topped by a traditional Alsatian house, a poetic symbol of the region that should open in 2021.[28]


In 2004 Starck designed the Motor Yacht A[29] and then in 2012 the A (sailing yacht) – one of the world's largest sailing yachts.[30][31][32]

Starck designed the infrastructure for the Port Adriano harbour on the south-west bay of Palma de Mallorca,[33] Mallorca and was artistic director for the interior. It opened in April 2012.

In 2008 he designed Steve Jobs's yacht Venus, which was launched in October 2012, just over a year after the death of Apple's founder. The yacht was built at Aalsmeer in the Netherlands.[34]


Starck's work is seen in the collections of European and American museums, including the Musée National d'Art Moderne[35] (to which he has donated several pieces, in particular prototypes) the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris,[36] the MOMA[37] and the Brooklyn Museum[38] in New York City, the Vitra Design Museum in Basel[39] and the Design Museum in London.[40] More than 660 of his designs were inventoried in French public collections in 2011.[41]



Volteis electric car, 2012

Starck develops alternative materials to create in a more ecological way. In 2010 he took an interest in sorting waste in companies and designed Elise, an ecological trash can available in six colors, for six different types of waste.[citation needed]

Zartan, created for Magis in 2010, is a chair entirely made from natural material as bamboo, linen and hemp fiber, a non-toxic and biodegradable alternative to replace plastic.[42] This made it eco friendly and very good for the environment as he wasnt using plastic .

In 2012, Starck released Broom for Emeco, an anti-waste chair made of materials collected in lumber and plastic plants factories.[43]

Starck continues his reflection on structure and matter with the 7 chairs of the Generic Collection for Kartell in 2015. The evolution of universal seats as chairs found in cafes, offices, administrations that are part of the collective memory. In 2016, he introduces wood into Kartell's catalog with the Smart Wood collection by transforming wood residues into material able to be molded like plastic.[citation needed]

Starck released Cassina Croque la pomme in 2019, a furniture collection for Cassina, entirely made from a vegan fabric, with apple leather.[44]

Democratic design[edit]

Starck's concept of democratic design led him to focus on mass-produced consumer goods rather than one-off pieces, seeking ways to reduce cost and improve quality in mass market goods.[45]

In 2007, Starck was the first designer to participate in the TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment & Design).[46]

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, approached in practice by increasing production quantities to cut costs and by using mail-order,[47] via Les 3 Suisses. In 1998, Philippe Starck sets up the Good Goods catalogue with La Redoute, proposing 170 sustainable and respectful everyday life objects "for the future moral market".[48] Later in 2000, driven by his desire to make design accessible for everyone, he works with Target Stores and proposes a collection of more than 50 exclusive and affordable products.[49]

Starck released Ideas Box in 2011 for Bibliothèques Sans Frontières. These kit media libraries give the refugee populations access to culture and information. The can by installed anywhere around the world and provide screens, books, games, cameras etc.[50]

One of the ways Starck has economized costs for the public[51] 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[52] 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,[53] Starckeyes glasses by Mikli and the Marie Coquine lamp for Baccarat.[54]

Alongside his work, Starck partnered with Moustache Bikes for the M.A.S.S. (Mud, Asphalt, Sand and Snow). This is a portfolio of four e-bikes that use a Bosch electrical engine and battery pack.[55]

In January 2013 Starck redesigned the Navigo travel pass.[56]


In 1996, Starck worked with Alain Mikli to launch Starck Eyes. Bought in 2013 by Luxottica, Starck Eyes becomes Starck Biotech Paris in 2019 and is inspired by the human body to create revolutionary eyewear, merging design with biomechanics.[57]

Starck helped design the Xiaomi Mi MIX smartphone, notable for having a 6.4-inch "whole surface screen".[58]

In 2016 Starck developed a GPS-tracking wristband, DIAL (Individual Alert and Localization Device) for Société nationale de Sauvetage en Mer, which allows endangered people to share their exact location to rescue service whether they are in the sea or in the beach.[59]

In 2019 the so-called AI chair was presented to the public. Starck cooperated with experts of the 3D software company Autodesk and created a chair design with help of an Artificial Intelligence.[60] The same year he teames up with the corsican start-up Icare Technologies to imagine the design of Aeklys by Starck, a connected ring which allows contactless payment among other parameters.[citation needed]

In 2020 Starck collaborates with Axiom Space and creates the interior of the International Space Station's housing module. A comfortable and luxurious living space adapted to weightlessness, with suede-textured walls, big windows to appreciate the view and all the technology needed to stay connected.[61]

Political messaging[edit]

Sometimes pointed political messages, combined with the unexpected and humour[62] can be found in Starck's 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).[citation needed]


  • Sweet, Fay (1999). Philippe Starck : subverchic design. Watson-Guptill. ISBN 9780823012008.
  • Bertoni, Franco (1994). The architecture of Philippe Starck. Academy Editions. ISBN 9781854903785.
  • Morozzi, Cristina (2011). Philippe Starck. 24 ore cultura. ISBN 9788866480303.
  • Riewoldt, Otto (2006). New Hotel Design. Laurence King Publishing. pp. 18, 28 and 44. ISBN 9781856694797.
  • Vanderpooten, Gilles (2012). Impression d'ailleurs (in French). Éditions de l'Aube. ISBN 978-2815905176.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Biography, Philippe Starck, Britannica Online.
  2. ^ Vora, Shivani (6 April 2020). "Philippe Starck Shows Off His Restaurant at New York's Saks". ELLE Decor. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  3. ^ "The who's who of design. Name: Starck Philippe, born 18 January 1949, son of Andre Starck, aeronautics engineer. His family originally coming from Alsace region, before his grandfather had moved to Paris. Studies: Ecole Camondo in Paris. Profession: designer, boss of Ubik. Distinctions: Award for the Paramount Hotel in New York (1992), Best Design Oscar for the Beneteau yacht (1990); Platinum Circle Award (Chicago 1987), Designer of the Year (1985). Management n°24, p 122, February 1997
  4. ^ Philippe Starck pulled off his first feat with his interior for the Parisian nightclub and restaurant Les Bains-Douches, followed by Café Costes, "Psychoanalysis of the Starck Object", Le Monde, 27 January 1994
  5. ^ Massimo De Conti (2011). Design Talks : Contemporary Creatives on Architecture and Design, biography by Jasper Eder. Images Publishing. pp. 161, 162. ISBN 9781864704402.
  6. ^ "Unhex Nani Nani and Dual Curving | KIKUKAWA". KIKUKAWA KOGYO.
  7. ^ Penn Library, Fine Arts Library Image Collection.
  8. ^ "Philippe Starck Paviljoen, Groningen | 255516 | EMPORIS".
  9. ^ LLC, New York Media (31 October 1988). "New York Magazine". New York Media, LLC – via Google Books.
  10. ^ Riewoldt 2006, p. 44.
  11. ^ Riewoldt 2006, p. 18.
  12. ^ Riewoldt 2006, p. 28.
  13. ^ "Le Royal Monceau réinventé par Starck". 18 October 2010.
  14. ^ "Brach Hotel, Designed by Philippe Starck, Opens in Paris". Luxury Travel Advisor. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  15. ^ Kulawick-Assante, Katia. "See Inside Philippe Starck's Trio of Game-Changing New Hotels". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  16. ^ "La Co(o)rniche". The Telegraph. 16 September 2016. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Hôtel Ha(a)ïtza". The Telegraph. 1 August 2016. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Exclusive: Philippe Starck on Lily of the Valley, his stunning new Côte d'Azur hotel". Vogue Paris. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  19. ^ "La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich Is Now Open". Luxury Travel Advisor. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Arquitectura de Madrid".
  21. ^ "Caffè Stern in Paris by Philippe Starck | Paris Design Agenda". Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  22. ^ "Amo, Luxury Made Accessible in Central Venice". Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  23. ^ "Philippe Starck restores time-worn interiors of the Quadri restaurant in Venice". Dezeen. 24 March 2018. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  24. ^ Minero, Giulia (9 April 2019). "Amor, the New Alajmo Restaurant in Corso Como". Where Milan. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  25. ^ Latterner, Timothy. "Philippe Starck–Designed L'Avenue Restaurant Opens at Saks". Architectural Digest.
  26. ^ Philippe Starck has transformed this former oil and wine warehouse into an arts and leisure centre (in Spanish) El pais
  27. ^ Archdaily.
  28. ^ "philippe starck's maison heler, a phantasmagoric hotel and habitable work of surrealism". designboom | architecture & design magazine. 16 March 2018.
  29. ^ "Motor Yacht A: On board the world's most famous yacht with legendary designer Philippe Starck". Boat International. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  30. ^ Springer, Bill. "One of the World's Largest Sailing Superyachts Has Launched in Holland". Forbes. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  31. ^ 5 of the best Philippe Starck-designed Yachts
  32. ^ Sam Dangremond, World’s Largest Sailing Yacht Meets Its Baby Brother In Monaco, May 10 2017 Town&Country
  33. ^ Magazine, Wallpaper* (8 May 2012). "Port Adriano marina by Philippe Starck, Mallorca". Wallpaper*.
  34. ^ Kamp, David. "All You Need to Know About Philippe Starck, Industrial Design's Willy Wonka". Vanity Fair.
  35. ^ "Pompidou center".
  36. ^ (in French)MAD paris Philippe Starck Le design pour tous, Coffret maison Starck.
  37. ^ "Philippe Starck | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art.
  38. ^ "Brooklyn Museum".
  39. ^ "Vitra Design Museum: Collection".
  40. ^ Q42, Fabrique &. "WIN a copy of 'Design: An Essential Introduction' and a 'Philippe Starck designed squeezer'". Design Museum.
  41. ^ "Base de données".
  42. ^ "liquid wood: philippe starck with eugeni quitllet created zartan for magis". designboom | architecture & design magazine. 20 April 2011.
  43. ^ "Broom Chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco". Dezeen. 24 April 2012.
  45. ^ Designs on love, Le Monde, 10 February 2008
  46. ^ Starck, Philippe. "Philippe Starck | Speaker | TED".
  47. ^ "So it is absolutely possible to talk about a utopian project with Starck", Benoît Heilbrunn, Starck in Words, 2003
  48. ^ "Design: Starck naked". The Independent. 23 October 2011.
  49. ^ "Target to Introduce Chic Philippe Starck Collection". Progressive Grocer.
  50. ^ "Bibliothèques Sans Frontières". 30 August 2014.
  51. ^ "I'm against beautiful objects. I prefer good objects [...]. I'll stop when my chairs cost fifty bucks", L'Express, 22 October 1998
  52. ^ Museum of Design in Plastics, Philippe Starck toothbrush and holder.
  53. ^ Laurent Marcaillou (22 August 2014). "Usines d'architectes : et Starck recréa Laguiole". Les Echos (in French).
  54. ^ "Philippe Starck sets in motion an education of the masses. To the greatest number of people, he distributes forms that educate the eye […] From the minute to the immense, Starck marks out the paths that reconcile aesthetic, ethical and political", Michel Onfray, Starck in Words, 2003
  55. ^ "Philippe Starck desenhou a mais bela bicicleta elétrica". R Barros. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  56. ^ Philippe Starck waived his fee for designing this new-generation card, said transport authority STIF. Its pared-down design is intended to make it last, Le Parisien, January 2012
  57. ^ "philippe starck develops an eyewear sphere hinge with no screws or welds". designboom | architecture & design magazine. 4 March 2020.
  58. ^ "小米MIX-小米商城". 25 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  59. ^ "GPS-connected wristband allows swimmers who run into difficulties to alert rescue services". Dezeen. 3 January 2019.
  60. ^ "The A.I. Chair". 17 April 2019.
  61. ^ "Philippe Starck designs "foetal" interiors for Axiom's commercial space station". Dezeen. 14 June 2018.
  62. ^ "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

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