Icon: Philippe Starck
Honouring tech’s maverick designer
Philippe Starck is a designer who truly divides opinion. While some deride his products as the epitome of style over substance – his Alessi kettle and juicer are basically useless when it comes to making a cup of tea or squeezing a lemon – others laud him as a subversive iconoclast.
My favourite Starck product is the W.W. stool, a three-legged design originally developed as a conceptual piece for a film by the German director Wim Wenders. The stool’s impossibly slender and sinewy legs and the oddly shaped, tiny seat give the impression of being entirely unsuited to the purpose they are designed for. But to dismiss it as as unfit for purpose perhaps misses the point – it is not created with the traditional function of a stool in mind, rather to subvert it. Sit and ponder that…