Icon: Philippe Starck

Australian T3 - - CONTENTS -

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…

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