The comedic undertones of Philippe Starck’s designs
The humor and the science behind Philippe Starck's new M Social
Mutation involves a certain alteration of genetic elements—at least, a science textbook will tell you as much. In the realm of design, architect and interior designer Philippe Starck merges his fascination for mutation and his penchant for humor in each of his works. Think inflatable houses combined with Starck’s irreverent, iconoclastic vision and the result looks something that sprang from surrealist movement.
The French designer began his career when he designed an inflatable house as an homage to Vietnamese engineer and fellow designer Quasar Khanh, an enduring icon of the renegade spirit of the ’60s. Starck then rose to prominence by reinventing everyday objects such as toothbrushes, lemon squeezers, chairs, and even a toilet brush—all of which are considered bold objets d’art.
Bent on employing design to solve human and environmental needs, the renowned French designer also began a movement he called “Democratic Design.” This concept is best embodied in M Social Singapore, a lifestyle hotel opening its doors this June.
An interplay of metal frames, glass windows, mirrors, and wood furnishing is present in what is called The Nicer Room and The Bigger Room, making apparent Starck’s eternal fondness for contemporary design. The warm color tones, pashmina throws, and thick carpets embody his idea of “snuggish” interiors, and a self-check-in kiosk at the lobby, the first in Singapore, allows travelers to check- in with ease. This is the purest and truest form of design for Philippe Starck: it doesn’t solely revolve around structure and technique, but rather, takes into consideration the people who will soon populate the space.
Starck is as much an inventor as he is a designer. He believes that everything participates in perpetual mutation, transforming into something even more fascinating and exciting than its current form. Starck likens design to a theater: the space is the stage and the visitors are performers. Man can shape his own story, they say, and Starck creates a realm where those moments will soon take place.