PHILIPPE STARCK, designer “I’M NOT SAVING LIVES — BUT I HAVE A MORAL COMPASS”
“What drives your work?” – “I’ve always wanted to learn more about the mystery that lies at the heart of everything, the minimum that makes us who we are, the soul – although I don’t like to use that word. To put it in more mundane terms: Design is like a car, but it can’t move without an engine.”
“Why is this insight so important?” – “The future is about dematerialization – the more materiality, the less humanity. In my Generic collection, I was searching for the minimum – the square root, as it were – to unlock the essence of the object. This approach is interesting intellectually, but also in terms of economy and ecology.”
“What statement are you trying to make with your designs?” – “Design today is often useless. It can improve life and make it a little more beautiful, but it can’t save lives. I didn’t choose design; it chose me. I’m proud of the quality of my work – within my bubble, which has become totally unimportant. The problem is, I can’t do anything else, so I try to achieve the greatest possible political impact with my work. The Generic collection is part of a moral effort. I’m not saving lives – but I do have a moral compass.”
Philippe Starck, 69, is a French designer and one of the best-known exponents of New Design. Starck designs practically everything – ranging from buildings and furniture to motorcycles, and from home decor to simple utilitarian goods.