Philippe starck

De­sign’s deep thinker

Wallpaper - - October - Rosa Bertoli

French­man Philippe Starck has spent the last four decades com­ing up with much-talked-about de­signs, from arach­nid lemon squeez­ers to larger-than-life ho­tel in­te­ri­ors. So it came as a sur­prise when, as Wall­pa­per* Guest Ed­i­tor in 2009, he steered clear of de­sign en­tirely. ‘It is my mis­sion to make in­tel­li­gence sexy,’ he told us, as he called on sci­en­tists, as well as an artist and a mu­si­cian, to think about time, space, mat­ter and the never-end­ing quest for the mean­ing of life. ‘Where are we go­ing? And are we go­ing to like it when we get there?’ he asked. Seven sharp minds rose to the chal­lenge, in­clud­ing mu­si­cian Peter Gabriel and the­o­ret­i­cal physi­cist Thibault Damour.

In the years since, Starck has been as pro­lific as ever. Among other projects, he founded Starck Paris, a line of fra­grances in­spired by mem­o­ries of his mother’s per­fume shop, and was re­cently an­nounced as the designer for the in­te­ri­ors of Ci­dade Matarazzo, a new São Paulo com­plex by Jean Nou­vel. Starck also sup­ported his home town, Paris, in its suc­cess­ful bid for the 2024 Olympics: the medals he de­signed are ‘made for shar­ing’ and can be taken apart.

Starck topped off his ex­is­ten­tial of­fer­ing with a trac­ing pa­per cover, its lay­ers rep­re­sent­ing stages of evo­lu­tion. Por­trait by Sofia Sanchez & Mauro Mongiello

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