Design’s deep thinker
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