Philippe Starck, 62, has been working with Duravit since 1992 and has created eight product ranges to promote its brand of kitchen and bathroom sanitary ware. In the lead up to Starck’s 20th anniversary with Duravit next year, he speaks to CID about where he draws his inspiration from.
Philippe Starck first attracted public attention when he was commissioned by the former president of France, François Mitterrand, to refurbish his private apartments in the Elysée Palace in Paris in 1982.
Since then, he has created his own company called UBIK, which means ubiquity, named after a 1969 science fiction novel by American writer, Philip K. Dick, set up organic food company, OAO, designed eight product ranges to promote Duravit‘s brand of kitchen and bathroom sanitary ware and has had a number of books published by the German publisher, Benedikt Taschen.
He shares his time between London, Paris and New York and has a house in Venice, Italy and Formentera in Spain.
He is currently married to fourth wife, Jasmine Abdellatif, and they have one child, a daughter named Justice. Starck’s other children include; a daughter Ara, by his first wife, Brigitte Laurent, to whom he was married for 22 years before she died of breast cancer; a son Oa by Patricia Bailer and two daughters, Lago and K by Nori Vaccari.
“I have no idea why people find me so fascinating because I live alone with my wife and family and I don’t even own a PC. I don’t see anyone and my daughter calls me a modern autistic, which is true,” he said.
The designer said he gets most of his inspiration from TED, which is a not-for-profit group, which started out in 1984, devoted to ideas worth spreading. It organises conferences in Long Beach and Palm Springs in the US each year bringing together people from Technology, Entertainment and Design as well as a global event in Edinburgh, Scotland, every summer.
“At TED you will see a collection of all the best brains.
“It is a place where people develop intelligence. TED is a masterkey of humanity. Everyone has a dream in life and if the dream is good, it will be developed. When we create something there is always a good and a bad part. Everything has a birth, a life and a death. All these ideas have to be developed,” he said.
“My work is to dream. That’s why I have so many new ideas and projects I am working on. Imagine there is a creative highway where nothing is ever finished; there are so many things to do. That’s why it is so sad we don’t have the time to do everything.
“Today in society we speak about creativity but that is not true: We speak about application of creativity. We speak about art, design, architecture, dance, music, but that is re-creativity.
“To boost creativity, you must not watch TV and don’t read magazines because you have to come up with your own ideas completely out of the mainstream of thinking.
“I never understand when somebody explains something to me. I haven’t got the brain for that. I can work on my idea from the beginning to the end. I have no diploma of anything because I cannot learn. The only diploma I have is a pilot’s licence. Even that is interesting. It is a black or white game, it is life or death.
“In our society it is interesting to play games. I have crashed two times but I’m not dead.”
Starck said he named his company UBIK, after the American writer Philip K. Dick, because he was the most advanced visionary for society.
He said he was the first person who spoke out in the 60s about the ubiquity of the world, of parallel worlds like the moving inception. And for him, he lives in inception, in ‘Einstein relativity’.
“That means for me nothing exists and there are parallel worlds like that.