Designer Philippe Starck talks about his TeddyBearBand [1998 for Moulon Roty]: "In my opinion, an overabundance of toys fosters infidelity. As an advocate of the one-true-love approach, I dreamt of a single toy that would serve as an apprenticeship for the lasting human relationships that await our children."
"Everything I designed was unnecessary," superstar French designer Philippe Starck told an interviewer last March, bemoaning the state of his art and soul:
"I was a producer of materiality and I am ashamed of this fact," Starck told Die Zeit weekly newspaper … Starck, who is known for his interior design of hotels and Eurostar trains and mass consumption objects ranging from chairs to tooth brushes and lemon juice squeezers, went on to say that he believed that design on the whole was dead.
"In future there will be no more designers. The designers of the future will be the personal coach, the gym trainer, the diet consultant," he said.
Starck said the only objects that he still felt attached to were "a pillow perhaps and a good mattress." But the thing one needs most, he added, was the "ability to love."
"It seems to have nothing to do with the whole idea of yachting, which is about cruising around at a leisurely pace, and enjoying your friends and the sea," the WSJ quotes leading British yacht designer Donald Starkey re Russian billionaire industrialist Andrey Melnichenko's new yacht, A. "Created by Philippe Starck, the superstar French designer of lemon squeezers and luxury hotels, A is a deliberate slap in the face to an industry known for its classic conformity," comments the Journal.
What's got M. Starck so upset? Maybe it was that yachtspotter.com comment about his design (above photo) for Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko's new yacht:
Cherchez la femme. "After the marriage, Mrs. [Aleksandra] Melnichenko turned [the Starck-designed ship] A into one of her pet projects … She downsized the disco and commissioned new more practical furniture with the aim of turning Mr. Starck's 'hotel into more of a home,' according to someone close to the project."
Or was the designer's discomfit induced by the decadence of clients whose idée of celebrating Starck's restoration of a historical Paris hotel was to invite a coterie of celebs to trash the place?
"Yeah, you know, the usual throwing the telly out of the window type of thing," Kanye West (unattributed photo, left) is reported to have characterized a recent VIP "demolition party" in Paris. The rap artist and hip hop producer, "who roamed the corridors with a bemused-looking Yves Carcelle, said that trashing hotel rooms was old hat." West's mascot and trademark is a teddy bear, above on the cover of his singles album "Stronger."
Can you say displacement — in the Dr. Sanity sense of "the separation of emotion from its real object and a redirection of the [usually intense] emotion toward someone or something that is less offensive or threatening in order to avoid dealing directly with what is frightening or threatening"? We're thinking of the French housing-project riots. Normally the displacement would involve BDS, but here it was good, clean fun, fiddling while Paris burns:
Hundreds of select guests are invited Thursday night to wreck and smash one of Paris' grandest hotels, the Royal Monceau, in a performance-style "Demolition Party" before it closes for renovation.
From teaspoons to tables, a million euros worth of hotel contents were put up for auction ahead of its year-long makeover by design guru Philippe Starck.
VIP guests, fitted with helmets, are invited to take a hammer and chisel to the rest, walls and left-over furniture included, as concerts and art performances are staged in the hotel's wings.
"The cream of Paris' intellectuals and artists are invited to this festive, ferocious happening," the hotel said in a statement.
The demolition party that went down at the The Hotel Royal Monceau in Paris wasn't just any old party. This is Paris after all, and the hotel managed to make their demolition artistic by inviting 25 contemporary artists and celebs to "artistically ruin" the hotel rooms on the third floor.
"Meanwhile Philippe Starck was on hand at the party dishing about his renovation plans for the hotel," reports Hotel Chatter:
He also said he's more focused on "democratic eco-friendly projects." He even mentioned a green building in LA that he's working on and while he couldn't elaborate he said it was going to be "big."
A mini-turbine of one's own. It's where market forces lead. Starck knows and goes where the invisible hand leads: "Environment becomes a good business opportunity. In the end, why not? As long as the final result is to help us to survive and to continue the evolution of our civilization that is based on intelligence."
"Philippe Starck’s personal invisible windmill ‘Democratic Ecology’ (above) was introduced at Milan’s Greenergy Design show earlier this year in a vibrant display relaying the intent to enable every man, woman and child on Earth to generate their own power in designer style," reports Inhabitat:
The transparent mini-turbine will be available to all in September 2008 and, in typical Starck style, if everyone’s going to have one he’s going to make sure they all look great.
"If you can't use things for what they're not intended for, you have no business on the Internet," writes poet-in-residence Greg of Sippican Cottage. "The kids like the tinkertoy vibe of the plumbing pipe. I like the kids," he says re building a better
mousetraphorsefly trap in his basement.