Philippe Starck: Why design?

You will understand nothing with my type of English. Is good for you because you can have a break, after all these fantastic people. I must tell you I am like that [shakes hands], not very comfortable, because usually, in life, I think my job is absolutely useless. I mean, I feel useless. Now, after Carolyn *Porco+, and all the other guys, I feel like shit. And definitively, I don’t know why I am here, but — you know the nightmare, like you are an impostor, you arrive at the opera, and they push you, “You must sing!” *gasp!+ I don’t know. So! So! Because I have nothing to show, nothing to say, we shall try to speak about something else. We can start, if you want, by understanding (it’s just to start, it’s not interesting) how I work. When somebody comes to me and ask for what I am known, I mean, yes, lemon squeezer, toilet brush, toothpick, beautiful toilet seats, and why not, a toothbrush. I don’t try to design the toothbrush. I don’t try to say, oh, that will be a beautiful object or something like that. That doesn’t interest me. Because there is different types of design. The one, we can call it the cynical design, that means the design invented by Raymond Loewy in the ’50s, who said, what is ugly is a bad sale, La Laideur se vend mal, which is terrible. It means the design must be just a weapon for marketing, for producer to make product more sexy, like that, they sell more, it’s shit, it’s obsolete, it’s ridiculous. I call that the cynical design. After, there is the narcissistic design; it’s a fantastic designer who designs only for other fantastic designers. [laughs] After there is people like me, who try to deserve to exist, and who are ashamed to make this useless job, who try to do it in another way, and they try, I try, to not make the object for the object but for the result, for the profit for the human being, the person who will use it. If we take the toothbrush — I don’t think about the toothbrush. I think, “What will be *finger in mouth+ the effect of the brush in the mouth?” And to understand what will be the effect of the toothbrush in the mouth, I must imagine: Who owns this mouth? What is the life of the owner of this mouth? In what society this guy live? What civilization creates this society? What animal species creates this civilization? When I arrive — and I take one minute, I am not so intelligent — when I arrive at the level of animal species,that becomes real interesting. Me, I have no power to change anything. But when I come back, I can understand why I shall not do it, because today, it’s more positive than “do it,” or how I shall do it. But to come back, where I am at the animal species, there is thing to see. There is thing to see, there is the big challenge. The big challenge in front of us.

The most stupid bacteria. The final man. And this territory is fantastic. Can you imagine? From that stupid bacteria to us. point 5.” OK. Because the bacteria we was had no idea of what we are today. is the duty of vision. a minimum of sport … The first. there is a minimum of exercise. but one which is very easy to do. with a computer. you know what I mean. It’s our romanticism: Mutation. OK! I’m a designer. we become a fish. there was this soup. with a red jacket …” I am not sure of that. you can walk. So then [pshoo-shoo] lightning [pshoo] arrive [pshoo-shoo]. Dangerous. it’s so fresh. that succeeds. And here is something: Nobody is obliged to be a genius. after. Because that is our intelligence of mutation and things like that. We was so. that when the sun will implode. we mutate during 4 billion years before. with a microphone. our life. 4 billion years? *looks offstage+ Yes. we copy our way to reproduce. but everybody is obliged to participate. And we know. sort of dirty mud. And before. I can explain you. that’s all. we become a frog. 4 billion years. our romanticism. forget it. explode. a supermonkey. no life. Even. [pshoo-shoo!] [bloop-bloop] wake up! At the end. of Christmas gifts. Because every generation thinks we are the final one. we become what we are today. that life appears 4 billion years ago. you will not see. We are mutants. we stop. for a mutant.” The big image is our story. . around — 4 billion point 2? *voice off+ Yes. and life appears. and this is scheduled for 4. our poetry. nothing. And you will fall. There is so many things to do. small steps+. You know. We have a way to look at Earth like that. there is a hole. After. she said “something like that. and the fin is. and you will die. Our poetry is our mutation. That is our poetry. it’s OK. and especially Carolyn knows. We must remember. called soupe primordiale. oh!. after. and we can see that in any book of my son of 10 years old. but perhaps. with an iPod. this first soup [bloop bloop bloop!].Because there is not a human production that exists outside of what I call the “big image. so stupid. if you want. And if we don’t deeply understand. I don’t know what. but now. Fin For the end. makes life [bloop bloop]. you know *raises hand over head+ “I am the man. I shall try. because it’s me. That is our beautiful story. we become a monkey. we completely miss the story. that means we are at alph of the story. for the eternity. there is so many. if you walk with the eyes like that. And today. after. If you walk like that [looking straight down. OK. if we don’t integrate that we are mutants. it’s OK. and that dies. the earth will burn. finally. I think. and something of — oh no. the supermonkey we are today. Fantastic! It’s a beauty! Can you imagine? It’s very symbolic. Some million years after. is at alph of the story. we have no idea of what we shall be in 4 billion years. And to participate.

in community. if you look like that. Because at the vertical of us. if I found something [whistle. but in the ’80s. The more you will rise. it’s God. It’s very. Why do that? It’s because we — if we look from far. If you look like that [205 degrees]. That means. the more you will be important for the story of our mutation. up up up. We can say light is civilization. we can imagine. so fast to . oh my god you are here. things like that. Nobody’s obliged to be a genius. Ah! God!” God is a trap. it was … we can imagine that the civilization can become civilized. there is God. We have time to think.That’s why.” That’s ridiculous. From far. speak about art and things like that. What. like that *a little+.” It’s OK. shadow is barbaria. It’s made of light and shadow. You start to be in the territory of intelligence. we can say. selfish). Eratosthenes. We can say it’s luxus time. we have time to I-don’t-know-what. very. like that. That means intelligent people are in this angle [75-105 degrees off the ground] That is intelligence. Take care. steps around imaginary obstacle]. “Ah. to be a good mutant. there is some trap. like that. or you look inside if you are very flexible. It’s OK. there is a spot in the cycle. “I see you. It’s better. very important. what else we can say about that. Because some cycle. Because. you go. after. don’t jump. Ptolemy. how are you. it’s genius. That’s why every morning. It’s called schizophrenia. we fall [diving sounds] so fast. Come back. “Ah! my god. it’s God. new toilet brush. perhaps. the more you can raise this angle of view. There is some danger. I can design for you a new toothbrush. the more you will be important for the civilization. the more you will be important to society. like today [dives down] we fall. because you are a good mutant. But sometimes. But if you take a lens. One trap: the vertical. this line is ack-ack-ack [makes jagged motion]. And it’s very important to know where we are. From this level. when you don’t understand. You. and you have not the same duty in the different parts of the cycle. From this [105 degrees] to here [180 degrees]. you will try to have this angle of vision *looking forward 45 degrees] OK. Never forget: like that. there is another trap. now. we see our line of evolution. inside yourself. I raise the angle of vision. you will raise your angle of view. That’s why — jump. people like me are acceptable. I don’t say it was fantastic. Einstein. but it’s still very selfish (selfish? egoiste? yes. you look to the past. If you raise the level of our eyes a little more *looking straight ahead+ you go. I can see. more of the horizontal. You are an intelligence. It’s OK. you survive. and they continue. I can help you. like that. there was not too much war. like that. to see far and high. something like that. like that? No. We are in the light. but nobody. that. I live in society. That means. God is the answer when we don’t know the answer. in this training. when your brain is not enough big. Out. This line of evolution is clearly positive. The more you will rise. this line looks very smooth. In this case. and you are dead.

Invent a new poetry. Forget all that.shadow. Invent. We give you white pages. lived. There is different type of barbaria. there is urgence. it’s perhaps not the barbaria we think. And when you don’t understand really what’s happened. We are God now. and now. of this civilization. With billions of people who have been born. it’s OK. this concept of God. to try to do it the best possible. That’s why I am here. That’s why I continue to work. do it. very important. a new poetry. even if it’s for toilet brush. That means. forget art. I say that nothing exist if it’s not in the good reason. It’s almost done. but there is so many other different. of this civilization. Invent a new story. We give you the best tools. a new romanticism. beautiful gifts. worked. I’m sorry if that’s not very English. we fall so fast to barbaria. We have just to finish the story. about love. even. We are. back. With many. Because we have almost finished. that was our story. But I know that even *if+ I do it the best possible (that’s why I’m the best!). other scenarios of other civilizations. it’s nothing. the barbaria we have today. intelligent. I’m sorry to say. And the beauty of this: in perhaps fifty years. forget the beautiful hotel. That’s why we must adapt. That’s why I say that. and died before us. There is priority. you cannot go and fight and work and things like that. I’ll repeat this story. you must really understand that. we can finish completely this civilization. to battle. OK. was about becoming powerful. many many face of barbaria. the best tools. like this idea we have invented. and things like that. The only rule is. we have now bring beautiful things. forget design. you must go back to radicalization. You must go back to politics. when barbaria is back. . the reason of our beautiful dream. Now you have a duty. This scenario. Because the scenario of this civilization. That’s why today I’m so ashamed to make this job. You go to the future back. And because we must all work to finish this story. you must go back to fight. Because it’s not. and it’s very dangerous. forget the beautiful chairs. progress. Because it’s not the right time. That passed. like that. we have not to have any idea about the next story. No. we know so many things. And you can fall. back. done. sixty years. That is very. We can say to our children. and offer to our children the possibility to invent a new story. these people who have worked so much. back.

f°¯f–° "¯f¾½  fn f¾ f¯n½° f n¯½  f°9  ° f¾ °  ° f°  ¾½ nf.

f°°¾ f °  ¾°¯½   f °  ½  °#°f f° ¾¾¾n  €   ° f¾" ¾€€¾f–  ¾ ¾ ¾f #¾¯ °– f # f¯ f°¾ f f f½€ ¾ f°f¾n"#¾f f".

f° J f ¯f°¾  ° €  °# ½° ¾f° €  °#° –f f f ¯f°¾  n¯½   ¯¾¾ ¾  nf¾   – ° f°°¾ f  €°f° J f ffff f  ° f¾ ¾f°   f #f¯ ¯f° @ €°f¯f° °  ¯f  °– ° f¾ €  °  nf¾ #¾¯  ¾½ °  ° €   ° f  ©fn  #f¯°¾ €f  nf¾ f¾° – °n €¯f°f° °–¾  f @  ¾¾¯f°°–¾  #¾¾€ ¾  °   ¾¾¯ °– -  ¾ –  f– °¾      ¾ –  ½fn½f ° ½fn½f €f¯f°   ¾f¯°¯¯€  n¾ f¯°¯¯€ ¾½ @ €¾ €f°   ¾¾¯f°  ° n¾  f¾  ¾  € ¾° nf° ½f° ¾f  €f f °–¾f– ° ¾¯f¾ ½¾ #¾ #¾ nf°f   ½ f½¾ €f   ¾ f °¾ "   ¾f °  €f f°   f°– ¾  .f°¯f–° "#¾ ¾¯ n  nf¾   fn f f¾f ° f€f f  f °  f  f ° f€f  ¾f ° ° f¾ ° ¾ ¾€f°f¾n  @f¾½  @f¾ f€¾ #¾¯f°n¾¯ .

@f#¾ ½ f½¾ f ¾f°– €¾° °–€f  – ¾   nf°¾ €€° ¾¯ °– ¾ ¾ ½¾f° ¯f–°f ¾fn f°  n°° ½ ½½ f¾  f°– €¾°  #¾¾ ¾ €¾%¾ €¾" –¾ " ¾ ¾ €¾%   ¾ #¾  €f¾    €  ¾f ¯  °–¾f–f f – #¾  ¯ – f   f  nf° ½ nf° ¾–°€f°  ¾ °   ¾ ¾¯ °– f  °¾n  °n¯¯° ##¾ ¾f °   €° – °n  nf°¾f ¯¾    ¯ nf°f¾ ¾f°– €    ¯  ¯½f°¾n  @ ¯ ¾  ¯   ¯½f°€ nf° @ ¯ ¾ ¾ €ff° –  f  ¯   ¯½f°€ ¾€¯f° @f¯ f°¾° – °½ ½ f °¾f°–    – ¾€€ –° @f¾° – °n ¯¾  – ¾     – ¾ f #¾– °¾ 9 ¯ f¾ ° ¾ °¾ ° °–¾ f -  #¾ –  f– °¾ #¾    °    @f nf °¾f°°–  f– ¯f° @  ¾¾¯  f°–    ¾¾¯ f½ °  f½   nf  nf¾ f  nf€¾ € f #"¯–   ¾  " "# ¾ff½  ¾ f°¾  °  °#° f°¾  @f¯ f°¾  °  f°¾° °– –  ° °#° ¾f° – # #¾ #¾ #@f#¾  n¾ @f#¾ ©¯½  f"-  °#©¯½ .

¯  fn  nf¾ f€    ¾ f° f½ € f  – ¾  ½f¾ °¾ € f  €   °¾ ¾ € #¾nf ¾n½ °f f° f  f  @f#¾  ¯°°– °  nf¾ f f– ¯f° f¾ f°– €    ¯ € °f f f°° – °n -  €–   f  f #¾      ¯½f°  Jf f ¾  nf°¾ff f J f"#¾ nf¾   € €¯€f   ¾ ° € ° @¾° € °¾n f½¾ ¯€f ¾° ¾  ¾¯  f  €f f °¾  f ¾° ¾fn fn fn ¯f ¾©f–– ¯°  #¾¯f €–f° ¾f  J nf°¾f–¾nf° ¾f ¾ f ff ° #¾  ¯½f°°   f  nf¾ ¾¯ nn   ¾f¾½° nn f° f  ° ¾f¯  °  €€  °½f¾€ nn  @f¯ f°¾  nf°¯f–°  °#¾ff¾€f°f¾n  ° #¾   f¾° ¯nf  f f f¾  nf°¯f–° f nf°nf° n¯ n  °¾nf¾ ½ ½  ¯ f fnn ½f  J nf°¾f#¾¾¯ J f ¯ °   f ¯  °# ° f ¾½ ff ff° °–¾ f #¾ J f °  –  ¾¯ ¯ ¾   f  ¾ °  €f  €f °–¾° ¾ ¾€f¾ ¾€f¾ .

¾f   €f¾€f¾ f ff J¯f° ¯f°¯f°€fn € f ff  nf¾ #¾°    f ff f  f #¾½ f½¾°  f ff ° @  ¾ €€  °½ € f ff @f#¾ ¯¾f f½ @f¯ f°¾  ° f ff¾ fn €–   f€ nf¾ €–   f€  €–  ¾–°   ° #¯¾¾f €– f – ff  @  ¾½   ¾– °n ¯¾– fn½n¾ ¯¾– fn f nff° #¯¾€f#¾° °–¾ ¯¾– fn€–  f  @f#¾ f#¯¾f¾f¯ ¯f ¾© @f#¾f¯     ¾ ½¾¾   °f  ° €    ¾½¾¾  %f#¾#¯  ¾"% #¾ °°–  nf¾ #¾° –¯  @f#¾¾ff ¾ff°°– ¾€#¾°° –  f¾°   f¾°€ f€  f¯ €¾nf° °  nf¾  ¯¾f€°¾¾¾  nf¾   ¾n °f€¾nf° f  ½– ¾¾ f° °–¾ f #¾    ¾¾ ¯f°  €€  °  ¾n °f¾€ nf°¾ @¾¾n °f €¾nf°  f¾f  n¯°–½ € ° – °  ¾ f f ° ° ¾n°n ½€  J f  ° J f #¾f¯¾ ° J f ©¾€°¾ ¾ @f¾    ¯½f° °  ° °#° ¾f°  ff#¾f½½ ° nf°°–f° €– f° f° °–¾ f – €  fn  fn  fn  fn  f ° nf° €f f° #¾  f°– ¾ - ¯¾ f° ¾f° f  nf¾  f f¯¾€°¾ # ½ f¾¾ °   f€¾ °½ f½¾€€  f¾ ¾ f¾  nf°€°¾n¯½  ¾nf° f° €€ n  °  ½¾¾ ° °f° ¾ f° ½  f° ¯f°n¾¯ J °¾€½ ½  f  ° °   f°    € ¾  ¾ ½ ½ f  ¾¯n   f ° °– f€°–¾  f€–€¾  °¾¯f°°–¾ J nf°¾f n  °   ° ff¾¾ @f½f¾¾ -f f  ° °f° ¾  ° °f° ½  @ ° ¾  f °f f° ff  ° ¾ J  –  ½f– ¾ ° ° J –   ¾¾   ¾¾ f° °   @f#¾ n°°    °€#¾€  ¾  .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful