Philippe Starck was born in France in 1949 and has become a well-known designer for his creations in product design, furniture, lighting, restaurant and hotel interiors, architecture, clothing, yachts, motorcycles and even a spaceport for Virgin Galactic. He studied at École Nissim de Camondo, Paris gaining notable attention in 1969 for an inflatable house that was based on the idea of materiality. Not long after this, Starck got his first big break when he was offered the position of art director at fashion designer Pierre Cardin’s publishing house.
In 1976 he launched his first industrial design company called ‘Starck Product’, later renamed Ubik after the famous Philip K. Dick novel, and while there he worked on his first collaborations with manufacturers including Driade, Alessi and Kartell. However it was in 1982 that Starck was catapulted to the forefront of the design world as he was commissioned to design the interior of French President François Mitterrand’s private residence at the Elysée Palace. Throughout his career Starck has advocated that modern designs should be available to the widest possible audience and not just an elite few. This design philosophy has seen him design products for French mail order company 3 Suisse since 1984 and in 2002 he also designed 60 affordable house-hold items for large American retailer, Target Stores.
Starck has received numerous design accolades throughout his career, however he’s also been highly-praised in France being awarded the prestigious Order of Arts and Letters (1985) and the National Order of the Legion of Honour (2000). In 2008 he was appointed artistic director for the French Presidency of the European Union and in 2009 he became France’s Ambassador of Creativity and Innovation. Today Starck continues to design across a multitude of platforms as well as projects to help improve the environment.