Philippe Starck, London 2009
Paris-based designer, turning everyday objects into "must-haves" and billed simply as "the most famous designer in the world."
Philippe Starck had helicoptered in to pick up a lunchtime Designer of the Year Award 2009 at Lords cricket ground. He arrived with the coffee, made a charismatic speech, fooled around, scooped up his trophy, and left. I was in pursuit. A little mystified, he courteously posed outside. Starck is "the most famous designer ever," and certainly the one that everyone seems to know. His projects/products/clients are legion, but it's the triffid-like lemon squeezer, transparent Louis chair and gun lights that stick in my mind.
Starck's speeches/essays can be confusing. Once I heard him try unsuccessfully to differentiate between minimalism and minimum. "Minimalism is a trend," he said firmly. "We are now in minimum, which is timeless. We must make less, with products even smaller and simpler." But it does not seem to have affected his output.