Partons ce vendredi à la rencontre de Karim Rashid, véritable designers touche-à-tout, ayant accepté de répondre à mes questions et de nous faire découvrir son univers coloré, décalé et assumé !
On le présente sur son site : « Karim Rashid is one of the most prolific designers of his generation. Over 3000 designs in production, over 300 awards and working in over 40 countries attest to Karim’s legend of design.« , cela impose mais jouit il d’une notoriété équivalente dans notre petit hexagone ?
Phrase sélectionnée : « I always disliked the idea that bright colors are only for children and when we get older we conform to dark hues » !
– Architect, DJ, stylist, do you consider yourself as a designer ?
Yes I am a designer ! Never a stylist. Design is about living in the present — style is about living in the past. Design shapes our future, stylists haunts us with history. I am not interest in the past and not interested in people’s interest in the past.Design is about progress, about moving us forward, about challenging and elevating the human spirit. We should be conscious and sensorially attune with this world in this moment.
– In your opinion, why the name of Karim Rashid is not really famous in France ?
Firstly Starck is French, secondly the French support their native talent always very well. French support french. Starck became known for designing Miterrand’s office back in 1986 and this made him well known in France.
In United states there is no support for design like in france, and if there is, it is euro-centric, not supportive of American talent. So it is much harder for an American designer to become well known in United Staes, let alone the world. So I have become well known in the world and still 90% of my work is outside the USA. But I will say that some of my greatest work has come from collaborations with French companies. I’ve worked with LaCie, Christofle, Davidoff, Kenzo, Veuve Clicquot, BPI (all Issey Miyake cosmetics), XO to name a few.
– What do you think of French design ?
France had a phenomenal history of Design since back in early modernism with Eileen grey, Le Corbusier to Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouve and serge mouille. Then with my favorite period of french design, the plastic space age of the 60’s with Andre Couregges, Pierre Cardin, Olivier Mourgue, and pierre paulin. And then in the 90’s with Starck, Pillet, Borillics and others. But now there is no National style. I feel today we live in such a global environment, that the distinct separation in style, taste, and local culture is diminishing.
As the world gets smaller and smaller, and we have access to international markets through the internet and new technologies, the cultural lines begin to blur and fade. In fact the world is becoming somewhat homogenous due to mass production but I think that with new technologies, we will once again start to see very desperate and diversified products especially when manufacturing- on-demand is in place. The only difference eventually in humans will be the individual not race, creed, color, or religion or borders.
That said I greatly respect the work of French Designers. Philippe Starck is one of my idols. The Bouroullec brothers make very thoughtful work. But they do not design with a National style. Design is global, not local.
– What creation makes you most proud of ?
Well that is a difficult task! As with most creative people it is difficult to have a favorite since my mind and passion is always into my latest projects. I am now designing several buildings in the world from Latvia to Miami to Toronto to new york so I am quite excited about shaping architecture and people’s domestic lives. But if I must choose then I am proud of the Garbo can for Umbra that I designed in 1994 since it is 20 years old and still so successful and faucets I designed for Cisal in 2007 (I think they were quite original). My other favorite design is the Kaj watch for Alessi. I have all 12 colors so I change them everyday. They are so light, so comfortable, so simple, and inexpensive, which is really my mantra. I must say that I enjoy from micro to macro, anything and everything that creates a better human experience.
– Where do you get this colorful inspiration ?
Color is very real, very strong, and has a real physical presence. It is not abstract and intangible. I think it is one of the most beautiful phenomena of our existence. Color is life and for me, color is a way of dealing with and touching our emotions, our psyche, and our spiritual being.
I always disliked the idea that bright colors are only for children and when we get older we conform to dark hues, to banal grey and browns. Color should spread across all the years, children should be brought up with sophisticated colors and hues too, not brash primaries.
Will you ever get out of this influence Pop, or it will remain your signature ? My work is digipop which is 21st. Century and my signiture is POPulist and POPular and for the global POPulation.
Hotels, offices .. Why this orientation towards the professional world ? a choice ? I love the larger experiential impact an interior can have on people lives. With hospitality design or public space, I know that masses of people have access to my designs, and they aren’t just looking at it, they are physically immersing themselves inside my concepts. But I wouldn’t say hotels and offices are my orientation or choice – just what work comes along at the moment. People see me in one vernacular then think it’s all I can do. I designed one condo in NYC and now I’m designing 8 different residential buildings globally.
– What does your workspace ? studio ? Home …?
I had an office in Chelsea NYC for about 20 years and finally moved to a very different area – classic New York in Hell’s Kitchen midtown on 53rd street, the same street as MOMA, and close to Columbus circle, MAD Museum, the theatre district, central park and Times Square. I have been here now about 1 year and I never thought I would love being in the center of Manhattan but I must say with all the skyscrapers, Seagram’s building, Mies towers, and my favorite skyscraper the Hearst Tower, I love it here. The only part of Chelsea I will miss is all the neighboring art galleries. The new office has 8 meter ceilings and incredible daylight from all directions. The space was designed to have a volumes sense of serenity for optimum creativity. I chose the space because it is about 500 sq, meters with 8 meter high ceilings and fantastic light from any directions. Huge windows flood the office and reception space with light. We even have glass floors to bring light down to the basement and skylights.
– Do you work in a team ?
Absolutely, I have a staff of 20 in my NYC office and just opned a new offcie in china this year with 20 people. The ‘Krew’ is very international with designers from Netherlands, Colombia, Slovakia, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Switzerland, Italy, Iran, Egypt, Brazil, China, and the USA. We are a big family, with many of the staff working here for 8-10 years.
– How do you choose your projects ?
I don’t; My clients choose me. The one thing I have learned in the last 20 years is that as designers we see potential in everything, in every project, in every possibly, but it is not true. We are optimists to our demise. The most important thing is a good relationship. Now I know the minute I meet someone whether we will do great work together or not, and design is completely collaborative with your client. It should not be a war, or you struggling to get your ideas across. You either see eye to eye or forget it – you will be wasting your time.
– Where do you see yourself in 10 years ?
Still Designing, Living in a beautiful custom home on a few acres. It will be my Palais Bulles. I predict that in the future we will have no wallet, no credit cards, no keys, no health card, no money, no identification, no passport – it will all be with our finger print or a smart tattoo, hence we will have clothes with no pockets. So we have our hands free and do not have to carry anything, and we are free to go and travel anywhere. We will have one piece jumpsuits that are form fitting and made of liquid crystal polymer so that we can put any video, image, graphics, all over our bodies. The outfit will heat and cool down when we need it. The collar will have a scrolling text that broadcasts my thoughts (the thoughts I want to be communicated). That is my future that I want now. I want to future to have no borders, no boundaries, no jingoism, no racism, no prejudices, no fanatics, no violence, no cancer, no heart decease, no toxic chemicals, no pollution, no GMO’s, no pesticides, no water crisis, no poverty, no nuclear arms, no dictators. Just one big beautiful world.
What are the things we can wish you for the future ? Good Health, Great Clients, Years of Design ahead of me. I believe my best wor ksi yet to come and I am determeidn to create responsible sutainable smart projects that push boundaires and become more radical and not create conservative banal things that many designers do to sell their soul.
Merci à Karim de nous avoir dédié quelques minutes de son temps, merci également à l’agence Pour l’amour du beau (site en approche), pour cette belle mise en relation.