Philippe Starck talks about beauty, happiness and disappointment

Recently, the world premiere of the new Axor Starck bathroom collection took place in Berlin. For 20 years now, Axor, the designer brand of Hansgrohe, has been collaborating with renowned French designer Philippe Starck to create bathroom collections that have sought to redefine the room as a space for living. It's no surprise that baths and showers and all the fixtures and fittings in between are as comfortable and luxurious as ever before. It's thanks to design icons like Starck who are leading the way in beautiful design.

One of the best-known designers in the world, Starck's work range from spectacular interior designs and architecture, to beautifully designed homewares. His bold reinvention of everyday objects includes the Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer for Alessi, the Ghost chair for Kartell, and the Gun lamp for Flos.

The Axor Starck Organic range is the fifth collection that has been created for the luxury bathroom brand since they began working together back in the early 1990s. To take a look at the latest collection and hear some Starck insight from the man himself, ACHICA Living went along to Berlin. As is to be expected at a presentation by Philippe Starck there is never a dull moment. He is full of charm, witty, engaging and his strong French accent makes him even more endearing. During the launch of his new range he gave us a candid insight into the inner workings of his mind...


Philippe Starck interview 

The inspiration for Axor Starck Organic

“I was thinking and looking and finally I found two elements. The first is a plant. A plant is free and in spring, when you go to the forest and you see the new flowers and the new trees, it is incredibly sexy. There is an incredible energy in a plant and I realised this was a clue. Afterwards, I went home and I saw my wife. I looked at her and I thought this is also interesting. I looked at her body and I said ‘Wow. There is nothing more elegant than her body.’ I thought perhaps I had a solution. If I can find the minimum, the essential but with the natural inspiration of the human body and the plant, perhaps I have the final solution.”

His idea of beauty 

For me the idea of beauty does not have a clear meaning. I do not know what beautiful is. For me beautiful is just a sticker. I think the real way to understand whether something is beautiful or not is to understand the balance of the parameters. When you understand the balance of the parameters this is called harmony.”

How he works

“Every August I go to my house in Formentera, which I have had for 46 years. There is a gate and on the gate is a sign that says: ‘No visit without appointment’. When I am there I am working, working, working, night and day with my wife and it’s very boring for her. I work alone for 8-10 hours a day especially from June to the middle of September and everything is done during this time. This is my period of creativity.”

If designing is fun

“It is the best time of your life, but it is not fun. It is like a drug addiction. After these three months of work I go to the clinic to rest because I am destroyed and am in pain.”

If he is ever disappointed with his creations

“I am always disappointed. Sometimes I cry when I see the results. I never go to hotels or restaurants that I have designed, because for me they are like a mirror, which reflect all my mistakes, my weaknesses.”

If he is happy

“That is a big mistake to ask that question. But since I married Jasmine I have slowly started to understand what it is.”

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Stacey Sheppard Guest Blogger

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