Philippe Starck, Master of Mid-Century Modern Ingenuity

When it comes to design culture, Philippe Starck provides the living embodiment of diversity and verve. Born in 1949, Starck found inspiration through the work of his father – a commendable aircraft designer. As he grew up, Starck developed an aptitude for a world of hands-on projects and drawing boards, pursuing his education in Paris, and staying within the city long after his graduation to soak up the culture. Over time, he became well known for his style and taste, and demand for his work began to grow, making him into one of the most prolific and famous designers of his time. Even the French President, Francois Mitterand, knew the benefit of bringing Starck in to design his palace suite.

Internationally acclaimed, this rebellious and imaginative architect, creator, and designer considers it his duty to share his image of a better world. To that end, he has developed objects and creations that focus on the purpose of being “good”, above simply being “beautiful”.


Philippe Starck Masters Chair and Barstool

Masters Chair and Barstool

With the Master’s chair and barstool, Philippe Starck pays tribute to three Mid-Century modern furniture design icons. Using a fusion of styles, he incorporated a number of ideas, including Arne Jacobsen’s 7 Series, Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Armchair, and Charles Eames’ Eiffel Chair into a captivating and stylistic hybrid.

To Starck, the “historical lines” of the chair offered a modern reflection of the era. By considering the masters that came before him, he believed that he could blend masterpieces into a new concept of beauty and comfort. The seat itself is spacious and cozy, but it’s the back of the chair that really catches the eye, with curvaceous crossing lines connecting to meet each other at the shell. The stool version uses slightly longer legs and a smaller seat, but the shapely design remains the same.


Philippe Starck Victoria Ghost Chair

Victoria Ghost Chair

The Victoria Ghost Chair, created by Philippe Starck, is a courageous archetype of the Mid-Century single-mold injection product. The chair provides a baroque-inspired interpretation of modern form, developed with classic lines and a traditional, geometric seat. Though the transparent polycarbonate of the shell serves to make the seat feel somehow spectral, it is charming, elegant, and completely robust.


Philippe Starck Louis Ghost Chair

Louis Ghost Chair

There are few things more quintessentially modern than taking a design which is centuries old and recreating it into a celebration of crystal-clear plastic. Philippe Stark used his line of creations for the plastic manufacturer Kartell, to forge one of the most memorable design collaborations of all time. Eliciting connections with the classic Louis XV chair, it is suitable throughout homes and offices, both indoors and outdoors. In 2002, when the Louis Ghost Chair was revealed, a design sensation took place in response to the expression of elegant irony and technological innovation.

Today, the Louis Ghost Chair remains to be a completely unique product, both handsome and traditional, while inescapably modern and playful.


Philippe Starck Charles Ghost Stool

Charles Ghost Stool

Philippe Starck’s Charles Ghost Stool stands as a further stage in his line of polycarbonate furniture products, designed for Kartell. This time, the piece is evocative of Parisian nineteenth century bar stools; however it still encompasses that exciting Mid-Century modern edge. The style and shape of the stool is intended to haunt users with images of the 1800s with slightly upturned rounded legs defining the basic characteristics of classic high stools. Constructed from a block of transparent polycarbonate, today the Charles Ghost Stool is available in numerous heights and color combinations.


Philippe Starck Costes Chair

Costes Chair

Constructed by a prodigy of design, the Costes chair was born as part of the interior design project for the Cafe Costes during 1983. This commission helped to offer Starck some of the recognition that he deserved, while furthering his concentration on exceptional contributions to the hospitality and design sectors. Created with beautifully carved wood and elegance, the most characteristic attribute of this piece is the three legs. The choice of fewer legs wasn’t just a stylistic one for Starck, rather he believed that less legs would limit the risk of waiters tripping in crowded cafes.


Philippe Starck Eros Chair

Ero|S| Chair

A swiveling armchair that uses the quintessentially Mid-Century modern “egg-shaped” design, the Ero|S| Chair by Philippe Starck combines elegance, sophistication, and vibrancy into a single piece. Perfect for use around the home, or to add something unique to an office setting, the Ero|S| is offered in numerous transparent and colored options, either with a four-legged structure, on caster wheels, or with an aluminum central support.


Philippe Starck Guns Table Lamp

Guns Table Lamp

The Gun table lamp collection was designed by Philippe Stark in 2005, as a response to the society he believed to be representative of modern life. A firm advocate of peace and love, the gun collection is Starck’s artistic weapon in the battle to announce his political views.

Never one to shy away from designs that could provoke controversy, the Mid-Century modern designer’s gun collection was potentially the most influential and talked-about piece in the 2005 Milan showcase. The interior of each creation offers a silkscreen arrangement of soft crosses – an element which serves as a metaphor to bring forth memories of lost loved ones.

Impact of Philippe Starck on the World Today

One of the most influential and recognized contemporary designers in the world, Philippe Starck is known for his ability to place integrity and honesty within the core of his designs, thereby producing durable and long-living products. Today, a world without Philippe Starck is inconceivable – his influence on the evolution of design, and the process that humans use to develop and meet their own needs, is completely ubiquitous. Though it may not always be immediately identified, Starck’s influence embodies the principles of elite design, flowing throughout the lifeblood that keeps Mid-Century modern design in motion.

Philippe Starck has always seen his mission as a designer as one dedicated to making life easier and better for as many people as possible. His enthusiasm for imagination, love of ideas, and concern for environmental implications have all contributed to his determination to change the world for the better.