“What is the future of design, well there isn’t, because you have to understand that everything has a birth, a life and a death and for design it will be the same”, he said. he commented on the sidelines of the Furniture Fair in Milan where he had come to present his latest creation, a refined medallion chair for Dior.

Could one of the most prolific inventors of his generation, Philippe Starck, 73, who has designed iconic hotels, luxury yachts and best-selling furniture, juicers and toothbrushes, stop short in its momentum?

Not immediately: “if the object is right, if it deserves to exist, if it was made with the minimum of materials and the minimum of energy, if it is accessible to the maximum number of people, if it brings (…) happiness, laughter” and allows “to sit down, wash, eat, in this case it was useful and I am proud of it”.

– “An idea every sixteen seconds” –

This jack-of-all-trades is really not about to give up creation: “as I have an idea every sixteen seconds, I have to satisfy everyone, so it’s really democratic design” accessible to all, he comments.

But everything will have an end, with “dematerialization”: “we make everything disappear, that is to say we increase the power of intelligence and we make matter disappear, it is normal because the more there is materiality, the less humanity there is”, explains this science enthusiast.

“Look at your iPhone: the number of hardware products it replaces, it’s extraordinary, it’s replacing hundreds of things. Before, the size of a computer, it was an apartment building, a suburban house , now it’s embedded under the skin, it’s going to switch to bionism”.

“The goal will be reached” when “the man will be naked on the beach, ultra-powerful, ultra-calculating, ultra-communicating, so it’s a story of 20 years maximum”, advances this agitator of ideas, with a small smile.

His obsession: “All my life I have tried to find the center of things, the meaning of things, the soul of things, the spine, the bone”, affirms this son of an aeronautical engineer who introduces himself even as an “explorer”.

“My father made planes and for a plane to fly, it has to be light, you have to remove everything that is useless”, explains this proclaimed autodidact who confesses, with a certain sense of self-mockery, have “very little” attended school.

– Stop overconsumption –

What marked him the most in his work? “Fidelity to my ethics, the extreme rigor that I have with myself, it’s quite painful to tell the truth, to try to stick to an ethic that is based on a form of creativity and honesty” .

Declared ecological fiber, cantor of “positive degrowth”, Philippe Starck has designed electric bicycles, intelligent thermostats or even wind turbines for individuals.

“Ecology is above all to say to yourself I would like to buy this, but do I need it? If you are honest with yourself, 80% of you will answer no”.

But also, it’s to say “I’m buying it, but it’s for me, for life, for all time, it must last, and I’m very careful” to preserve the object.

How can a designer help protect the environment? The answer is laconic: “Well, by not producing”.

“And if afterwards he really has something that is very useful, something that he feels right to do, he must interpret his idea with a minimum of materials and a minimum of energy, and it takes longevity. , but the best thing is really not to do it”.