Category Archives: Philippe Starck

STARCKphan Website Launches Visual Encyclopedia Of Philippe Starck Designs

Faustian urGe Introduces A New Website — STARCKphan — To Satisfy An urGe To Share The Design World of Philippe Starck

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Faustian urGe has for years intermixed a passion for design along with political rants, socio-political analysis, and opinions. While this urGe has led to several postings about Philippe Starck designs for yachts and a few other assorted creations, it has always been a desire to present the full gamut of Starck’s talents and design ventures to readers. The problem has been that such a compendium is much too large for a blog post, or even dozens of blog posts! The solution? A new website devoted entirely to sharing the library of Philippe Stark’s design history.

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STARCKphan,” where you may explore a visual encyclopedia of design projects and efforts by today’s foremost+famous+infamous+renowned+vilified designer+architect+intellect: Philippe Starck. I say that I am a Philippe Starck fan who appreciates his work and agrees with his politics. My friends say I am brainwashed and/or obsessed. Perhaps it’s all true. Either way, my goal with this site is to provide a visual repository of Starck’s work.

Starck’s designs are innovative, sexy, playful, stimulating, provocative, fun, compelling, daring, and sometimes surrealistic — to me, everything great design should be about. I did not always subscribe to this position. Once-upon-a-time my design ethic was cold and logical… or rather, rational design. Modernism and brutalism were my comfort styles. That is… until… I experienced Starck’s designs through his original design for the Royalton Hotel In NYC. Through Starck’s work, I came to appreciate the design additions of emotion+intelligence+playfulness+humor. Life for me has gratefully never been viewed the same since then.

Design — all of it: good, bad, indifferent, plebeian, generic, crass, etc — defines the context of our lives. It is the visual stage upon which we all exist, even if not consciously aware of the fact. Design reflects our priorities as individuals and as a people. For me, I appreciate the exciting stimulation along with an inherent acknowledgment of responsibility for the world’s well-being that Starck employs.


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Virtuelle by Starck — Regatta Luxury Sailing

VIRTUELLE — 79 feet (24m) of sleek, minimalist, fast sailing luxury — represents Philippe Starck’s first foray into the realm of elite boat design in 1999. Prior, Starck’s nautical efforts focused on the still expensive, but more affordable, sailboats of French manufacturer, Beneteau.

The Concept

The Reality: Virtuelle

Philippe Starck’s design artistry established Virtuelle as a “masterpiece of elegance and technology.” His skill applied to both the exterior design and interior design created Virtuelle’s dual personality as racing-fast cruiser and modern, elite luxury yacht. As racer, her record includes first place finish at the 2001 Maxi Rolex World Championship. As luxury yacht, she was the first salvo into the new millennium for a work of modern architectural naval art.

During the day, Virtuelle’s main interior cabin is brilliantly illuminated by a large central, circular skylight, the shape and concept of which are repeated for the deck skylight and two large hull portholes. The space is designed to define a smooth, modern, minimalist aesthetic while the material — of composite thin glass and colored epoxy resin impregnated into cotton laminate — applied to all walls, floors, doors, and cabinets is to present a surprisingly warm, comfortable environment.

Virtuelle presents a large saloon for entertaining and an elegant dining area with table for eight guests. In typical Starck style, this dining table offers a surprising secondary use as computer/navigation center for the head of the table — with carefully integrated and unobserved, but easily accessible, systems made operational in seconds.

The forward-most cabin offers the owner’s suite and private bath facilities. Mid-ship are two ensuite guest cabins with two twin beds each. Crew quarters sit at the rear of the boat on each side of the engine room.

Virtuelle - Refinished & Available, It Seems, At 2.4 Million Euro



Philippe Starck & Jasmine Starck

Philippe Starck, french designer, is one of my favorite designer/architects. We all know Starck‘s work. He’s globally famous and a household name, but when you list some of the items he’s created in the past like his watch, toothbrush, chair, shoes, even high-tech windmills… one comes to realize that it’s all fairly utilitarian, albiet with flair.

Whereas he works to establish “Democratic Design,” attainable everyday objects in a better way, Starck has been designing some ultra high-end super yachts as of late, such as his Giga Yacht ‘A’ for 39 year-old Russian billionaire, Andrey Melnichenko. The 394-foot, $350 Million “A” has become the most talked-about yacht on the seas.

With its radical shape—more sleek and stealthy warship than boxy pleasure boat—and reams of custom parts and finishes (including bath knobs costing $40,000 apiece), “A” is a conspicuous marker of an ocean-going plutocracy that’s largely been untouched by the recession.

Working with shipbuilder Feadship out of the Netherlands, Starck and team also worked to create a classic reinterpretation of sailings glory days – The Wedge Too. At 215 feet, the ship includes a complete owner’s deck, three VIP cabins, 4 guest rooms and facilities for 20 staff members.

Stark explains:

“I am an environmentalist and a left winger: yachts are among the most daftest capitalist toys imaginable… I decided I might as well at least help the wealthy create something different: yachts that are not just a mountain of gold. So I designed something timeless and elegant…”

Indeed, Starck has hit upon success with a classic and a futuristic effort. Starck designed not only the ships and their hulls but also the entire interiors, where nearly every item and fitting — from sofas and chairs, to lights and textiles, to dinnerware and glassware — is a Starck design.

Let’s take a look first at “Wedge Too” and then “A.”

Click on images for large views


The Ship

The Concept

The Reality - Wedge Too

Lifestyle Aboard


The Ship


The Concept

The Reality - Yacht "A"

Lifestyle Aboard

The Tenders (The smaller vessels carried aboard “A” and used as “limos” to ferry owner and guests to/from ship and shore)

Parting Glance

I crave the designs of Philippe Starck and have many of his furnishings in my own home, and I salivate at these impressive private ships… But, it must be said that these examples represent the growing disparity between the classes throughout the world and most glaringly in the United States.

Fortunately Starck, a devout leftist, maintains a healthy realism in regard to such work: he has often remarked that the fees from such projects for the wealthy allow him to invest in and create the “Democratic Design” he truly desires be affordable (though certainly not cheap) for the mainstream citizen.