Sunday, September 13, 2009

Philippe Starck Launches Reality TV Show About Design

A new reality TV show about design on Britain's BBC2 follows French design guru Philippe Starck (left) on a search for an apprentice from a group of young hopefuls (right) who live together in one of Starck's design hotels.

Similar to The Apprentice, Starck's new series, which began on BBC2 in September, is called Design for Life. Following the typical format, he takes 12 young British designers, sets them challenges and each week eliminates the weakest. The winner becomes part of Starck's "tribe" (his Parisian design company) for six months and their winning concept given the opportunity to become as famous as Starck's iconic orange-squeezer that looks like a 1950s sci-fi space rocket.

The aim of the series, according to Starck, is to create an "English style". He doesn't believe that the British have had a new national design aesthetic since Terence Conran opened his first branch of Habitat in the early 1960s.

Unlike other shows, the contestants were selected by Starck himself (not by producers) on the basis of paper drawings that were submitted. He selected ideas that were not necessarily great but that he felt had potential... people who think freely and differently. A lot of what he is trying to do is get people to embrace a new way of looking at the world.

Apparently the result of Starck's series is that the carefully guarded successful design is, in fact, a thing of beautiful and functional design and might enjoy a longer life than the television show itself.

No comments: