18 August 2008

Mister Impossible

There is a very interesting and insightful mini-interview with Philippe Starck in the September 2008 issue of WIRED Magazine. It starts out with the inspiration for his latest chair, Mr. Impossible, and goes into "green" philosophy (he's actually smart about it too).

Interview with Philippe Starck

What was the inspiration for Mr. Impossible?
The speed of evolution of our civilization and the dematerialization that rules all our production. Take the computer: It was the size of a room, then a briefcase. Now it's a credit card. You cannot dematerialize a chair completely because you must continue to st on it. But you can make it invisible. That's why I made the Mr. Impossible with a double shell – it's basically made of air.

Recently, you have begun to look at the environmental impact of your designs. How does a plastic chair fit in?
The stupidity of the ecological movement is that people kill trees for wood. It's ridiculous. The best ecological strategy is to make products of a very high creative quality, so you can keep them for three generations. I prefer to make a very good chair in the best polycarbonate than make any shit in wood that will be in the trash one year later.

Why not use recycled plastic?
It's a little joke of a material. You can do almost nothing with it. And I also refuse bioplastic, which comes from something that people can eat. Scientists agree that we have a real food problem, a famine approaching. It's a crime against humanity to take something you can eat and make a chair – or use it as gas for your SUV.

How do you reconcile those principles with your position as creative director for Virgin Galactic?
Every project should fit the big image of evolution. You can consider Virgin Galactic as something only for rich people, but you can also analyze the incredible help that it will give us. The exploration of space is a vital part of our evolution. We don't have any future if we don't go into space. This world will explode in 4 billion years. We have time, but not so much.
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