karim rashid interview
original content
feb 10, 2002
karim rashid interview


karim rashid
© designboom

 

 

we met karim rashid in milan on february 2002

 

 

what is the best moment of the day?
5 o’clock in the evening– you know why, the sun.
I love this time when the sun is going down…
so it can be 8 o’clock in the summer, 5 o’clock in the winter.

 

 

what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?
ambient things. there is a dj I like, terry’s cafe., baby mamouth
I used to be a dj in the 70′s, and I appreciate that obsession
with the most contemporary kind of music you can find

 

 

left: ‘kareames’, for magis, 2000

right: ‘kapsule’, storage kid’s chairs for bozart, 2001

 

 

do you listen to the radio?
yes.

 

 

what books do you have on your bedside table?
I have 3: tipping point, about how one person can effect the world,
can make a change, by a brilliant guy,
then the psychology of everyday things by donald norman,
which I used to use a lot when I was teaching,
and the autobiography of miles davis, what a story, it’s fantastic

 

 

do you read design magazines?
yes I do

 

 

where do you get news from?
cnn, the internet.

 

 

 ‘oh’, chair for umbra

 

 

do you notice how women dress?
do you have any preferences?
many, I love women’s clothing, and actually I’m doing a collection
of men’s and women’s clothing which I’ll show in september in paris and new york.
I’m obsessed with tailoring, and I’m doing a line of furniture for edra,
and the entire pieces of furniture are all really complex patterns,
so these pieces of furniture look more like they come from the world of tailoring
rather than from the world of design of furniture.

people live too much in the past, they reference too much to past styles,
and traditional behaviors and rituals. I’m only interested in completely contemporary living.
for example, I only wear microfibers, its all grey, silver, and white stuff,
its smart, its clothing that has to do with the time we’re living in,
not trying to be something we’re not.

 

 

what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?
I avoid wearing black. I hate black.

 

 

do you have any pets?
no, no pets.

 

 

‘pleasurescape’, installation at the rice gallery,
san francisco, 2001

 

 

where do you work on your designs and projects?
a lot on airplanes. I travel a lot, and it is a time to be alone.
in my office or in my home its very hard to be alone

 

 

who would you like to design something for?
I want to design some luggage for someone, a stereo system, a private house, a robot

 

 

do you discuss your work with architects and designers?
yes a lot, my brother hani rashid, who is an architect, ross lovegrove, toyo ito
david shearer, paola antonelli

 

 

left: ‘morphscape’, laminate for wilsonart, 1999

center: ‘one dress’ for one, 2000

right: cybermix and hypermix collections
for cybercouture / pia myrvold, 2002

 

 

 

describe your style like a good friend of yours would describe it
I wrote a little manifest once about what I thought my style was,
and I called it “sensual minimalism” or “sensualism”, you concentrate on
the subject matter of the object rather than on the form of the object,
and through that, because there’s not a lot of adornment, it becomes relatively minimal.
all the parts are there because they’re integral.
I also think my work is fluid, soft, organic, human, that’s why its sensual.

 

 

you’ve written a book, I want to change the world, it’s a big world…
I used that title for three reasons: number one I think every artist, designer,
always wants to contribute something to culture, and so I admitted it.
I decided just to admit it. I’ve always been obsessed with doing this,
even as a four year old child, I used to draw pictures of a church with my father,
but I always wanted to change something: the windows…
secondly I almost consider myself more of an artist than a hard-core industrial designer, because there’s this weird drive internally to do something original in the world.
the other definition is because there was this utopian vision that architects
in the 20th century had, they only saw the world one way.
so in the book there is an article about how we live in a very complex world,
and it can never be a utopian singular vision, and I would never want to mandate
my vision on everyone else, I’m just contributing to lots of sensibilities.

 

 

issey miyake l’eau d’issey, 1999

 

 

is there any architect or designer from past you appreciate a lot?
many many many… gio ponti, luigi colani, mies van der rohe…

 

 

and those still active, are there any particular ones you appreciate?
I like tadao ando very much, a lot of japanese architects in general,
there is something hard yet sensitive about their work

 

 

did you always want to become an architect or designer?
yes, a designer

 

 

‘I want to change the world’, book
thames and hudson, 2001

 

 

on the news broadcast they said that italians are afraid of unemployment,
criminality and pollution. what are you afraid of regarding the future?
I have no fear, I love evolution, I’m looking forward to the day when
we’re 50% synthetic and artificial, there’s something obsessive,
sort of like science fiction

 

 

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