Our next stop at this years NYCxDESIGN was to the Axor Showroom, where we had the pleasure of meeting Phillipe Starck himself. Stark was there introducing his gorgeous new line of bathroom fixtures for the long-established designer-favorite, German brand, Hansgrohe.
He took us through his design process, explaining how he always likes to start with hand sketching rather than jumping in with software-enabled design. Starck further commented on this, saying that he believes when you use computer software for the embryonic stage of a given design ones creativity is limited to the framework or workflow imposed by the software. When one hand draws designs onto a blank canvas, there are no such limitations. For the beautiful Axor bathroom fixtures, Starck had spent months of drawing and re-drawing, and even modeling his designs in order to strip down any unnecessary parts, materials and form.One of his guiding principals is that minimalist design is both elegant and timeless; and therefore we should strive to achieve this wherever possible.
Even considering the fact that I got to meet one of my favorite designers, and certainly one who provides me with a great deal of inspiration. I have to say that I enjoyed this event tremendously and much more than I expected to do so prior to hearing him speak. For this was no ordinary product launch event, in which we typically get a reasonable amount of background information and an unreasonable amount of marketing focus, primarily because Phillipe Starck is both personable and, as it turns out, very funny with an endearing sense of humor. Starck was a showman on this (mini) stage. experienced, witty and able to connect with the audience, he achieved what so many of these launches fail to, an engaging, entertaining and informational product overview, sprinkled with a sense of humility. A chance to enjoy the product, the designer, and the manufacturer, and leave feeling informed and not overwhelmed was a refreshing take on so many product launches that rely on a little champagne or glitz to keep the audience focused. Maybe it was heady mix of design icon and organic theme that swept us off to utopia? While Monsieur Starck was the highlight of the event, of course, it would be rude not to mention the delightful, and organic, lunch snack, as well as the promotional gift bag full of goodies that I proudly photographed when I got home.
Thank you, Phillipe Starck, for a memorable product launch. Thank you, Axor, for the invite – and, lest we forget, a wonderful range of bathroom hardware perfect for my next project!