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Driade and Starck - a match made in design heaven

by Elena Guarneri last modified 2008-06-20 15:11

In an age of divorce and separation at long last a marriage of true minds. Philippe Starck and Driade, the Milanese design company, celebrate 15 harmonious years together. Go to Palazzo Gallarati Scotti and join in the festivities.

Design fans shouldn't miss the wonderful exhibition in Milan's Palazzo Gallarati Scotti which celebrates 15 years of collaboration between the internationally acclaimed Parisian designer Phillippe Starck and Driade, the Milanese interior design company synonymous with quality Italian design since 1968.
Starck and Driade first met up in 1985. It was love at first sight. They both share the same ideas on the simplicity and functionality of the things they design as well as feeling the need to provide design solutions for alternative lifestyles. They both believe in the concept of 'design for everyone'.

Starck has an interesting, eclectic style. He first started designing furniture and household objects in the hope of reaching a wider, international audience. He started off his career as an interior decorator, working on the homes of VIPs such as François Mitterand. He soon began designing buildings, Café Costes in Paris is among his early work, as well as everyday objects such as toothbrushes and juicers. His latest projects include "Le Bon" a chain of 16 restaurants where the 52-year-old designer hopes to convert the food-loving French to the pleasures of simple, healthy eating in comfortable, airy surrounds.

He lives between hide-outs in France, the Balearic Isles and New York and is firmly convinced of the lack of physical barriers in the world where we live. In a recent interview with TG3 Europa he said: "Nowadays we live in a series of parallel worlds. We can no longer divide the world into geographical areas but rather groups. Europe is, and should be considered as, the sum of a number of differences. We still feel a tie to our native countries but our heads are up there in the stars." So, with cultures coming together and distances shortening design is no longer the prerogative of a privileged few. Indeed Starck won't entertain talk of 'beauty' or what is traditionally though of as beautiful.

The exhibition is running until March 17 2001.
If you wander through the "dadriade" showroom, even those of you who are less familiar with the history of design will undoubtedly recognise some of the seminal pieces of Starck's work with Driade: the three-legged "Costes" armchair – a harmonious blend of wood, leather and stainless steel - which was designed for the Parisian café of the same name; the "Royalton" range of padded furniture from the early 1990s which includes a magnificent bed complete with built-in reading lamp and bud vase; the kitchen series "Neoz" with its contrasts of stainless steel and varnished mahogany; the futuristic polypropene block tables and chairs and the acclaimed "paravent de l’autre", a screen, designed in 1991, made up of three panels where you can display your favourite photographs: both functional and outward-looking in true Starck style.

Links - Driade's official web site. - The eclectic designer's official web site with all you need to know about his life and works.
The history of Driade - Another look at the seminal design company.

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