by: Design Translator

PSFK posted an article on their blog about Starck feeling that “Design is Dead” and is also shamed for all the excess he has created in his designs. Well it was sometime ago when he spoke about his distaste for design, and a year ago we covered this Icon article, where he indicated similarly. This time around he continues his tirade by telling a German news weekly Die Zeit that:

I was a producer of materiality and I am ashamed of this fact.Everything I designed was unnecessary. I will definitely give up in two years’ time. I want to do something else, but I don’t know what yet. I want to find a new way of expressing myself …design is a dreadful form of expression…. In future there will be no more designers. The designers of the future will be the personal coach, the gym trainer, the diet consultant.”

I’m sorry but can something die twice? Third time lucky? Well, at first the cynic that I am believes that Starck is up to his usual shock tactics. Ironically going against a type of design that he had a hand in popularizing.

He has expressed before that he favors any publicity (good/bad) that gets people talking (i.e. Juicy Salif), and as with this blog and every other blog that reproduces this article will have taken the bait and continue to spin his own fame to the next level. Problem is that, it is too good a discussion point to pass up.

But then I decided to take a step back and not look at things out of context as I feel many of the other blogs have. Check out the Die Zeit German language article here and the English translation here, for the full context of this discussion, so that you can decide for yourself if “design is dead”.

I can see where he is going with this discussion, and I think he knows what has to be done. But fickle as he is, the question is, is he doing anything about it? Probably not, as he has been ranting and raving about it since 2002, and is still talking about it today.

From the translation:

I have designed so many things without ever really being interested in them. Maybe all these years were necessary for me to ultimatively recognize that we, after all, don’t need anything. We always have too much (stuff)…Everything I have created is absolutely unnecessary. Design, structurally seen, is absolutely voide of use. A useful profession would be to be an astronomer, a biologist or something of that kind. Design really is nothing. I have tried to install my designs with a sense of meaning and energy, and even when I tried to give my best it was still in vain…Society is pursuing a strategy of dematerialization: it is more and more about intelligence and less about material. Take a computer, for example. In the beginning, computers were big as a house. Now there are computers in the size of only a credit card. In ten years from now they are going to be in our bodies - bionics. In fifty years from now, the concept of computers will have dematerialized itself.

If you can ignore his haughty language, he might have something here. It is easy to misunderstand him, as most blogs (yes even the top tier ones) have, quoted him out of context and it is obvious his English is not the best. Personally I tend to agree with csven’s, (from reBang) take on this situation. Design is not dead, per say, but design as we know it is evolving.

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