Ahead of the most prestigious furniture fair, Salone del Mobile.Milano, we have talked with president and representative of this esteemed event...
INTERVIEW: KARIM RASHID
I am paperless, I am wireless, I am global, I am omnipresent.
Do you read design magazines?
I have not looked at a design magazine in 9 months now. I think it is hard to focus on your own work with so much information available. Though I might read design magazines if they focused solely on contemporary design and not antiquated style.
Where do you get news from?
I read the NYTimes, Herald tribune, Men’s Health, and research papers on materials, technologies online. I am also currently reading Daniel Pink’s new book on my laptop. But I find I read very little now and write constantly. I never carry any physical reading material anymore– I think we should be paperless now – newspapers should not be allowed on any flights and wireless should be on all fights. I am paperless, I am wireless, I am global, I am omnipresent.
You are on the move all the time; your favorite destination is...?
Playadel Carmen, Mexico with my wife!
We know that you are often guest in Serbia, how do you feel when you are here?
I have a fascination with Eastern Europe. I love Serbia and have a home in Belgrade. I see Eastern Europe as the next upcoming place. Everyone is psyched and enthusiastic about the rebuilding of these poetic, fulgent, romantic, and artistic places that were suppressed for years via socialist / communist regimes. Everyone I meet in Serbia is so positive and intelligent. The city is growing rapidly like Moscow, Dubrovnik, Prague, Budapest, Istanbul, etc.
What is your special corner in your home?
My Kalm Bed by Bonaldo…its where all my favorite pastimes happen ;)
My some of my favorite classic furniture:
Giuseppe Teragni chair by Zanotta
Lips couch by Studio 65 / Bocca+Edra
Wink Chair for Cassina by Toshiyuki Kita
Oceanic lamp for Memphis by Michele di Lucchi
Callimaco floor lamp by Sottsass for Artemide
Dalila II chair by Gaetano Pesce
Luigi Colani reclining chair for Kusch + co.
Yrjo Kukkapuro lounge chair for Haimi Oy
George Nelson couch for Herman Miller
Have you always wanted to become an architect or a designer?
I realized my life's mission at the age of 4. I went sketching with my father inEngland drawing churches. He taught me to see - he taught me perspective at that age - he taught me that I could design anything and touch all aspects of our physical landscape. I was obsessed with drawing eyeglasses, shoes, radios, and luggage, throughout my childhood.
Your favorite design?
My first baby is the Umbra Garbo garbage can. At that time of the Garbo’s design, the ubiquitous plastic wastebasket on the market was a rectangular black can with absolutely no character and there was little alternative. I thought that banal objects need life, they need presence, but they also need to make awful tasks more pleasant. The objective was to provide the mass market with a highly unique, yet highly utilitarian waste could, accessible at a very low cost. It had to be a multi-purpose wastebasket that is beautiful, elegant; easy to use suits a multitude of different interior environments. Other objectives were functionality, low-cost so that it is available to everyone, economical to ship, stackable for display and merchandising.
My other favorite is the Artemide Doride. I designed the Doride when I was in university at the age of 19 so to see it finally realized is a dream come true thirty years later. I envisioned a leaf blowing in the wind, moving in nature, articulating at a point in the spine, with a thin articulating curvilinear branch that can rotate seamlessly 350 degrees. The slim narrow form morphs from direct to indirect light seamlessly. The leaf is a stroke of a pen, a fluid gesture that changes to vary light.
Where do you work on your designs and projects?
I sketch profusely, drawing 20 pages a day. I love sketching on planes where I can really focus on projects. I can fill a sketchpad on a single Trans-Atlantic flight (about 100 pages). While in the studio I review 6-15 projects, either drawing, discussing them with my staff, presenting or meeting potential new clients, mixed in with interviews and event planning. Half the time I am traveling a great deal - designing and coordinating projects from the road (or air.)
You get inspiration…?
I look way beyond design and architecture for inspiration. Inspiration is accumulative. Everything can be inspiring. It is how you look at the world. I am inspired by my childhood, my education, by all my teachers I have ever had, by every project I have worked on, by every city I have traveled to, by every book I have read, by every art show I have seen, by every song I have heard, by every smell, every taste, sight, sound, and feeling.
Your designs are recognizable for their forms and colors, what is your favorite color?
Pink! Pink is my superoptimisitc white. It is energetic, fulgent, engaging, and a moxie to the masculine world that dominates our built landscape. There are so many variations and shades of pink for every mood, ever person. Pink also clearly communicates the idea of immateriality, entropy, energy, and strong optimism. Pink is the new black!
What do you think about mini STUDIO magazine?
Love the size and the content is really fun. If only life looked as good as it does on the pages of mini STUDIO magazine.
Read next luxury article: INTERVIEW: Federico Delrosso