Designer Karim Rashid (born 1960) designed thousands of objects and received hundreds of international awards. His name became a household name when talking about popularity, marketing response and the widest specialization (or lack thereof) in design.
Can you call yourself a perfectionist? Absolutely for sure! I work with modern culture as a sculptor. I am a designer, an artist, a nonconformist, a perfectionist – so I am adjusted to life. And I’m impatient, hardworking, optimistic, loving, generous, kind and scrupulous.
When you start work, do you immediately imagine the result? It often happens that I have much more ideas than customers can implement. I do not like half-measures; since I came to this world, my task is to give my best, to contribute as much as possible. If I have started the project, it must have some kind of zest. It is very important for me that, as a result of the creative process, things appear that will bring about a sensual response that people will enjoy with pleasure. I myself use my products, so I know what I’m talking about.
Karim Rashid: “I constantly observe, analyze. I’m thoroughly researching everything around, in our artificially created environment. “
Do you need any special conditions, atmosphere? The most difficult is complete freedom of creativity. The more requirements, wishes from the client, the easier: they stimulate new ideas. A striking example of this is Rich’s premium brand and its RichCrystal line, which was supposed to be a stylish solution for bars and restaurants. There are many packages of juice for every taste and color, it is very difficult to come up with something really new. However, after studying and working out the options, we managed to create a minimalistic image with the Rich team, a kind of degeneration of the classical form. The bottle does not have sharp corners, so it is easy to take, it is pleasant to the touch. Now it’s not just an unnamed juice in a faceless glass, but an exquisite premium drink.
What are the main trends in interior design? I do not like trends and I do not really like the word “style”. The digital transformation of our world has led to the fact that because of the overabundance of visual information, we have lost the depth of perception. We do not see the whole landscape, but as if we are looking at it from a small window. In the pursuit of trends, many designers imitate the style. For example, industrial chic is already everywhere, it does not have its former originality. We can say that now we live in two worlds. One of them is artificial, kitsch optical illusions, and the other is a real digital world. Design should be part of modern culture, rather than fixate on style and trends.
Karim Rashid: “I respect genuine antiques, I am inspired and admired by him, but what I do not like is the imitations of the past, copies and fakes with which the world is filled.”
You said that you do not like “classics”. That is, in your opinion, what will never go out of fashion does not exist? I have nothing against antiquity. I just do not believe in reproductions. We constantly produce new items in an attempt to get closer to the past – a past in which we have never lived. If you were going to buy a car today, would you choose a horse with a cart? And if you needed a gadget to listen to music, would you buy a radio set?
From what is it definitely time to get rid of? Get rid of tasteless souvenirs. Less is better! Once again, check yourself that you really want what you are going to buy. I myself am not an anti-consumer, but I think it’s important to consume wisely. Buy only what you really need.
Can you name three things that will instantly transform the interior? Strive for order. Arrange everything in an even line: all objects, vases, books, columns. Order inspires. Order is Zen, it relaxes. Forget about the curtains: from them no use – one dust and dirt, because of them the room looks cumbersome. Buy instead of them Roman curtains. Hide all kitchen utensils. The kitchen should be minimalistic and beautiful. Only the most necessary and interesting things should remain on the surface. All the rest must be removed.
Do not clutter up space. If you have hidden something, you will not use it any more. Get rid of this.
Karim Rashid: “I am a designer, an artist, a nonconformist, a perfectionist – so I am adjusted to life. And I’m impatient, hardworking, optimistic, loving, generous, kind and scrupulous. “
Do you have idols or people who inspire you? Please, here is the whole list: Luigi Colani, Ettore Sottsass, Joe Colombo, Philippe Starck, George Nelson, Charles Eames, Isamu Noguchi, Ross Lovegrove, Bruno Munari, Carlo Molly, Gaetano Pesce, Victor Papanek, David Carson, Frederic Kisler, Shiro Kuramata , Buckminster Fuller, Zaha Hadid, Oscar Niemeyer, Toyo Ito. Of contemporary artists – Dalek, Dutchman, Jeff Koons, Peter Haley, Andy Warhol, Herold Miller, and that’s not all …
What advice would you give to designers? Design is working with modern conditions to shape the future in which a person will exist. The point is to create something qualitative, improved, moving us forward. Young, I always give such advice: “Be smart, patient, learn to learn, learn to be practical, but do not forget about poetics. Look for new ways of expression, new meanings, new aesthetics, experiment with new materials, create new paradigms. But always remember the obvious human needs that the product must meet: emotions, ease of use, technological advantage, humor, positive energy, dignity. “