In occasionally blistering language, Guardian's Steve Rose reviews Philippe Starck's new industrial-design-based reality show now airing in the U.K., "Design for Life." Rose calls the show, in which Starck seeks to help the British find their own currently relevant design style, "an act of Gallic gall that should have us spluttering into our Earl Grey."
...Design for Life is like The Apprentice, but with Starck as Sir Alan. Twelve young hopefuls will wheel their trolleys over to Paris to perform some tasks, the victor earning a six-month placement at Starck's studio. "In England, there is something very strange," says Starck on the programme, in thick Franglais. "Today, there is some good designer, but nobody really arrive on the market. We can per'aps create an English style." Starck, it seems, is the solution: "I shall open the zip of myself and say, 'Take what you want.'"
Rose asks the readers, "Is our design culture so bad that we need to unzip a Frenchman to save it?"
Not all vitriol, the piece contains some interesting quotes from Starck on British design, Sir Terence Conran, and why he's not planning on watching his own show (hint: he was apparently disappointed at the talent level). It also points out that he lives on a self-designed yacht in the Mediterranean and jets around the world to his 20 different homes, the stuff envy is made of. Read the piece here.