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Philippe Starck – School of Design BBC2 15 September, 2009

Posted by vickyharrison in Vicky's blog.
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Described by The Independent as “a cocktail of Dragons’ Den, The Apprentice and How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” BBC 2’s new reality show ‘Design for Life’ kicked off last night with an action-packed first episode.

It’s a familiar format which has been livened up by the enthusiastic and unpredictable Philippe Starck (polar opposite of The Apprentice’s Sir Alan). 12 contestants have to compete for a high-stakes prize (a placement at Philippe Starck’s world famous design agency) with one contestant being eliminated each week. Last night’s episode saw the contestants thrown together in a studio in Paris where the aspiring designers were greeted by a typically exuberant Starck who swept in on a motorbike for his dramatic first entrance. After quick introductions he sent them all off in the back of an army truck to the nearest supermarket for their first design challenge.


Image credit: Philippe Starck

Asked to find examples of good and bad design the contestants were clearly feeling the pressure right from the start as they made a panicked dash around the supermarket. And back in the studio, it seems that they may have had good reason to be nervous. Each student was asked to explain their design choices to which Starck gave a crushingly honest appraisal. ‘Boring….lazy…obvious’ were a few choice comments (although he did have a point). So it was back to the drawing board for them as they were given 10 minutes to come up with a pitch to convince Starck that they deserved to stay in the competition. So no pressure then.

After this, two contestants were sent home, leaving the remaining wannabe designers holed up in an apartment together to face the next few weeks. From now on they will face increasingly challenging tasks until only one student remains to claim the prize of a six month placement in Starck’s design agency in Paris. I predict high drama.



1. arthur c sewel - 2 October, 2009

Watching your pogramme BBC school of design,I am reminded.,as an international designer during the ‘stone age’ period,that I had a saying…
“a design job was only as good as the brief ! !
If the film was anything to go by, and I know that there are limitations of time in film making,but as it was there was a paucity of information coming from you Mr Starck.

2. arthur sewel - 2 October, 2009

Mr Starck
Watching your BBC programme on the Paris School of design reminded me that I had a saying when I was an international designer (during the ‘Stone Age Period)….
” A design was only as good as the brief”
I could only see a paucity of details coming from your brief Mr Starck ! !

3. sherby57 - 3 October, 2009

A great series so far. It’s different from many of these types of shows in that the ‘challenges’ are actually challenging!! It’s also intriguing to see contestants who really have no idea what is required of them.

My thoughts on episode 3 are here: http://poursomegravyonme.co.uk/2009/10/03/stuff-i-watched-30th-sept-2nd-oct/

4. Philippe Starck - 27 February, 2010

I love the designs of Philippe Starck, really adds a touch of exclusivity and style to everything it touches. Good post!

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