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Philippe Starck: “We are here to create”

23 September 2015 | Posted in Inspiration

“Philippe gave a thought provoking and inspiring lecture that was highly entertaining”

Philippe Starck presented the D&AD President’s lecture last night after being introduced by Mark Bonner, D&AD president and co-founder of GBH, as “One of the most prolific talents working on the planet.”

Speaking at Shoreditch Town Hall, Starck’s lecture, ‘Notes from Elsewhere’, touched on creativity, heritage, hard work, discipline, honesty, freedom and ethics.

Here are a few thoughts on what team Silk Pearce took away from the evening.

Gail Russell, creative director “It struck me how ‘free’ Philippe seemed. His ethos and approach were free of any design pretentiousness and he dismissed that there was any right or wrong. It gives you confidence to believe more in yourself and trust that creativity is as much about heart and soul than just clever ideas and layouts.

“I found the contrast and slight contradiction in what he was saying interesting. He stressed it was all about ‘work, work, work’ - seemingly blunt, to the point and down to earth, compared to a very soulful and mind juggling ‘sleep and dream of it’ approach that he believed in.”

Ian Coote, senior designer “Philippe gave a thought provoking and inspiring lecture that was highly entertaining! I admire his approach, work ethic and his ideological view. I was particularly interested in his thoughts about broadening your mind and opening your eyes to what is around you. Look up, take things in, don't walk around looking at the ground.”

Andrea Gosling, senior designer “I was impressed with what Philippe said about the importance of us all taking responsibility for what we say and do in terms of design – particularly our approach to the environment.

“By ourselves we are nothing, but together we are part of something - our job is to make things better and to make them the best they can be. He said that we are a small thread on a big rope and our job is to make the rope better.”

Anthony Blease, designer “I particularly picked up on his dedication to always exceed expectations, to go that extra mile and not fall into the same routine day in and day out. To have a true understanding of what you are working on at the beginning, otherwise it will show. Take in all your surroundings and the people you work with, and this will reflect in your work.

“Perhaps more bizarrely, he suggested torturing your children to make them truly creative - although this has to be understood within the context of the lecture! And, most importantly, like Philippe himself, not to take yourself too seriously.”

Camilla Sharman, editorial manager “I was impressed with Philippe’s work ethic and that even when he is asleep his dreams are helping him work, ‘When I sleep I start to fly in territory I do not know… dreams are more interesting than regular life. Work on your dreams. Have an open mind and open your consciousness.’

“He is very aware of all creativity around him and described science as the extreme poetry of humanity, asking the audience to look at the shadows and reflections within the room. While he sees an elegance in engineering, admires human intelligence and is amazed at what has been invented.

“Perhaps his most poignant points were that 'creativity is everywhere', but you have to 'get involved to evolve'.”