One of the greatest things about TED is the opportunity to get acquainted with people who are already part of your life, even if you don’t know them personally. Be it hearing them in a speech, meeting them in the audience, or catching them in a TEDTalks video, TED gives us all a chance to meet the designers, entertainers, technologists, academics, film makers, poets, architects, writers, scientists, journalists, and politicians who help shape the world we live in.
So imagine my excitement when I learned that Philippe Starck would be on the TED2007 speaker lineup. A maverick’s maverick, Starck continues to exert a massive influence on our aesthetic and social landscape. As the TED2007 program states:
He is the most famous and prolific designer alive. The streamlined and organic look of his architecture, interior design and product design has influenced designers and consumers alike, and as a result he has changed the way we live.
Which made me ask, "What’s my Starck factor? How much Starck is there in my day to day life?" The answer is: quite a lot, and more than I thought. Here’s a quick survey — your results may vary:
First, the Starck Gnomes. As it happens, I have a lot of meetings at work in a room staffed by these patient and sturdy little guys. I think they help bring good karma to the room, which makes some of the harder meetings a little easier:
I also occasionally hold an outdoor meeting where we end up sitting on this Starck sofa. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to tell you that my bottom doesn’t find it to be a plush sit. That’s okay, though, because the comfort limitations curtail the length of those sessions, and academic studies have shown that 10-20 minute meetings are more productive than their lengthier cousins:
Above all, I like sitting in this Eros chair. It feels great to sit in and be seen in. And it helps you empathize with the olive in a martini. Fun!:
In a drawer at home I keep this incredible watch by Starck for Fossil. I love the way it looks on the wrist, like a timepiece beamed back from the future. It’s my "special occasions" watch. The green readout is cool, too:
Here’s one I don’t have. But if I was living in a flat in Paris, I’d be riding this Aprilia Moto 6.5 whenever a pedal bike wouldn’t do. Where other motorcycles get tripped up by their own macho fixations, saying "I’m going to take you for a ride," this one has a kindlier aspect. It says "Let’s go for a ride — together." And I love the orange splash. Perfect:
Another one on my "to buy" list. This clock from Oregon Scientific is extremely clever in that it beams the time up on to the ceiling, so that you can read it while lying in bed. Come to think of it, that easy glance up could be useful in many situations, such as making sure that that work meeting goes no longer than 20 minutes:
That’s just a brief personal inventory based on the life works of just one TED speaker. It’s worth your while to browse through Starck’s immense portfolio. Imagine the breadth and depth of impact across all of the TEDsters through time. What’s your TED Factor?