Starck’s Turbine


Caprice takes on a conscience in Phillippe Starck’s recent work. Perhaps the most prolific designer of our era, and certainly the best known of the New Design style, Starck struck the fancy of much of the western world with his sometimes impish, always whimsy designs. From his translucent Louis XV chairs to his spindly citrus juicers to his garden gnome stools, the French designer built an entire world of plucky pieces.

Now, Starck aims to bring elegance to the ecologically friendly. An offshoot of his Democratic Design campaign, Democratic Ecology has its designs on introducing the world to green technology by wooing it with sleek designs. The first product, a miniature rooftop wind turbine, was created in collaboration with Pramac, an Italian industrial group. Its blades are made of transparent plastic and indiscernible to the casual observer. Though they look like retro TV antennae, these devices were programmed for the future.

The turbines will be priced between $780 and $1200 and according to the designer, will be able to produce up to 80% of a home’s energy. The frame comes in stainless steel for the industrial aesthete, transparent for those who prefer to fly under the radar, and orange for the classic Starck consumer.

Next on the drawing board are equally invisible solar panels-film that slides over existing windows to harness the power of the sun. All part of the designer’s rebellion against design, these objects help to hone Starck’s message that design ought to be purposeful and the age of things for the sake of things is over.

Via NY Times