Starck Raving Mad


When you bring in one of the world’s most famous designers, Philippe Starck, to help design the interiors of your building, it’s probably best to just keep quiet and let him do some rambling about his vision and his process. Otherwise you might get into a bit of a row. In perhaps one of the funniest pieces we’ve read about a designer, is this report in the UK Times about Starck getting into a fight with Kevin Linfoot, a British developer, who, during a meeting with the reported, stopped the designer and asked, essentially, “What in the hell are you talking about?!”

“What we’re missing here is what Philippe (he pronounces it the English way) probably doesn’t realise about this area,” he says, leaning forward on his seethrough chair. “Leeds as a city centre is not somewhere you would want to bring families. We need to do so much. We need schools here, we need nurseries. Leeds has got none of that. The point I was trying to make before was: you go out (to the suburbs), you come back in. It’s a transient population. You go out to have a family, but that person’s moved back in because they’re getting divorced…or whatever.” Starck’s brown eyes have gone as round as chocolate buttons. His lips are pursed. He looks as if he might pop. McCabe Jr and Hitchcox try to defuse the debate by mentioning the happy lives of families in central Edinburgh and Glasgow and Manhattan.