Philippe Starck gave a powerpoint-less lecture at TED last March. The topic was “Why Design?” and gave the designer a chance to put the design of toothbrushes in context with the evolution of the species.
There’s a transcript available, as some of the heavy accent makes for difficult comprehension for English-speaking folk.
The main point of the talk is that Starck continues to work on the design of relatively meaningless products, like toothbrushes and toilet bowl seats, because we don’t know the future. Mankind rose out of the primordial soup to become “super monkeys,” and the mistake many make is to view ourselves as a finished product.
We are at alph of the story. Fantastic! It’s a beauty! Can you imagine? It’s very symbolic. Because the bacteria we was had no idea of what we are today. And today, we have no idea of what we shall be in 4 billion years. And this territory is fantastic.
We are mutants, says Starck, that can’t possibly know what the future will bring or what story will follow. All we can do is finish the current story and start the next one.
As designers, we contribute to the big idea—the continued evolution of our existence—by working within our current contexts and doing the best we can to shape our world.Tags: context, evolution, lecture, Philippe Starck, TED, toothbrushes, video, why design