Philippe Starck, resplendent in black leather pants, came to New York’s Soho House this week to promote his latest project –- a set of sleek stereo speakers he designed for Parrot, a French wireless technology company whose CEO, Henri Seydoux, is one of the designer’s oldest friends.
The technology behind the speakers is first rate –- they’re topped with an iPod loading dock, and can wirelessly stream music from a PC or Mac. But it’s the neck-snappingly cool design (not to mention great sound) that creates product lust. The $1500 speakers, available later this spring, are striking for their simplicity, functionality, and beauty.
Any consumer can appreciate those qualities, but a recent presentation at CES by a pair of designers from Smart Design’s Femme Den, indicated that those traits resonate particularly well with women –- traditionally a tricky market for consumer electronics manufacturers to reach.
We spoke with Starck about why designing for men is like boxing, and designing for women is like aikido – and why simple, intuitive design is just so damned hard.