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Has Philippe Starck Jumped the Shark With His Home Gym Office?

Philippe Starck is the poster-boy of design excess–witness this hotel in Beverly Hills–but his latest work stumbles into self-parody. The project, "Home Gym Office" is an attempt to integrate gym equipment into an office environment. It’s a decent premise, but his statement about the work sets the alarm bells ringing:

Philippe Starck is the poster-boy of design excess–witness this hotel in Beverly Hills–but his latest work stumbles into self-parody. The project, “Home Gym Office” is an attempt to integrate gym equipment into an office environment. It’s a decent premise, but his statement about the work sets the alarm bells ringing:

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Life is an impossibility carried out. Better perpetuate it. For this we have to love life, to love ourselves at least 15 minutes per day. At home, at work. A few exercises and a good position, elegant obviously

Okaaaay. But the work seals it. Though there are a couple clever features, the stuff looks “designy”, and some of it in the worst way–this stuff is pure Sprockets. Take this set of wrist and ankle bracelets. Maybe their a tad better than the puffed out, uncomfortable variety that bobs around on your wrist–but are these designed just for the sake of design? (Those metal studs are meant to be removable weights):

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A wall bar for pull ups:

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Weights:

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That are stackable:

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A workout bench:

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A heavily weighted “necklace” (for getting a workout while strutting around your office like a bank CEO circa 2006, I suppose):

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We’ll grant that the adjustable wrist weights are extremely clever, and the system for stacking the weights is actually pretty decent. But that may only exacerbate the pointlessness of the airy-fairy form factor. After all, this is the same man who in 2008 told Die Zeit, a German newspaper, the following:

“I was a producer of materiality and I am ashamed of this fact. Everything I designed was unnecessary. I will definitely give up in two years’ time. I want to do something else, but I don’t know what yet. I want to find a new way of expressing myself design is a dreadful form of expression.”

Maybe Philippe had a change of heart?

Related: Designer Philippe Starck Embraces his Feminine Side [exclusive video]
Related: Starck Raving

[Via Design Boom]

About the author

Cliff is director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

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