Capp Street Project: Karim Rashid
For more than a decade, Karim Rashid has consistently pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the world of design, and in the process has redefined that world. For the exhibition, Karim will create an environment called Plob from a series of sensual, custom-made, translucent polyethylene shapes. Combined, they form the six sides of a room that glows in response to the visitor's presence.
Rashid's "sensual minimalist" approach is evident throughout his oeuvre, from his ubiquitous Garbo Can and Oh Chair (designed for Umbra) to his award-winning line of sleek alloy products for Nambé, from a Black & Decker workaday snow shovel to his blob-shaped TVs, stereos and DVD players for Sony. "Form is much more seductive when the product's aesthetics are experiential, and not just visual," Rashid says. "Objects have to blur experience with form so that they are inseparable. It means retooling the stuff we live with to suit the way we really live. It means that if we slouch in chairs, we make chairs that let us."
Born in Cairo, Egypt, and raised in England and Canada, Rashid received a bachelor of industrial design in 1982 from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and pursued graduate studies in Italy. On his return to Canada he worked at KAN Industrial Designers. He opened his own design studio in 1991 and in 1993 relocated to New York's fashionable Chelsea neighborhood. Since then, his experiments with form, material and production processes have yielded a staggering 800 designs for such clients as Issey Miyake, Totem, Estée Lauder, Tommy Hilfiger, Giorgio Armani, Leonardo, Zanotta, Yahoo and Citibank. Rashid has received the 1999 Daimler Chrysler Award, the 1999 George Nelson Award, the Silver IDEA Award for his Oh Chair in the 1999 Design Excellence Awards, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art's 1999 Collab Award. His designs are included in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Chicago Athenaeum and the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts. His work has been exhibited widely at venues that include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Wexner Center; the British Design Museum; and the Groninger Museum, Holland.