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March 07, 2005

Karim Rashid and Design on Demand

The biography section of Karim Rashid's website says he's designed and produced over 2000 items. Seems like a lowball figure to us. 

He's worked for Prada, Timex, Umbra, Issey  Miyake, Prada, Nambe, Magis, Mikasa, Edra, Frighetto, Herman Miller, Foscarini, Artemide, Idée, Bozart, Shiseido, Giorgio Armani, among many others who recognize that demand for Rashid's brightly colored designs has only grown with his continued exposure.

Whether the world will tire of his work remains to be seen, and based on his past, plans and present projects, it seems the last thing this design maven fears is overexposure. Rashid's projects have snuck into all facets of life: store spaces, hotels, clothing, furniture, and lighting. He's made trash cans, dog bowls, salad forks, spice shakers, even manhole covers. His books include "Evolution" [Universe Publishing, 2004], "The International Design Yearbook" [Laurence King Publishing, 2003], and "Karim Rashid: I want to change the world" [Universe, 2001]. As if that's not enough, in an interview with Pure Contemporary's Caroline Barry recently, he said he's working on a new, entirely different book, a dictionary of 2000 new words like Designocracy, blobject, technorganics and pleasurtronics.

Like most designers, Rashid recognizes that our world is chock full of poorly designed objects that people accept and use.  He offers some examples, "Everything from the awful newspaper boxes on city streets, to the awkward bathrooms on airplanes, to the ubiquitous ugly garden furniture, to depressing office spaces, to the horrific conference rooms, to the poorly designed public transit, to the automobile (which is strictly style with no content and irresponsibly killing this earth). I could go on and on."

Stay tuned, give him some time and he'll probably tackle every one on this list, and then some.

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