Expert voice, Remix Gallery - Starck, plastic and Boom Rang chair: Plastic Starck

©Tom Vack - 1992
©Tom Vack - 1992

"To be happy, all men must taste the pleasure of owning an object by Philippe Starck". This is how Alessandro Mendini liked to present Starck in the mid-80s.

However, if Mendini, founder of the Alchimia movement, claimed an exuberant eclecticism of shapes, colors and patterns, the 80s in France were marked by the massive use of black metal and by a radical minimalist aesthetic. But Starck is a protean creator.

In 1985, at the heart of the post-modern French movement, Philippe Starck produced the Richard III armchair, all in plastic and completely hollowed out, a real exercise in style around the Bridge armchair. But don't see a contradiction in it. His work was born with plastic. At the end of the 1960s, he already created plastic inflatable structures for Pierre Cardin. Because there is no Starck style, but a method: create to surprise.

The mid-80s actually marks for Starck the beginning of a long series of objects made from plastic. We all remember his revolutionary toothbrush "Dr. Kiss" for Fluocaril in 1989, as its shape was new and fun. But what Starck experiences on his small objects, his "flags" as he calls them, he concretizes it at the end of 80-beginning of 90 with furniture entirely made of plastic.

If his most popular plastic chairs were massively produced in the 2000s by Kartell, the "Boom Rang" chair, published in 1992 by Aleph-Driade is an iconic and pivotal piece in its evolution. Produced in small series over a short period, it is entirely made of polyurethane, an emancipatory material which allows Starck to change its rules of creation and production. Polyurethane offers it a new playground with more complex and more organic shapes.

Thus, the "Boom Rang" chair clearly takes up the profile of the boomerang with its curved and aerodynamic backrest. Its design is a game of proportions, balance, setting in motion, lightness but above all on the intelligence of the object.

With this chair, Starck makes plastic an element of representation and spectacle. And what a spectacle!

photo ©Tom Vack - 1992