(Running notes from the LeWeb3 conference in Paris.)
-- by guest blogger Susan Kish
Quotes from star designer Philippe Starck:
At the end of his keynote, Starck took two questions from the floor, which were amongst the most captivating part of the session. First, he was handed the new Kindle reader from Amazon by Robert Scoble (photo: Scoble at left) – and his first reaction was: that it’s nice, "in technology design, the main things are thin, simple, light, and this meets those issues". But then he went through a series of problems in the design of the device: "the designer wasn't humble enough to disappear", the Kindle has too many angles, it's almost impossible to grab it without hitting the buttons that scroll the page, etc. "What is important in this kind of products is what is on the inside. Designers should try to remove as many of the details that surround the core" -- in this case, the core being the screen. His summary: “it’s almost modern”.
The second question was why there weren’t more genius designers, outside of Starck and Steve Jobs. Starck’s first response: "Steve Jobs, a good friend, is a genius. Me, I just look like a genius because of the leather pants." After having cashed the room's laughter, he went on an angle of genuine enthusiasm. He said: "We need to do an exercise every morning as mutants. If you walk like a robot, but look at your feet, you stumble. If you look a bit ahead, you don’t trip, it just works for itself. if you look ahead then can work can speak can exchange can interact, but now your duty is to raise your angle of view so that you see farther than the horizon, you are in the territory of intelligence, the range of humanity. It's about the angle of view. The danger zone is to look straight up, to see the light of God, to surrender yourself and… become stupid again."