Design for life

Design for life

So, who caught the opening episode of BBC2's Design for Life just now?

The show is the design version of The Apprentice, with Philippe Starck hamming it up as a gallic  Sir Allan. 

Starck

In the first episode we were introduced to the group of 12 British wannabe product designers*, who applied to the the show in the hope of winning a six month placement at Starck's design group. They were whisked off to Paris, where their first challenge was to scour a supermarket in search of examples of good and bad product design.

Starck held up an army jeep as an example of really great design, "its the only vehicle which have the elegance of intelligence, because it's not driven by marketing, it's driven by function". Which is fair enough, but more than a tad ironic coming from the man whose most famous product is the almost entirely non-functional Juicy Salif lemon-squeezer (below). He went on to lament the fact that designers are churning out too many unnecessary products… a case of the designer pot calling the kettle charcoal-grey?

Juicy-salif

Still, it's always good to see design getting an airing during prime-time. And Starck is at least entertaining. But what did you make of the programme? Answers on an inflatable postcard, or chuck us a comment just below.

More info on the show here, and it runs for another five episodes, and you can catch it on iPlayer too.

*What's the right group noun for that? A CAD of designers? A sketch of designers?)