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Karim Rashid

Karim Rashid

Egypt (1960)
Headshot of designer.

"What I am trying to do is use furniture as a medium to talk a little more evanescently about the qualities of the digital age." – Karim Rashid

Karim Rashid believes in a holistic approach to design, in which the sum of the parts can be more beautiful than the parts themselves. On a more mundane level, well-designed objects can add beauty and reflect the lives of those who use them.

Trained as a designer in Ottawa and Milan under the tutelage of Ettore Sottsass and Gaetano Pesce, Rashid's soft and fluid biomorphic forms convey his desire to actualize the contemporary zeitgeist of virtual reality and underground music culture. This former DJ stretches the limits of modern materials such as plastics, foams, and synthetic fabrics to form his design vision for such diverse companies as Idee in Tokyo, Umbra, and Nambe. His design for a wastebasket for Umbra is one of the most successful industrial products of recent years and it inspired Rashid's "Oh Chair," which has equal global appeal.

For Rashid, there is no distinction between high and low design; he is equally at ease designing for mass-production companies as he is designing packaging and products for the Japanese fashion innovator Issey Miyake. In the end, according to Rashid, the goal of his designs is always the same: to provide a quality experience to the users of the objects.

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