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Karim Rashid STIRred 2023 with a series of eclectic and vibrant designs
(L-R) Ikon Cities, Portrait of Karim Rashid and Yum Collection
Image: Courtesy of Karim Rashid

Karim Rashid STIRred 2023 with a series of eclectic and vibrant designs

STIR highlights the colourful works of US-based designer Karim Rashid, in the realms of furniture design, interior design, collectable design, homeware and architecture. 

by Almas Sadique
Published on : Jan 04, 2024

Karim Rashid, a renowned industrial designer based in the United States, is known for the unique vibrant tone he imbues his design with. The designer currently has more than 4000 designs in production and a client base in over 40 countries. From residential structures to commercial architecture, interior design to product design and furniture design, and collectable design to packaging design, Rashid dabbles in a melange of creative work.

STIR enlists the designer’s engagements for the year 2023.

1. People

Rashid’s art collectables, namely Arlo Checker, Atlas Max and Quentin Play, designed for HOMMI, pay homage to the robotics golden era. While Arlo Checker is reminiscent of the technological utopian period, in which robots appear in a format that is most in sync with their popular representations, Atlas Max embodies a powerful mythological presence by referencing the Greek god after whom it is named. Quentin Play is a fun design that seeks to brighten up the space in which it is placed.

Ikon Cities is a collection of multicoloured aluminium tables that are sleek, easy to use and store. Conceived by Rashid for the furniture brand Vadasiga, its minimal base form was conceived in one sheet metal with nine simple bents. The seat, on the other hand, bears the cutouts of graphics that reference 10 Lithuanian city crest icons, as reimagined by Rashid. Their colours, too, match the cities’ identities. The tables, with their hexagonal shapes, can be configured to build larger table or stool systems.

Nebula Coffee Table, another table design by Rashid for Vadasiga, is characterised by wavy lines and a multi-grain veneer top. The different veneers, juxtaposed against each other in an organic format, are evocative of flowers. The table’s sleek legs, made to disappear under the tabletop, further give the impression of a flower levitating and dancing mid-air. Rashid’s Gėlė V Coffee Table is a charming design that bears the potential of vitalising any indoor environment. While its design resembles the Nebula Coffee Table, its vibrant colours further bear the potential of helping an indoor space bloom.

The Blok Coffee Table is a modular coffee table system that serves as building blocks for grown-ups. Its modular design facilitates adaptability with its foundational asymmetric puzzle-like form. One can arrange and rearrange individual pieces to assemble them into a square, chain or radial format.

The Kriss Table is another minimalistic table design, conceived by Rashid for Vadasiga. The Kriss Table comes with crossed legs that come together to balance the tabletop. “Seeing the negative space move as you circulate the table, you’ll never want to sit in one spot too long before moving around the table to see more of it,” reads the description for the table. The Kairn Table is a furniture design that integrates various organic shapes, stacked against each other. The result is a sculptural design that resembles stones that have been smoothed over by the running water. “You can almost hear the water’s gentle roll as you look out at this incredible table. Delicately balanced visually yet strongly constructed, Kairn brings form and function most uniquely,” shares Rashid.

Kalmo Chair, designed by Rashid for Italian furniture brand Driade, is a minimal chair design shaped using inexpensive materials and production techniques. “I'm not generally known for my work in wood. But I was inspired by the history of Driade and my mentor's experimentations in plywood. And I loved Alessandro Mendini's Ultima Cena folding table in the 80s," shares Rashid.

Yum Collection, designed by Rashid for Kütahya Porselen, a Turkish porcelain and ceramics manufacturer, comprises two series with different patterns. While the first series bears blue and pink tones, the second series is imbued with tones of green and grey. The pieces in the collection comprise plates and bowls of different sizes, mugs and trays.

Rashid designed Kaid and Confetti for AIDA. While Kaid comprises coasters and placemats made out of recycled leather, Confetti is a collection of vibrantly coloured porcelain tableware. The latter comprises a dinner, lunch, dessert and pasta plate of different sizes, as well as mugs, bowls and oval dishes.

Rashid also launched a new iteration of his Cyborg lamp design, namely Cyborg Big, in collaboration with Martinelli Luce, for outdoor spaces. A few other products launched this year as part of collaborations by the designer include the Karim Collection for Nuzrat Carpet Emporium, Kradle Collection with Royhills; and the ACUITY Lamp, KARMA Lamp, UNIVERSAL Collection and FINITY Lamp with SUPER FORM.

2. Pieces

Kosmo Bag by Karim Rashid is inspired by the gravitational interactions between the sun, planets, and other celestial bodies that move in elliptical paths. It is made using vegan leather.

3. Places

Rashid’s work in the Hummingbird Flat, for Flyway, in Downtown London, UK, is a renovation project. Also referred to as the Jetset apartment design, the project included the renovation of a large one-bedroom flat. New walls and doors were added to the space and the kitchen and bathroom were refurbished. All furniture and lighting designs, and artwork are by Karim Rashid. The spaces were changed to create a larger and more airy environment and create a more functional apartment that is comfortable yet minimal.

TRIP House is a concept house that comprises three volumes, each of which is colour-coded and hosts a different program. While the black spaces are set aside for the garage and home office, pink is for the kitchen, dining and living room, and white is for bedrooms and the lounge. The negative spaces in between these consecutive spaces host balconies and interior passages. “With a sculptural look, TRIP is the type of house you choose when you want to be closer to nature, but also need to be connected to daily life, thanks to its home office, large kitchen and garage. Large windows open the house towards light and nature. Different shapes of windows frame the context differently, depending on each room,” reads an excerpt from the project’s description.

The Raionul de Peste Restaurant in Bucharest, Romania, was designed by Rashid for The Wild Culinary Studio Group. “My approach is to create environments that will inspire, engage, and encourage positive experiences. I created more than just a restaurant but made the Raionul de Pește Floreasca a destination for dining. The result is a marriage of sensual minimalism and human experience, told through the story of Raionul de Pește Floreasca's culinary vision. Raionul de Peste Floreasca was a unique concept a program for me. The idea was to create a fluid more functioning space that has a relationship with seafood. The feeling I wanted to provoke is like one has entered the sea and since the fish is so fresh it is as if you are in the sea eating the fish directly. One can’t have a fresher food experience than that,” he shares.

This year, Rashid also completed the Temptation Miches Resort in Mexico and Prizeotel Dortmund in Germany.

4. Events to remember

196 Bench or Bench for 196 People by Karim Rashid is a furniture piece conceived by the designer for a public space. Installed as part of the Suncheonman International Garden Expo, in South Korea, the bench design can accommodate 196 people. “The undulating non-stop surface of the bench aims to bring together all the countries in the world. No matter the nationalities, religion, skin colour, beliefs, or race, this bench works like a magnet for each human being, in the name of nature to gather as one,” Rashid shares.

Sans Souci, leading producer of glass and lighting installations, and Karim Rashid unveiled their unique collaboration CHIN CHIN at Milan Design Week 2023. The CHIN CHIN collection features flowing installations in golden hues. The installations at the design fair were formed of crystal components shaped into different-sized golden drink glasses, each suspended from flawless glass rings and finished with gradient nano-coating.

STIRred 2023 wraps up the year with compilations of the best in architecture, art, and design from STIR. Did your favourites make the list? Tell us in the comments!

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