Colourful interior designer Karim Rashid talks futuristic kitchens and bathrooms, as well as how his design aesthetic has evolved by having a child
A master at bringing innovative ideas to an extensive audience, Karim Rashid has transformed our everyday lives with his meaningful designs in categories as vast and varied as luxury goods, furniture, lighting, surface design, brand identity and packaging. Some of his creations feature in the permanent collections of 14 museums worldwide, including the MOMA in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He has designed the interiors for countless hotels and residences and is currently working on an extensive range of projects including a 500-room resort in Cancun, a 400-room budget hotel in Amsterdam and condominium buildings in NYC and Miami. The son of an Egyptian painter and English mother, he was born in Cairo and raised in Canada and now resides in New York with his wife Ivana Puric and their three-year-old daughter Kiva. Known as the King of Colour, he only ever wears pink, white and silver.
Tell us about kitchen design now?
We are in the age of ‘Casualism’. Our lives are focused on comfort, ease, seamlessness and technology. Open floor plans have brightened and opened up the kitchen. It is no longer just a workspace but must be as beautifully furnished as the rest of the house. In the kitchen I want a clean space to focus my senses on preparing, eating and smelling food. All products should be hidden. The kitchen should be bare and beautiful with colourful accents. Only the most sensual designs should be on display, like a coffee machine, an elegant dish or a fruit bowl and that’s about it.
What will kitchens of the future be like?
I can’t wait until kitchen environments break out of the grid. We are entering the fourth dimension, which is time or human experience. Hence our world will finally become more fluid, more seamless, more technorganic, more amorphous, softer, freer and more like nature.
And the bathrooms?
The bathroom has become the sacral spiritual refuge for mental health in the last few years, especially in hotels and spas. I think this trend of larger and better designed bathrooms is due to the need for rejuvenation, privacy, getting away from the world, and getting in touch with your body. The world is so loaded with information and we are working more than ever. I would like to invent a self-diagnostic bathroom which would give you constant updates on your health and advise about needed vitamins. I would have a smart floor and mirror that would give me health diagnostics. Everything would be hands-off, and everything must be soft and human.
How has becoming a father informed your design philosophy?
That, and watching my mother get old, I see that this world is really not very functional and we must improve it. We should forget about trying to create style and work on a more pleasurable, simpler world.
Have you done anything really fun with your child’s room at home?
I don’t believe in designing a separate environment for children. They should live with and learn to respect the furnishings around them. Kiva’s bedroom does have a pale pink wallpaper I designed for Marburg and very contemporary artwork by Gabriel Delponte and Martine Jensen.
What makes an object timeless and precious?
Products and furniture must deal with our emotional ground and it is these kinds of objects, and the things that embrace new technology that become timeless and precious.
Find out more by visiting karimrashid.com
Article by: Susan Springate