Karim Rashid is one of the most creative, prolific and non-conformist designers and architects on the contemporary scene. Born in Cairo in 1960 to an Egyptian father and an English mother, he grew up in an artistic and cosmopolitan milieu spending time between London and Ottawa where he obtained his degree in Industrial Design at Carleton University in 1982. He then specialized in Italy, between Naples and Milan, and finally settled in New York, where he opened an office in 1993. Sensitive to social and eco-sustainability issues, Rashid imagines an ideal future in which design is accessible to all in a world dominated by beauty. His works spring from this vision characterized by a futuristic and eccentric mood, in which colour plays an essential role. For the designer, pink has the same neutral and universal value as white. Rashid's style is characterized by pop or pastel tones, bold combinations and glossy lacquered finishes. He favours plastic and solid surfaces that can be coloured and printed at will, channelling the soft and sensual forms that distinguish his work.
The successful career of Karim Rashid, now considered one of the 10 most influential designers in the world, began in 1996 with the Umbra Garbo basket, made of injection-moulded plastic, whose sinuous shape was inspired by the silhouette of movie star Greta Garbo. This was followed by the Oh Chair by Umbra (1999) and the colourful kids' Kapsule Chair by Offi (2001). During this same period, he also designed the interiors of the Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia and, in 2004, the Semiramis hotel in Athens. Since then, Rashid has developed numerous projects in the fields of product and interior design, architecture and fashion, art and graphics, music and packaging.
His intense career also includes the publication of books and the preparation of exhibitions, for which he has received over 300 design awards. Among the many Karim Rashid-designed furnishings and accessories are the Cadmo lamp collections (2006) for Artemide; Cyborg (2015) for Martinelli Luce; Apex (2015) for Fontana Arte; Floob (2007) for Kundalini; the Murano glass collections for Purho. His main bathroom projects include the Enjoy and Amedeo (2015) collections for Ceramica Cielo and the Lap Plus washbasin for Glass Design (2020). Rashid designed the Tide and Blend storage units for Casamania & Horm; the Dragonfly transformable chaise longue for Bonaldo (2006); the Voxel collection for Vondom (2010); the Superblob seating system for Edra (2002); the Kant stools for Casamania (2006); Swell garden furniture for Talenti (2009); and more recently, the Heartbeat seating system for the Canadian company Neinkamper (2019) and the Klover picnic table with integrated chairs for Punto Design (2020).
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