updated 10:00 am EDT, Fri April 13, 2012
Starck would design Apple product for eight months
Well-known French product designer Philippe Starck has claimed in an interview with France's Le Figaro that he was recently working with Apple on a design. The "revolutionary" project would supposedly be due to arrive in eight months. He wouldn't say more about its nature, citing Apple's "religious cult of secrecy."
He did admit that he had been meeting Steve Jobs at his Palo Alto home once a month for the seven years before Jobs' death, although primarily for personal discussions of "all things interesting." He would be visiting Jobs' widow Laurene instead.
The project, if real and at all relevant to the product line, could represent anything from a peripheral to a mobile device or the repeatedly rumored TV set. Starck is known for being willing to design at any scale in technology, ranging from Microsoft mice (pictured) to LaCie hard drives and Parrot tower speakers. He has also designed everything from commodity products to whole buildings.
Bringing Starck in would still be an odd move for Apple. Jonathan Ive and his team are still considered the cornerstone of Apple's design language to date, and little reason has existed for the company to go to an outside source. It could represent a rare special collaboration to invigorate Apple design or even a non-product, such as a retail store or something else that Ive would normally never address.
Jobs was always known for embracing design with products, particularly in the minimalist or 'obvious' designs embodied by Ive, Starck, and earlier designers like Dieter Rams.