was born in Cairo in 1960 as the son of Egyptian-English parents. His brother is Hani Rashid, a famous architect and co-founder of the New York architectural studio "Asymptote Architecture". Karim grew up in Canada and completed his Bachelor degree in industrial design at the University of Ottawa. Subsequently, he became a student of the well-known Austrian-Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass. By means of his "Anti-Design", Sottsass sought no less than to turn the accepted conventions and traditions of the world of design upside down.
His innovative and almost anarchic style had a lasting influence on Karim Rashid’s
Having completed his studies, Rashid
opened his own design studio in New York and Rotterdam in 1993. He celebrated his breakthrough in 1996 with the plastic wastepaper basket "Garbo Can". Since then, he created more than 3,000 objects and designs for a number of well-known clients such as Prada, Coca Cola, Disney, Google and LG. Rashid
says no to hardly any product. He also, for instance, designed erotic toys and made attempts as a designer of men’s and women’s fashion.
Over the years, he was able to win almost every renowned design award, including the Red Dot Award, the iF Product Design Award and the Compasso d'Oro. All in all, he received more than 300 design awards. His works are part of many exhibitions all over the world. He and his works are, amongst others, represented in the permanent exhibition of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and in the Paris Centre Georges Pompidou.
Karim Rashid wants to change the worldKarim Rashid‘s
unique style combines functional product design and the colours as well as the design language of the 1960s and 1970s. Many of his objects seem to be a reference to the pop art design of those days. Rashid
opposes the predominant minimalism and the elitist character of the design world. To his mind, design is not a thing that should only be available to an exclusive circle but rather to the broad masses.
In 2001, his first monograph was published bearing the offensive title "I Want to change the World", his manifesto against the unloved minimalism and a plea for a new, open design world
whose products are available to everyone. In compliance with the rounded forms of his designs and as a challenge to the purist objects of minimalism, he describes his own style as "blobism" – the world in bubble form.
Karim Rashid & light design
For the Italian manufacturer Artemide, Rashid designed, amongst others, the elegantly curved Cadmo floor lamp. The design language of the Cadmo is reminiscent of elegant clothing. On a rainy day in Milan, Rashid was inspired by a man wearing a mackintosh. Thanks to the Cadmo, Rashid received several design awards, including the Red Dot Award and the iF Product Design Award. He also created the Doride Terra floor lamp for Artemide. The organic form of the Doride reminds us of a leaf or a blade of grass that is carried by the wind. Thanks to its extraordinary design, the Doride was acknowledged with the Good Design Award.
For Kundalini, Rashid designed the unusual Floob Ceiling pendant light. The diffusor of the Floob is enclosed by a transparent lampshade made from thermoformed, blown Plexiglas. Floob is also available as floor lamp, the Floob Terra. Another object he created for Artemide is the Empirico Sospensione, which, thanks to its organic appearance and the reduced and swelling silhouette, develops an appealingly dynamic presence and thus becomes a charismatic eye-catcher. Manufacturing the polyethylene in an injection moulding process ensures a harmonious, soft lighting effect in the living room and the bedroom.