Just a sampling of Karim Rashid’s oeuvre of the last 15 years is enough to fill a good sized exhibit hall at the Triennale during Milan’s design week. Organized by Area, a magazine produced by financial newspaper publishers Gruppo 24 ORE, the exhibit traces Rashid’s trajectory from the famously successful Garbo garbage can produced for Umbra in 1996 up to and including furniture, lighting and accessories launched this year for Italian and international firms.
The exhibit encompasses about 100 of some 3,000 items that have been put into production and demonstrates the impressive range – from high-end furnishings to a bicycle, a spa chair and packaging for cleaning products – of the most prolific designer of his generation. The objects on display, many in plastic, show his amazing creativity and stylistic preference for fluid lines, futuristic forms, sensuous shapes and exuberant colours. Also on display is the lexicon of graphic symbols that has become his trademark – incorporated into his forms and patterns and even tattooed on his body.
On one wall are larger-than-life projections of a media-savvy Rashid that suggest he himself can now be counted among his own creations. Though not everything in “Karim Sampler – an edit of the last 15 years,” is on the same level, there’s ample evidence here of the undeniable talent of this designer who, at the age of 50, is at the top of his career.