Karim Rashid

Industrial Poet of our Age and dreamer of great Toilets

In his own words, Karim Rashid was “a strange little boy,” entering the world feet-first with his mother’s umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. Deprived of oxygen, doctors told his parents he would be retarded for life. The young Karim didn’t speak until he was almost five and when he did, he spoke with a speech impediment. On top of this difficult start to life, Karim developed the habit of eating only mashed bananas for a whole year. Little did his parents know, but this would turn out to be the formula for success.

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The result was a strapping 6 ft 4, creative whiz with boundless energy and world-class optimism. The grown-up Rashid went on to become one of the most prolific and eclectic designers of our time, with his unique stamp on over 3000 designs, with projects ranging from interiors, fashion, furniture, lighting, art and music to installations.

But his real ambition lies in the egalitarian realm of the everyday: designing beautiful yet highly functional stilettos, vacuum cleaners, and computer hard drives. In fact, he’s designed a best-selling garbage bin for an Italian designer and elegant manhole covers for the sewers of New York City. Rashid sees beauty in the banal. He even harbors ambitions to create a range of the most stylish toilets for The American Standard Company.

Karim Rashid’s designs are coming to an everyday object near you. If you can’t wait, you can see his work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York or the Design Museum in London. Or you can check out his book: Design Your Self: Rethinking the Way You Live, Love, Work, and Play.


 Text by Howard Collinge- The Unique Creatures 


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