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Cersaie 2010: Conferences and Seminars
A Conversation with Karim Rashid: Designing the Bath with Shape, Size and Color

Wednesday 29 September - 5,00 p.m.
Galleria dell'Architettura

Karim Rashid - Architect and Designer
Interwied by
Edie Cohen Deputy Editor, Interior Design


Karim Rashid More

Karim Rashid

Architect and Designer
Biographical notes
Karim Rashid is one of the most prolific designers of his generation. Over 3000 designs in production, over 300 awards and working in over 35 countries attest to Karim’s legend of design. Karim’s diversity affords him the ability to cross-pollinate ideas, materials, behaviors, aesthetics from one typology to the next, crossing boundaries and broadening consumer horizons.
His award winning designs include democratic objects such as the ubiquitous Garbo waste can and Oh Chair for Umbra, interiors such as the Morimoto restaurant, Philadelphia and Semiramis hotel, Athens and exhibitions for Deutsche Bank and Audi. Karim has collaborated with clients to create democratic design for Method and Dirt Devil, furniture for Artemide and Magis, brand identity for Citibank and Hyundai, high tech products for LaCie and Samsung, and luxury goods for Veuve Clicquot and Swarovski, to name a few.
Karim’s work is featured in 20 permanent collections and he exhibits art in galleries world wide.  Karim is a perennial winner of the Red Dot award, Chicago Athenaeum Good Design award, I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review, IDSA Industrial Design Excellence award. He holds honorary doctorates from the Ontario college of Art & Design and Corcoran College of Art & Design. 2008 highlighted Karim’s largest retrospective to date at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake, in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Most recently, Karim curated the exhibition Totally Rad: Karim Rashid does Radiators for Museum of Art and Design in New York City.  Karim is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and conferences globally disseminating the importance of design in everyday life.
Karim’s has been featured in magazines and books including Time, Financial Times, NY Times, Esquire, GQ and countless more. In 2009 Rizzoli released Karim’s latest monograph ‘KarimSpace,’ featuring 36 of Karim’s interior architecture designs. Other books include Karim’s guide to living, ‘Design Your Self’ (Harper Collins, 2006),  ‘Digipop’, a digital exploration of computer graphics (Taschen, 2005), compact portfolio published by Chronicle Books (2004), as well as two monographs titled ‘Evolution’ (Universe, 2004) and ‘I Want to Change the World’ (Rizzoli, 2001). In his spare time Karim’s pluralism flirts with DJing, art and fashion and is determined to creatively touch every aspect of our physical landscape.  

Edie Cohen More

Edie Cohen

Deputy Editor, Interior Design
Biographical notes
Edie Cohen is the Deputy Editor of Interior Design magazine. Following a long association with the magazine in New York, she moved to Los Angeles to establish its first West Coast editorial office. Ms. Cohen is a frequent participant in design conferences, seminars, juries, and has appeared on television. She is the author of West Coast Rooms and has also contributed articles to various publications. Ms. Cohen graduated cum laude from Syracuse University, where she also spent a semester abroad in Italy. 


Video interview

Karim Rashid

Press release Change the world through objects

An "aperitif " with world-famous designer Karim Rashid at Cersaie yesterday



Karim Rashid was born in Cairo in 1960. A “global creative”, in nearly three years of activity he has created as many as two thousand objects, exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the world.


Rashid’s collaborations with companies are countless, from Alessi to Georg Jensen, from Estée Lauder to Cappellini, Umbra, Prada, Miyake, Method, Gorm, Kenzo, Magis and Giorgio Armani.


This leader in worldwide design was on hand for visitors at the Bologna Cersaie exhibition –International Exhibition of Ceramics for Architecture and Bathroom Furnishings– during an exclusive “aperitif” organised yesterday afternoon in the “Architecture Gallery”.


The event was a way of getting to know the professional career of a designer who has set himself apart from the beginning – raised in Canada, Rashid graduated in Industrial design in 1982. He achieved this distinction through eclectic and brilliant poetics and a style that is firm but also particularly eccentric, breathing life into his main ambition: changing the world.


He projects speak on behalf of Rashid, putting his objective into practice and allowing the Anglo-Egyptian designer to conquer the role of leader in several fields – from product design to interior design, from fashion to furnishings, from lighting to art.


Italy has played a vital role in Rashid’s career, particularly his meeting with Ettore Sottsass, who passed away in 2007. In his own time Sottsass was an eclectic and multifaceted figure who, in a career spanning sixty years, put his stamp firmly on Italian and international design and architecture.


“The modern bathroom” said Rashid “will ever incresingly be a space for soft, welcoming, warm shapes.

Essentially, this is the room in which we have the greatest privacy.

That’s why I believe that colours and soft shapes can strengthen this new conception which brings the design and fashion of the ‘60s and ‘70s back in every vogue. With regard to this, I believe that ceramics, which is an extraordinary material, can play a fundamental role, thanks also to the innovations that now make creations possible that were unthinkable a number of years ago.”


A new drive in the career of Rashid – now owner of a design studio in the Big Apple – has prompted the designer to measure himself more and more against true architectural planning: among various creations, the Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia and the Semiramis hotel in Athens stand out. Rashid took care of every detail of interior design in the hotel, winning the prestigious European Hotel Design Award.


And this is just one of more than 300 acknowledgements awarded to Rashid in no fewer than 35 countries throughout the world.

A recurring theme of Rashid’s creations is the strong aesthetic and sensory merit that is always combined with practicality and accessibility.


Rashid is the author of several permanent collections spread throughout 20 countries. This includes some prestigious exhibitions designed for Audi and Deutsche Bank but the “personal” collection displayed at the MoMA in New York particularly stands out. Rashid is one of the best interpreters of the “democratic method” in the world, as demonstrated in his design of objects at the service of architecture and beyond.              


Poetics that Rashid, for several years, has been displaying in lessons, conferences and seminars at some of the most prestigious universities and schools of architecture in the world – from Ontario College to Corcoran College for Art & Design.


The publications have also stacked up, from the monograph “KarimSpace” (Rizzoli, 2009) to “Design Your Self” (Harper Collins) printed in 2006. Rashid has also been a pioneer in computer graphics, as demonstrated by several examples, including the monographs “Evolution” (Universe, 2004) and the same volume-manifesto that summarises the sense of the entire career of the designer in the title: “I want to change the world”, published by Rizzoli in 2001.     



Cersaie Press Office - 30 September 2010 -

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