Karim Rashid was born in 1960 in Cairo, but as a child moved with his family to Canada where his father was designer for the television. After completing his studies with a Bachelor in Industrial Design at the Carleton University in Ottawa in 1982, he studied in Naples under the famous designer Ettore Sottsass. The latter founded the Memphis Group movement which wanted to break with design's elitist image and provide everybody with good design. This idea of so-called Anti-Design is also visible in products by Karim Rashid.
Karim Rashid started to work free-lance in 1993 and opened his own studios in New York and Rotterdam. He designed the Garbino-Can for Umbra, a Canadian company which tries to transform everyday objects in creative ways. This was his first great success, followed by other designer objects like flower pots, perfume bottles and clothing. As an interior architect, Rashid also designed various hotels and restaurants as well as a drugstore in an unconventional manner.
Under the influence of the Memphis Group, Karim Rashid advocates for an original design accessible for everyone. The style of Karim Rashid's products is a mixture of Pop-Art and Anti-Design. In his manifesto "I Want to Change the World" written in 2001, Rashid stands for an open design culture and sharply critizes wide-spread Minimalism. He admires the 1960s' round shapes and call them "Blobism". He uses this name to describe his own style, like for example the Blob Collection for Foscarini.
Photo: © Milovan Knezevic