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2006 10 09
Designing For The “Smart Tribe”
The Toronto Star ran a story Saturday about Peter Freed's development project at 75 Portland. It seems that the latest market demographic is made up of those who see themselves as different than the rest of us: They understand design, at least Phillipe Starck's design. It is a large and growing market being championed by London-based development company Yoo.
Yoo, a name that lends itself to cute puns, is working on projects that total about 30,000 apartment units around the world — all presumably catering to the Smart Tribe.

Who are they?

"The Smart Tribe are the people intelligent enough to want to invent their life, invent the society — the people who have the idea of quality, who are not just trained for war," Starck said in a carefully scheduled 15-minute phone interview from Paris.

The man whose most famous design is probably the Juicy Salif — a striking, though impractical, lemon squeezer on stilts — sees his job as creating homes for the tribe. "A sort of cave. We devise shelter to help them meet and recognize themselves."

That's one of Yoo's missions, the designer says. The idea is to help people find the right style for themselves and create the appropriate living environment, thereby avoiding mistakes when they're making the biggest investment of their lives.

"To do that, when they buy an apartment, we have some tests," said Starck. "They can recognize in what family they are, if they are in culture, in nature, in classic or in minimal."

So Phillipe Starck is giving people tests to see if they fit in the uber "Smart Tribe" umbrella. What price design? Who would take this test? Does anyone out there know what this test is? Can someone send an example?
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 10/09 at 03:25 PM

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