KARIM RASHID is guilty on the following counts:
1. misunderstanding of design
2. false interpretation of design as a discipline
3. prioritizing self-representation over quality work
4. having bad taste / sensory malfunction / cultural-ageusia
5. bad fashion sense / needing a better stylist
6. being clueless (i.e., announcing the wrong award-winning design
at the Bombay Sapphire Design Competition in Milan where he was
head of the jury.)
7. misappropriation of materials and forms
8. prima donna attitude
True design is not simply a matter of subjectively making things prettier, or creating surfaces, or somehow turning a thermos into a clock. Good design is a complex challenge with social, economical, even political dimensions, and aims to manifest unspoken societal desires. Unfortunately, there are not even rudimentary signs that Rashid considers this in his products and concepts. Self-decoration and flamboyant self-representation disguise neither his ignorance nor his unprofessional attitude.
Indeed some things are a matter of taste, but there some great thinkers who wrote about cultural patterns in choice and preference. Among them; Adorno, Kant, Horkheimer, Bourdieu, Plato, Hume. We feel certain that Rashid isn’t familiar with even the names we’ve just listed, let alone the concepts these men have written about social context. If you claim to be a visionary, shouldn’t you at least have context?
Properly designed items need not be completely groundbreaking, but if this is your claim, then you are responsible for proper form, material, and attitude. This is what makes design fascinating. And fascination lacks by Karim. In his products, his performances (uh yeah, he's a djay too), and his „fashion“. It does seem petty we know, to make a crack about Rashid’s wardrobe, but If clothes make the man, it seems more likely that we would buy a used car from this clown, than a design object of his own making.