The September 2008 issue of Wired Magazine features a small interview with the famed French designer, Philippe Starck. The interview focuses on Starck’s latest creation, the Mr. Impossible plastic chair.
Originally, Starck said it simply couldn’t be made. The challenge was the weld. Polycarbonate chairs are typically formed using a single mold, but Starck’s translucent design required two: one for the legs, one for the seat. Fusing the parts using existing methods would mean an unsightly seam, so the engineers at Italian furniture maker Kartell had to forge a new technique. The key was a very big laser. Trained at specially formulated polycarbonate, it left a seam smooth enough to create the illusion Starck had imagined: a chair that appears to levitate.
This got me thinking. How many times have you sat down with someone in the digital and design space — a producer, designer, account manager, technologist — who tells you something can’t be done. Or said another way, ‘it’s impossible.’ And yet, somehow your work is produced with the same flare, fashion and magnificence it was conceived with. It simply required foresight, vision, fortitude and a touch of diplomacy.
Many of the agencies doing the best work in our business — firms like Big Spaceship, Campfire, Deep Focus, First Born, North Kingdom, Projector, Inc., Schematic, The Barbarian Group, and a host of others you may not have heard of yet — are daring to dream and getting their clients to dream with them. In the process, they’re taking us all on a wonderful ride to a place called, Imagine.
So what’s their secret? I’m sure they have quite a few, but you can bet one of them is never muttering the word, impossible.