xO. An old cognac? An acronym for "Kisses and hugs"? Look again. At first glance its a cross and a circle. It can be read as “cross the line” - or the boundaries. And then everything becomes apparent. Because this is about design: To create a new perspective of things. Combine shapes, which seem not to be a match, only to then notice that they do in fact go together (and very well). Like a cross and a circle. That's the idea behind xO design: Simple, graphic – and yet unexpected.
Back in 1984, Philippe Starck was still on the way to becoming the superstar of the design scene. It was at this point that he co-founded xO Design together with Gérard Mialet as the product of a loving relationship. Mialet and Starck fondly recal those pioneering days. Anything was possible, and the work was simply fun. Products such as Ray Hollis, Dr. Sonderbar and Dole Melipone were the heroes on which the legend of xO was built.
In 1996, Bubu 1er stool opened the door to industrial production. Bubu is an injection-molded polypropylene stool in the shape of an upside-down crown. It is also a huge commercial success and embodies Starck’s idea of democratic design.
XO masters the lexicon of time-honoured wood joiners but also confidently speaks several other languages; from the technical lingo of mould-makers and plastic injectors to the vernacular of ceramists and metal alchemists. This kaleidoscopic vision of its business and Starck’s unwavering support are the two principal components of xO’s success.
xO Design not only crosses boundaries in design. To xO, design is no longer reserved for European elites, but uses the ways and means of globalisation to establish its design in Asia and America.
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