Reality Check

Philippe Starck Searches for Apprentice on TV

After designing everything from hotel interiors to toothbrushes, Philippe Starck is embarking on a new venture for all the world to watch—BBC2 has filmed the famed French designer’s quest for an apprentice on the new reality show Design for Life. Twelve mostly twenty-something British designers will live in the Starck-designed Mama Shelter hotel, compete in various competitions, and face weekly eliminations until a lone novice remains. That winner will spend six months working for Starck’s Parisian design company, set in a former funeral parlor. Because Starck wanted to ensure his new pupil would be up to the challenge, he chose the contestants purely based on paper drawings and producers did not have input in casting. “A lot of what he is about is trying to get people to embrace a new way of looking at the world,” executive producer Joe Houlihan says of Starck’s show, which premiered Monday.