BBC Two teams up with Philippe Starck to discover design talent

LONDON - BBC Two has teamed up with French design guru Philippe Starck to help find a new generation of British talent.

Starck, recognised as one of the best designers in the world, has produced everything from windmills toothbrushes to a megayacht. Starck has been in the design industry for more than 30 years and was also the designer behind the revolutionary lemon juicer and Louis Ghost chair.

During the show, which has a working title of 'Philippe Starck's School of Design', Starck will invite would-be designers to bid for one of 10 places on a design course to be held in Paris. At the end of the course at least one student will be rewarded a six-month placement at Starck's design agency in the French capital.

Over six one-hour episodes, Starck will bring the 25 most promising applicants to meet him in Paris and, after setting them a challenge, will select 10 to join his school of design. Once at the school, successful applicants will be given the chance to demonstrate their abilities by working on real design projects. Applicants will be eliminated until one or more students are rewarded with the opportunity of a work placement with him.

Starck said: "What excites me about this project is that its all about the future. We don't want the fashion victim or the design victim; we're seeing people who do, the people who actually make something"

The programme is being produced by independent production company Twofour and the series will air in 2009.

Joe Houlihan, Twofour's director of programmes, said: "Starck is a world-straddling figure in contemporary design, so there is no one better to inspire an interest in product design here in the UK."

Lisa Edwards, the BBC's commissioning executive, said: "This series will focus its eye on the rich and relatively untapped territory of product design. We are very excited to have a designer as prolific as Philippe Starck at its heart"