Should I have heard of him? Yes, unless you've been living on Mars for the past 20 years. Philippe Starck's name is synonymous with contemporary design and there's scarcely an area of modern life he hasn't touched. Toothbrushes, urinals, baby bottles, pasta, cutlery, luggage, furniture and hotels have all benefited from Starck's genius. Urinals? No matter how mundane the object, Starck considers it his duty to help people live a better life through improved design. Take his lemon squeezer for Alessi, the Juicy Salif, which looks like a silver three-legged spider (right). The design couldn't be simpler and there's no better way to squeeze a lemon. Or his gorgeously coloured Perspex Louis Ghost chairs for Kartell (2002), which effortlessly combine good looks with comfort. Where in Hong Kong can I buy them? Try Aluminium for Starck furniture, (1B Capitol Plaza, Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel: 2546 5904), and Arrakis Oggetti for kitchen/bathroom products (109 Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central tel: 2525 5144). You can also experience Starck's interior design talents at the recently opened Jia serviced apartments in Causeway Bay and Felix restaurant at the Peninsula hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui. Starck designed Felix 10 years ago, but the design is as compelling today as in 1994. Sounds quirky. Quirky is Starck's stock-in-trade, such as the stools he designed for the reception area of trendy St Martin's hotel in London, which are replicas of gold teeth. Or his inspired room designs for the chic Sanderson, another London hotel. If you have nothing better to do in bed than contemplate the ceiling, Starck has thoughtfully placed a gilt-framed painting in the centre. He's also responsible for creating some of the world's most striking architecture, such as the 'biomorphic' building Nani Nani in Tokyo. Website www.philippe-starck.net offers a whistle-stop tour through a jumble of whimsical ideas and philosophies. What is his background? He was born in 1949 in Paris, and spent his childhood underneath the drawing board of his aircraft-designer father, spending hours sawing, cutting, glueing, sanding and dismantling bikes, motor cycles and other objects. He created Starck products in 1979 and his commissions span the globe. His work is exhibited at major museums in Paris, New York, London, Barcelona and Chicago, and he has been showered with prizes and awards, including the Grand Prix for Industrial Design, Designer of the Year and Officier des Arts et des Lettres. What's the latest? His Time and Weather Collection of clocks, available at Oregon Scientific (1/F Prince's Building, 10 Chater Road, Central, tel: 2187 2333; www. oregonscientific.com) including Fossil, a ring that looks like a piece of modern jewellery but is actually a digital watch.