Born in Cairo, Egypt in 1960, Karim Rashid was raised in England and Canada. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Industrial Design from Carleton University in Ottowa, Canada in 1982. He went on to pursue graduate design studies in Italy under Ettore Sottsass and others before moving to Milan to work for a year at the Rodolfo Bonetto Studio. In 1993, Rashid opened his own studio in New York City, where he continues to live and work today. He has taught design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pratt Institute in New York, RISD in Providence, Rhode Island, and at the Ontario College of Art. He has also lectured at a variety of schools.
Rashid is a prolific designer; his studio asserts that he currently has over 3000 designs in production. His work is characterized by a playful, sometimes sensual, elegance and minimalism. Rashid's design repertoire spans luxury goods, mass produced pieces, furniture, lighting, interiors, high-tech objects, packaging, and brand identities. His clients include Issey Miyake, Tommy Hilfiger, Sony, Zanotta, Citibank, Alessi, Audi, Kenzo, Hugo Boss, Artemide, Method, Morimoto restaurant (Philadelphia), and nhow hotel (Berlin). Rashid has been honored with numerous awards, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s Designer of the Year (1998), the Daimler Chrysler Award (1999), and the silver IDEA Award for his design Oh Chair (1999). Rashid also holds honorary doctorates from the OCAD, Toronto and Corcoran College of Art & Design, Washington.