November 4, 2021
Stephen Burks Uses Global Design as a Means for a More Inclusive World
His collections for outdoor furniture manufacturer DEDON may best illustrate that philosophy. Burks has folded his appreciation for world cultures into each collection: DALA, meaning “to take” or “make” in the Tagalog language of the Philippines, is inspired by the improvised seating Burks has encountered across the developing world. THE OTHERS, a line of portable lanterns, was designed during Europe’s migrant crisis with bold and weary travelers in mind. “THE OTHERS was a way of saying, ‘How do you welcome (if you can welcome) this lantern into your garden, and into your life? Can you also welcome other people into your community?’” Burks asks rhetorically.
Meanwhile, the KIDA hanging lounge (shown opposite) seems designed for day-dreaming, a lighter but still human-centered activity. “He has a playful and colorful creative mind, with design ideals that align so much with ours,” says DEDON’s marketing director, Chloé Sos. Burks and DEDON have mutual appreciation, and he views their relationship as symbiotic: “They’ve given me the opportunity to experiment,” he says.
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