Dwell Presents Stephen Burks Man Made in Milan
By Kelsey Keith / Published by Dwell

Over six days during Milan Design Week, concurrent with Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Dwell presented "Man Made," an exhibition highlighting the work of American furniture and industrial designer Stephen Burks. Burks, who will be the keynote speaker at 2014 Dwell on Design in Los Angeles, holds a firm place in the international field of design with his ability to straddle philanthropy and marketability.

Burks, standing with his Anwar LED lighting collection for Parachilna, at his Dwell-hosted Man Made exhibition in Milan.

The exhibition includes an array of pieces from Burks’s catalog, from commissions from European manufacturers– like Calligaris, Dedon, and Parachilna–to collaborations with artisans from underrecognized communities across the globe. Of particular note is an early prototype of the new Traveler chair designed by Stephen Burks for Roche Bobois—the first such collaboration between the French furniture company and an American designer. 

Stephen Burks Man Made exhibition in Milan, presented by Dwell.

The Milan exhibition kicks off an entire year of experiential collaborations between Stephen Burks and Dwell. "Man Made" will travel from Milan to the show floor at Dwell on Design—where the Roche Bobois Traveler chair will make its official debut—and then on to Dwell on Design New York in October 2014. “It’s a collaboration born from admiration and appreciation,” says Dwell’s Editor-in-Chief Amanda Dameron. “Through his astounding creativity, respect for artisans, and exuberant love for material and form, Stephen demonstrates an essential bridge between technology and craft. Dwell is tremendously proud of the way Stephen represents today's modern American design landscape.”

Stephen Burks for Roche Bobois, steel frame for The Traveler chair European edition, 2014. (See the debut of the American Traveler chair at Dwell on Design Los Angeles in June, where Stephen will be the keynote speaker.)

Since founding his New York–based industrial design consultancy Readymade Projects in 1997, Stephen Burks has worked with renowned international brands including Audi, B&B Italia, Boffi, Calvin Klein, Cappellini, Estée Lauder, Harry Winston, Moroso, and Missoni. In 2005, his work began to resonate on a deeper level with the adoption of a more diverse and inclusive vision of design. “I always believed in the democratization of design,” Burks says—making this a natural partnership for the Dwell brand, which bridges the gap between aspirational and accessible design every day. "My Man Made project has been several years in the making, and finding the right partners has been critical to its success,” Burks adds. “Dwell Media’s broad support—from the magazine to its online presence to the exhibition to the keynote opportunity—has given me the kind of exposure I've always wanted both in the States and abroad."

Stephen Burks for Calligaris, variations on thread-wrapped wooden chairs, 2013

Stephen Burks for Parachilna, Anwar LED lighting collection in copper, brass, and black-plated steel, 2013

Stephen Burks for his self-initiated Man Made project, Triple Basket Lamp made of woven sweetgrass baskets plus an Alvar Aalto stool, 2014

Stephen Burks for Dedon, Dala planter in recycled polyethylene, 2012

Stephen Burks for The White Briefs, printed underwear collection, 2013

Stephen Burks Man Made Collection, Shona wire stool in powder-coated galvanized steel, 2014

More from the Stephen Burks Man Made exhibition in Milan, which will travel next to Los Angeles for Dwell on Design 2014.

Kelsey Keith


Kelsey Keith has written about design, art, and architecture for a variety of print and online publications.

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