New York based designed Stephen Burks lived in Senegal for three months to develop these artistic lamps with the help of local artisans and basket weavers. The baskets are made from sweet grass and colourful recycled plastic. Stephen’s Man Made project about integrating centuries old artisan processes into contemporary design products to extend these craft traditions into the future, while also building a bridge from these developing world hand factories to international distribution.
Burks collaborates with artisans in the developing world to transform raw and recycled materials into clever, functional products. Linking these products with the distribution and marketing of global design brands such as Artecnica, Cappellini and Moroso, Burks brings social, cultural and economic benefit to people in remote locations.
In doing so, he also introduces new forms and aesthetics to contemporary design in the industrialized world. For Man Made Toronto, Burks invites the Toronto public to consider basket lamps, shelving, tables and other interior products that he developed with Senegalese basket weavers in a village outside of Dakar. As authentic hybrids of two cultures, these products seem simultaneously fresh and familiar.
Man Made Toronto is presented by Wedge Curatorial Projects and the Design Exchange, in collaboration with Chevalier Edition. The exhibition will be held at The Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street Toronto, Ontario until 1st April 2012.