Unveiling the Intriguing World of Stephen Burks: Shelter in Place

Welcome to the fascinating world of Stephen Burks: Shelter in Place exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This captivating showcase unveils the ingenious designs and thought-provoking concepts of Stephen Burks, a renowned designer who seamlessly blends handcraft and industrial manufacturing. From woven TV stands to emotional design solutions, Burks' creations push the boundaries of traditional design. Join us as we explore the highlights of this extraordinary exhibition.

The Ingenious Woven TV Stand: A Two-Way Dialogue

Discover the innovative solution of the woven TV stand that allows viewers to interact and personalize their viewing experience.

At the heart of the exhibition lies the captivating Woven TV stand, a unique creation by Stephen Burks. This ingenious design not only serves as a functional entertainment system but also encourages a two-way dialogue between the viewer and the transmitted content.

Burks and his partner, Malika Leiper, were inspired to create this stand when they faced the dilemma of incorporating a flat-screen TV into their Brooklyn apartment without compromising the aesthetic of their space. The solution was to weave a basketry stand that allows personal objects to be interwoven, giving viewers the agency to manipulate the TV in their own fashion.

Imagine the possibilities of incorporating your own cherished items, such as prayer beads or sentimental trinkets, into the woven TV stand. This interactive design truly transforms the viewing experience into a personal and meaningful journey.

The Fusion of Handcraft and Industrial Manufacturing

Explore Stephen Burks' unique design ethos that seamlessly integrates handcraft techniques into industrial manufacturing processes.

Stephen Burks challenges the conventional notion that industrial production should eliminate the human touch. Instead, he believes in harnessing the value of handcraft and leveraging it alongside machine manufacturing.

Through his collaborations with craft artisans around the world, Burks has created remarkable pieces that blend traditional techniques with modern materials. One notable example is the Dala line of woven outdoor furniture, inspired by weavers in the Philippines and Senegal. These pieces feature rounded, powder-coated aluminum grids interwoven with vibrant colored fibers, resulting in unique and visually striking designs.

By embracing the handcraft process, Burks not only adds value to the final products but also empowers artisans from diverse backgrounds. His mission of pluralistic design is a testament to the power of collaboration and the beauty of cultural exchange.

Designing for Emotional Connection: The Spirit House

Delve into the emotional design solution of the Spirit House, a poignant creation by Stephen Burks that explores the themes of remembrance and memorialization.

Inspired by Southeast Asian traditions of memorial and remembrance, Stephen Burks created the Spirit House as a response to the emotional challenges faced during the pandemic. This bright yellow talismanic structure serves as a personal sanctuary for reflection and honoring loved ones.

Within the Spirit House, you will find a small woven basket, a stick of incense, and a photo of the celebrated writer bell hooks. This poignant combination represents the intersection of personal and collective memory, inviting visitors to engage in their own contemplative journey.

How can design provide solace and support during times of grief? The Spirit House offers a powerful example of how art and design can address emotional needs and foster healing within communities.

A Tiered Display: An Artistic Stadium for Exploration

Immerse yourself in the visually stunning tiered display that showcases Stephen Burks' creations in a dynamic and engaging manner.

The exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art ingeniously utilizes the gallery's high ceiling to create a tiered display reminiscent of a stadium. This design concept allows visitors to view the artworks and designs from different perspectives, creating a sense of excitement and exploration.

Just like the iconic Rocky steps, the tiered display invites you to embark on a visual journey, where each platform reveals new treasures and surprises. Whether you're admiring the intricate details of the woven furniture or marveling at the thought-provoking installations, this immersive experience will leave you captivated.

Step into this artistic stadium and witness the power of design to transform spaces and captivate the imagination.

Honoring Stephen Burks' Collaborative Vision

Learn about Stephen Burks' commitment to pluralistic design and his collaborative approach that brings together diverse talents from around the world.

Stephen Burks firmly believes that design should be a collaborative endeavor that embraces diverse perspectives and talents. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with hundreds of individuals across six continents and 20 countries, fostering a truly global design community.

By integrating the ideas and skills of artisans and designers from different cultures, Burks creates designs that are not only visually stunning but also culturally rich. His dedication to pluralistic design showcases the power of collaboration in pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation.

Join Stephen Burks on his mission to celebrate the multitude of voices and talents that contribute to the world of design.

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