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STEPHEN BURKS: MAN MADE TORONTO

January - April, 2012
The Design Exchange, Toronto.


Stephen Burks: Man Made Toronto features the work of New York industrial designer Stephen Burks and his studio, Readymade Projects. Burks can be considered a design activist, whose work challenges the way that we think of traditionally crafted objects and contemporary design.

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.

In Man Made Toronto, Burks invited 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.
Presented by Wedge Curatorial Projects and the Design Exchange, in collaboration with Chevalier Edition. The exhibition took as its starting point The Studio Museum in Harlem’s exhibition Stephen Burks: Man Made (March 31 – June 26, 2011).

Thanks to the Toronto Arts Council for their generous support.