Yesterday at the Fiera Milano, walking through the sprawling campus of the supergroup Poltrona Frau, I ran into the New York designer Stephen Burks, who took a moment to chat with me about his new line of eco-conscious ware for Italian manufacturer Cappellini. Called Cappellini Love, the collection is comprised of a series of vases and bowls made from glass fragments, and a small group of tables made from recycled paper. Here are some of his thoughts on the project, and the tables in particular. (See more images of the tables after the jump.)
How did the project get its start?
It's based on a lot of my work developed over the years in South Africa, Peru, and Mexico, working with non-profits Aid to Artisans and the Nature Conservancy. My goal has been to try to integrate hand techniques with an innovative approach to the structure of the design and then find international distribution. It's business and design; I don't think the two are independent.
Where are they produced?
They will be produced in South Africa. These are the first prototypes using techniques that we develop independently of the artisans, and then we teach them how to do it. And in my opinion, why not make things by hand? We have a lot of people with a lot of skill, who can produce, so we don't always have to rely on industrial production.
How are they made?
They're made from bagloads of shredded magazines, mostly old Wallpaper and Domusâ¦ I keep the good ones (laughs). These were made from my old collection of magazines, but I don't know how we're going to do the production, we really have to gather a ton of magazines and newspapers. There's a paper structure, which is then stuffed with paper; it's a new paper maché technique. And then we use a non-toxic adhesive and hardener for the surface.