Designer Stephen Burks joins ‘Design in Dialogue’ as a host, interviewing guests with an emphasis on voices of diversity in the design community

Friedman Benda is pleased to announce that beginning in July, designer Stephen Burks will be joining Design in Dialogue as a host. Stephen Burks will appear weekly on Fridays, inviting and interviewing guests with a particular emphasis on voices of diversity in and around the design community.

Stephen’s joining will greatly expand the program’s initial mission as a platform to connect the design community amid the pandemic crisis by keeping the conversation going. Stephen’s guests will include contemporary designer Ini Archibong, Marquise Stillwell and Nu Goteh, co-founders of design journal Deem, and Amale Andraos, Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Glenn Adamson will continue as a host for the program weekly on Wednesdays. In addition, Stephen Burks will contribute some key texts for the gallery that address the complex relationship between design and inclusivity. This will be a major contribution to extending the conversation and challenging the canon, both timely and long overdue.

About Stephen Burks

Stephen is one of the most recognized American industrial designers of his generation. He believes in a pluralistic vision of design that is inclusive of all cultural perspectives. Stephen and his studio have been commissioned by many of the world’s leading design-driven brands to develop collections that engage hand production as a strategy for innovation. Stephen is a recipient of the Illinois Institute of Technology Alumni Professional Achievement Award, the Brooklyn Museum Modernism Young Designer Award, the A&W, Architektur & Wohnen Audi Mentor Prize and the United States Artists Architecture & Design Target Fellowship Grant, as well as being the first African-American to win the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Product Design. In 2019, Stephen became the first Harvard Loeb Fellow from the discipline of product design and is currently Design Critic in the Masters of Design Engineering program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, as well as an Expert- In- Residence at the Harvard Innovation Lab.

About Design in Dialogue 

Design in Dialogue is a series of online interviews hosted by curator and historian Glenn Adamson started in April, 2020. Previous guest speakers include Misha Kahn, Faye Toogood, Ron Arad, Joris Laarman, James Wines, Cindi Strauss, and many other leading voices from the field. For more information, please visit here.

About Friedman Benda

Friedman Benda identifies and advances key narratives that intersect contemporary design, craft, architecture, fine art, and cutting-edge technological research. The gallery promotes synthesis between leading creative thinkers and makers by creating opportunities to advance new connections within the global design community. Friedman Benda is committed to a critical view of design history. We aim to expand the design dialogue from its established sources, exploring perspectives that have previously been marginalized. Spanning five continents and four generations, Friedman Benda represents a roster of seminal established and emerging designers, as well as historically significant estates. Since 2007, the gallery’s exhibitions, publications and collaborations with institutions have played a vital role in the development of the contemporary design market and scholarship. For further information please visit, the gallery’s Instagram, @friedman_benda, and YouTube channel.

Media Contact: Christina Allan