Stephen Burks - or The readymade spirit
by Vera Siegmund | 3/20/2008
2941 Hutton Drive
CA 90210 Beverly Hills
T: +1 323 655 6551
F: +1 323 655 8555
Artecnica's mission is to elevate the purpose and value of everyday objects by using design to enchant, inspire and transform through the powerful tools of art and technology. Art represents the most personal expression of our design language, technology our unique application of materials, fabrication methods and techniques.
ENCHANT: the unusual aesthetics of the object visually captivate the EYE of the viewer.
INSPIRE: an emotional attachment to the object develops while experiencing awe and stimulation, filling the HEART.
TRANSFORM: excited and involved, the viewer's intellectual analysis evolves attitudes toward living environments, and ultimately life itself, intertwining the BRAIN.
Artecnica's initial focus was on visual excitement, artistic expression and use of exciting shapes and colors. The "eye" was king. As Artecnica grew, the reward of pure visual excitement was joined by intense commitment to design.
We started traveling the world, exploring and sharing experiences. Specialized vendors were selected and collaborations with designers, merchants and craftsmen begun. New materials were explored experimentally and spontaneously.
The stage was set for the questioning of Artecnica's values, scope and means. Materials were questioned from functional and environmental standpoints, production and utilization of human resources reevaluated. A profound shift was made toward more sustainable and environmentally friendly material, and the design of easy-ship flat packed products to reduce transport.
This deeper awareness of our global impact inspired a formalized program for Artecnica we call Design with Conscience. Artisan communities of developing countries handcraft objects designed by internationally recognized designers, often utilizing recycled products, both minimizing environmental impact and stimulating depressed economies.
As we continue explore the world and create new design, we also transform and look forward to the challenges we have set with Design With Conscience and our commitment to enchant, inspire, tranform.
The designer can dovetail the capacities of artisans with the needs of the international marketplace. The project producer provides the logistics, marketing, and art direction necessary to bring the work of the designer and the artisan to the consumer. As project producer, Artecnica partners with such nonprofit organizations as Aid to Artisans and the British Council.
Our challenge is to develop a competitive product that will encourage the survival of indigenous craft. Fulfilling this mission requires a smart designer, a savvy and visionary project producer, and a willing and ambitious artisan. Our objective is to avoid the mechanization of the artisan, which devalues his work and undermines the project from both a design and an economic standpoint.
In accomplishing our goals we avoid the assembly line production, exploitation of third world labor, and displacement of workers that often results from monopoly-oriented marketing organizations with global reach. The promise of creating a great quantity of product at low cost initially attracted the designer in the hope of reaching a larger audience. But now that designer products have become commonplace, we have begun to realize that quantity invariably dilutes quality, both actual and perceived. The more ubiquitous the product, the lesser the demand, resulting in thousands of products nobody wants anymore, thus depleting resources, contributing to the accumulation of garbage and environmental degradation, and resulting in negative backlash from exploited third world populations. Today's sophisticated consumer recognizes a need for change. What may once have been a nostalgia for craft is now becoming an appreciation of all that sustainable craft has to offer, including shared work and profit across borders, cultures, races, and religions. The transformation is beginning.