Composite Lounge by Stephen Burks



Cologne 09: American designer Stephen Burks of Readymade Projects created Composite Lounge at furniture fair IMM Cologne last month, using reconfigured furniture from Italian manufacturers Moroso.


The installation comprised piles of furniture, two skips furnished with cushions and a bar made from plastic milk crates.


“The Composite Lounge is intended to call into question the over 70,000 new products introduced each year and what happens to them," says Burks.


"Are we as an industry considering the life cycle of production? This furniture may have been born in the factory, but just like everything else, will ultimately end up in the dumpster!”


Images of Burks' projects in the developing world and promotional footage from Moroso were projected onto the skips.


Here's some more information from Stephen Burks:


Stephen Burks / Readymade Projects designed COMPOSITE LOUNGE “Turns Furniture On Its Head” at this year’s IMM Cologne International Furniture Fair

Stephen Burks / Readymade Projects new “Composite Lounge” at the IMM Cologne international furniture fair dramatically addresses the impact of the global furnishings industry in a world challenged by economic meltdown, ecological crisis, and political instability.

Using furniture donated by the contemporary Italian brand Moroso, Burks unpredictably “turns the furniture on its head”, arranging it like discarded “pile-ups” in an abstracted urban setting complete with streetlights, dumpsters and various symbols of detritus transformed into a startling yet usable “sit where you can” lounge-like environment.

In Burks’ “Composite Lounge” streetlights illuminate and support strapped-together, inverted Moroso signature pieces composing them into an amalgamation of seating possibilities. Two heavy metal dumpsters are transformed both into comfy lounging areas with acoustically pillowed interiors and the lounge’s refreshment bar. The bar is constructed from strapped together plastic milk crates adorned with Moroso accent pillows set inside one of the displaced dumpster interiors.

Screens on the dumpsters juxtapose stills of Burks’ various developing world projects with slick Moroso promotional footage, which highlights the complexity, contradictions and pluralistic voice of the global furnishings industry.

Burks, increasingly known for his ecologically-conscious and artisan-based projects, was named “one of the world’s most wanted young designers” by Wallpaper magazine. He has been responsible for creative design direction for clients ranging from Artecnica, Boffi, B&B Italia, Calvin Klein, Cappellini and Missoni, as well as the non-profits Aid to Artisans and the Nature Conservancy. He is on the trend board of the Cologne Furniture Fair and will be awarded this year’s Architektur & Wohnen Audi Mentor Prize as young designer of the year in Cologne during the fair.

IMM Cologne (January 19 – 25, 2009) is a leading international furnishing show; a global market and meeting place for the international furnishing sector, with over 1,000 exhibitors from 50 countries present at the 2009 fair. As the sector’s business event, trend barometer, international communication forum and center for creative ideas like the “Composite Lounge”, the IMM Cologne fair generates strong momentum for the interior design of tomorrow.

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Posted on Monday February 2nd 2009 at 5:06 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Hypo

    way to messy

  • Joseph

    This installation would be an accurate reflection of Mr. Burks thesis if it were made out of Ikea pieces, not a high end line like Moroso.

  • William Smith

    This compositions is tired and used. The whole “cobble together objects” in an amorphous pattern has been done again and again. A seemingly Frank-Gehry-esque “look at how not normal this is” idea that ruins practicality and usability.

  • allsgood

    why do 99% of installations need a thesis and explanation to have any perveived usefulness?

    this looks like a lot of junk piled together…then i read and see that the creator’s point is we make too much stuff and it becomes junk. OK. i already knew that. so a pile of junk suddenly becomes (somewhat) meaningful only upon explanation. i would prefer an installation that is interesting without any justification for it’s existence.

    i agree, there is too much junk out there. and maybe art can be used to teach us this lesson. but too me, this is still just junk, and i don’t want to look at it.

  • johnH

    I totally agree with Joseph above.

    comically flawed.

  • former assistant

    hello I like pizza, and candy, and if I find a million dollars on the ground i will pick it up and buy hookers for half and give the rest to the poor. bla bla COME ON Stephen. quit flying around pointing out the avious. and do something about it. for real. not just in fairytale land.

  • I think the chairs themselevs are quite trendy, but as a display the political motives are flawed. Make chairs like that out of recycled materials and youre onto a winner.