Beck’s Green Box with Stephen Burks

Thirty internationally acclaimed artists are working round the clock to grace Beck’s Green Box with their works. We are talking about folks from London, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Rome and Milan! An incredible 2m³ acrylic sculpture designed by the much-admired Jason Bruges, each box will house an exclusive work from each artist, one of which belongs to Stephen Burks. The thirty Green Boxes will form the world’s first Augmented Reality Gallery and in turn inspire creatives the world over to submit their own ideas for the project. YD caught up with Stephen for a quick chat and this is what he has to say…

YD: We all know Stephen Burks the Designer, but to a layman how will you introduce yourself?

SB: I guess I’d introduce myself the same way I always do. Regardless of who knows me, I’m the same person . . . Hi, I’m Stephen Burks.

YD: Has design and art been an in-built talent for you or were there family influences?

SB: I think family is always an influence. Although no one in my family is an artist or designer, my interests were supported from an early age.

YD: Do you believe in signature styles or do the forces influence you?

SB: I believe we’re moving beyond the designer as singular stylist, which is derived from a more of a 20th century notion of the designer as auteur. Sure, signature designers will always exist, but the greater cultural pull will come from designers as simply nodes on a much broader network of collective influence. This reality has become a force that is influencing everyone and everything.

YD: What is your take on luxury products, brands and labels? Are they necessary or can we live without them?

SB: I believe we’re living through the most pluralistic moment in our history. Luxury brands continue to exist, but now must co-mingle with mass market brands. There’s an acknowledgement that luxury is no longer about the brand’s mark on a product, but how it’s brand is relates to authenticity, inclusivity and generosity – ideals that I believe define our common sense of what constitutes luxury. In as much as brands acknowledge that these ideals are synonymous with luxury, they will remain culturally relevant and necessary.

YD: You are now associated with Beck’s Green Box project, How did that come about? Tell us more.

SB: I’m not exactly sure how I became associated with the Beck’s Green Box project. One day an email arrived from a lovely woman named Freddie. My decision to be involved is maybe a little more interesting, because I truly see it as the beginning of a new way of looking at the world. Reality combined with virtuality with art equals . . . Amazing!

YD: What is your contribution to the project in terms of designing?

SB: To be honest, I was more like a director than an artist or designer in this project. My team and I generated a series of digital generic forms that stack and build these multi-colored totems that never stop turning around and around like tops.

YD: It seems that digital mediums have become equally influential in relations to actual tangible products. The Green Box is a good example for it, what do you feel about this personally?

SB: I think it’s very exciting in that it begins to return us to our humanity somehow. Through augmented reality we are reminded that we are somewhere real while at the same time experiencing something completely digital. Maybe through this kind of hybrid way of seeing, we’ll eventually put all the devices down and learn how to relate to our surroundings again?

YD: “The Green Box Project blends the physical with the digital, and lives to serve as an inspiration for artists that need a platform for their work.” How did the Green Box inspire your creativity?

SB: To be honest, it’s such a new medium that it was kind of daunting. What to make when you can make anything and have it move around as if it’s really there?! Somehow it inspired us to look inwardly to create something that lives outwardly.

YD: An Inspirational Music Concert or an Art Exhibition, which one would you prefer to attend and why?

SB: Is this a trick question?

YD: From all the projects and pieces that you have worked on and created, which one was creatively the most satisfying one?

SB: The next one!