Designer, painter, sculptor and jewelry-maker. David Weeks is an artist, a tinkerer. Founder of the David Weeks’ Studio in Tribeca, New York, he has been working with Cardenio Petrucci and DSEGNARE since September 2014, introducing his line of lighting fixtures and accessories. We asked him few questions about his latest projects Cubebots, MR B and the Wooden Animal sculptures, while waiting for his new products.
DS: How did the project with Cubebots and your wooden animals start?
DW: The initial inspiration behind Hanno, the gorilla, was Gilligan’s Island. I always loved when the professor would make cars of bamboo, or radios out of coconuts. I like the counter-intuitive idea of creating a hi-tech object out of an organic material. Before Hanno was created, the original idea was to make a wooden robot. I started sketching and carving different body parts and the robot started to get more animated. A gorilla seemed to be the most obvious next step. Another source of inspiration was playing with my son, Fenner. He has a lot of action figures and I was inevitably analyzing them as we played. We started collecting lesser-known action figures over the years and ended up with a good sampling of forgotten heroes: everyone from an anonymous motorcycle rider named Boomer to a half-man, half-fly creature named Piggy. I also liked the idea of combining this Kidrobot aesthetic with iconic Danish wooden toys. The result has been a great crossover toy, appealing to the urban toy collector as well as parents interested in wooden toys for their children. Built to last, our hope is that the toy pass down to younger generations.
DS: People in the industry think about you as the father of New York's "exploding" lighting scene. With the series of wooden sculptures toys are you showing to the design world that you are more than that?
DW: Since founding the studio in 1996, I have designed all genres of furniture but became well-known for my lighting fixtures – especially as the fixtures kept expanding in both scale and ambition. But my design practice has always been focused on a multidisciplinary approach; I consider the wooden toys to be a part of that. They were exciting to me in that they provided an opportunity to really create an aesthetic and apply the same quality and level of detail that is in the lighting, but in a more accessible way.
DS: What's your favorite character of your wooden toys?
DW: MR B is our newest wooden character, released this fall. He’s my current favorite – probably because we had such a good time designing and promoting him in collaboration with e15 (German design studio). The toy’s launch played a part in the celebration of e15’s 20th anniversary and two decades of their iconic wooden table BIGFOOT. Using the footprint of one table leg and the mythical creature as inspiration, we created this guy for their collection of accessories. His playful features and the Bigfoot/Yeti lore made this an especially fun launch, complete with a stop animation video we created to play with his range of motion. As we like to say, Get Yeti for MR B!
DS: Are you working on a new project now?
DW: Yes! We are in the process of finishing a new line of lighting fixtures, to be released in the spring of 2016.