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portrait of GRAY Awards judge Stephen Burks in patterned shirt

SEATTLE, October 2, 2023 — GRAY Media, LLC, announces that Stephen Burks has joined the judging panel for the 7th Annual GRAY Awards.

Stephen Burks is the founder and principal of Stephen Burks Man Made, a hands-on collaborative design studio deeply invested in the transformative power of craft techniques that challenge the limits of new technologies within industrial production. Independently and through association with various non-profits, he has worked as a product development consultant in close collaboration with artisans and craftspeople in over ten countries on six continents.

He and his studio have been commissioned by many of the world’s leading design-driven brands, including Cappellini, Dedon, Missoni and Roche Bobois, to develop collections that engage hand production as a strategy for innovation. At the core of Burks’ practice is a belief in design that is inclusive of all cultural perspectives. His work has been exhibited and collected internationally, including at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the High Museum of Art, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

A Chicago native, Burks received his degree in product design from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a master's in architecture from Columbia University's GSAPP. He is the only African-American to win the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Product Design and the only industrial designer to be awarded the prestigious Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

His solo exhibition Stephen Burks: Shelter In Place, formerly at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (September 16, 2022 - March 5, 2023) travels to the Philadelphia Museum of Art this fall and presents the last decade of professional practice alongside new expressions of radical domesticity through handcrafted industrial design.

The GRAY Awards is an international design competition in the areas of architecture, interior design, landscape design, product design, and fashion design. There are 10 judges awards including Wild Card and a student category, and as many as 30 winners will be recognized in breakout categories. Winners will be announced in Seattle at the GRAY Awards black-tie party in March 2024.

Thank you to our sponsors and industry partners:


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