MEET DAVID WEEKS
After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1990, David Weeks moved to New York with every intention of becoming an artist. His introduction to the world of product design came somewhat by chance—after stumbling into a job with jewelry designer Ted Muehling, Weeks discovered a passion for metalwork that would eventually translate into the elegant, sculptural lighting designs for which he became well known.
Started his eponymous studio in 1996. Designs span from furniture to toys. Focused on subtlety of form.
"Someone once said to me that your best designs are the ones that you design for yourself and I think that’s true.
Since setting up his own studio in 1996, Weeks has greatly diversified. With a manufacturing space in Brooklyn and a storefront-turned-gallery in Tribeca, his work now spans everything from furniture to toys.
What inspires you?
It sounds corny but when you start designing you just notice little things, like a doorknob that feels wrong or the way a lock closes. You start critiquing everything. It’s also about materials. When you see a material bend a certain way you get an instant idea of what you could do with it. The studio in Brooklyn was very much designed to make those experiments possible.
Tell us about your design for OTHR?
I designed a set of espresso cups, because we all need espresso! I had developed the shape a little while ago but back then I was thinking of bowls and dishware, so it was a nice opportunity to bring that aesthetic to fruition on a smaller scale. I wanted to incorporate metal printing so the saucer is metal and the cup is ceramic.
How did you come to collaborate with OTHR?
I’ve known Joe [Doucet] for a long time and I think he’s done a great job of bringing together such a diverse group of designers. It’s not just the usual suspects. I really like how quickly OTHR can turn these products around, so you don’t have to wait for two years to see your product come to market. It can be as little as two to three months.
Do you have a favorite design?
I think it would have to be Hanno the Gorilla. Though it’s perhaps not my favorite piece, it is certainly the most emblematic. I think that when I started to design the toys, people began to see the studio differently. Plus, the gorilla is such an object of strength.
What prompted you to design the toys?
I went and had children! My son was really the inspiration. Someone once said to me that your best designs are the ones that you design for yourself and I think that’s true. We were going to yard sales and buying action figures and when you play with them you can study the joints and the construction of each piece. It was also a moment where the lighting was very dominant. It was at this point that I wanted to diversify.
Your work is very diverse, how do you tie everything together?
I’ve been trying to tie everything together for the last 20 years! I studied painting and sculpture, and art is very much a part of everything I do. There is so much stuff to be made and so much stuff to have fun making. I want the storefront in Tribeca to be a connecting point, somewhere that people can see the work as a body.
How do you spend your free time?
I’m remodeling a barn at the moment near Hudson, in upstate New York. It’s an amazing structure in a great location. I guess it’s linked to my work but it’s closer to architecture. My children are very involved with it too, they’re 14 and 11 now, so they’re getting to the point where it’s really good to run ideas by them.