interior design

david stark: robin hood foundation

by Grace Bonney

when i started d*s four years ago the last thing i thought about were parties and events. i’m a pretty big homebody so the thought of getting out of my pajamas and into uncomfortable heels late at night isn’t exactly my cup of tea. but despite not being a big party person, i am a big party-planning person. i may not be a big-event type of gal, but i do love having people over for drinks, dinner and brunch. planning details like tableware, place cards and food presentation always makes me happy. so when our summer intern christy and i got to meet event designer extraordinaire a few weeks ago we left feeling like we had met event royalty. and considering david has designed events for clients like rachael ray, conde nast, target, and nicole miller he really is the king of event design.

but what sets apart from the crowd is his growing commitment to keep event planning as sustainable as possible. when we sat down to talk the other week one of the things he mentioned to us was trying to work with materials that are either reusable or recyclable. i never really thought about all that gets thrown away after a party (let alone an event for 4,000) so to hear about david’s ideas for eco-friendly and thoughtful event planning was really eye opening.

one of the events that really caught our attention was david’s design for ‘s event at the javits center. as part of the event, large corporations donated products like sneakers, bottles of water, computers and towels that could be given to those in need. david was committmed to creating a design that would not only use the raw materials/gifts as the actual design, but would leave them in perfect condition so that they could be given away after the event. some of the ideas he used were incredible so we thought it would be fun to show you how something like the robin hood event, shown in its final form above, comes together from start to finish.

to read the rest of this post and see david’s idea for a giant chair made of water bottles, a house made of towels, centerpieces made from computer screens and of course, the shoe tornado, CLICK HERE (or just click “read more” below)….

where it all began: the david stark design team had a mission to transform a raw event space in the javit center into a “science fair” inspired space that showcased various donations turned into oversized sculptures- all of which would allow the original materials (aka, the donations) to be reused in their original condition.

how do you build a shoe tornado? with a giant net, of course. in order to showcase the incredible donation nike made, david stark’s design team created a funnel-shaped net that would allow them to carefully tie each shoe (wow) to the net without damaging the shoe or needing to cut into it. once the piece were connected the net was raised to create the tornado effect.

no more leftover flowers- rather than use traditional floral centerpieces, stark design used the donated computers (which were later donated to those in need) to showcase a rotating screensaver of traditional centerpieces.

donated pencils became larger than life when they combined to form one gigantic pencil. afterwards they were all separated to be donated to those in need.

water bottles were turned into a giant chair. each bottle of water was easily plucked off to be donated to the robinhood foundation.

the “house” above was made from squares built from folded towels, donated as part of the event.

*stay tuned for more on david stark throughout this year. we really love and believe in what he’s doing as a designer and will be covering his events this fall as well as recording interviews and videos with david himself.

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  • it is sad that you needed to wait for so long to realize how much garbage is produced after any party of any kind.
    i am glad you now opened your eyes, at least you can say that it is better late then never, but still….

    it is a shame because all new design should now consider eco-sustainability as mandatory.

    G.W Bush left the G8 meeting 2 months ago by saying “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter”… so even him is aware of the situation (although he doesn’t do anything about it)

    Now it is time to move on and keep this always in mind… your carbon footprint!

  • That’s funny, I just built a shoe tornado this morning. Y’know…to keep me busy until the coffee was ready. OH…my…good graciousness! What an inspiring event! He is SOOOO amazing! Don’t know how he does it?

  • He is really inspiring! Artist, Interior Designer, Event planner, Scuplture, Recycler, Crafter, AND sustainable extraordinaire!

    I am really interested in functional scupture. What an awesome event!

  • This is how I felt as a kid when I would go to amusement parks. It reminds me of the feeling I had going through “it’s a small world”.
    Wouldn’t it be so fun to have that same feeling as an adult where everything seemed magical! This is really brilliant.

  • OMG…I cannot imagine tying all of those sneaker laces to the net…and then untangling/untying it all during break-down!

    If you are interested, Exhibitor Magazine’s current issue is a good resource for what’s new in green exhibit design. I have worked as a tradeshow/event manager and it is really criminal how many resources are wasted to create these temporary structures/cities. Here is the link:

    Thanks for highlighting a visionary!

  • David Stark is so amazing. All of his designs are genius and he does so much with simple, everyday objects on a grand scale. I love that he is donating these items to those in need after the event. Thanks David for inspiring us all!

  • Awe inspiring! I wonder what the invites were like – email? recycled materials?
    Also, I’m curious what was done to recycle food and paper items after the event.
    It’s beautiful too and befits the theme , science project. Love it!

  • I am so inspired by the creative work done by the staff. Imaginiation … immagination .. amazing!!!! It never ends for one project to outshine the next.

  • gosh david stark has been my inspiration for so long now! it’s so great that you are featuring him on here! such an awesome designer! love it. i can’t wait to read more. thank you thank you!

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