After following David Stark’s work for several years now, there’s no way around the fact that his capabilities are unmatched in the event design world. He is like a geyser of inspiration, a shooting star of endless possibilities, a noble pine tree of solid work.. do i sound obsessed? Apologies.
Enough talk. Here’s the evidence:
Innovative. Instead of depending on the traditional florals or lighting fixtures for decor, Stark paints the room in typography of all different angles and sizes to emphasize the Metropolitan Opera’s history in print for its 125th anniversary gala. Not only is this cost-effective, but this design fully marries the event with its background.
Unconventional. For the Hampton’s Magazine luncheon, Stark smartly displays traditional name cards in an herb garden that reinforces the greenhouse theme.
Detail-oriented. For Benjamin Moore’s Diffa Dining by Design installation, the overall effect is otherworldly. Stark incorporates the client effortlessly in every minute detail of the project, from paint cans as lighting fixtures to step ladders as splashes of color to the paint-by-number idea in the wall.
Resourceful. Cheap and easy paint strips become the centerpiece of the entire Walker Art Center Grand Opening Gala.
Ability to be monochramatic. I love the Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards event that David Stark did because it shows his versatility. He’s able to create an event design entirely devoid of color yet full of character. The differing heights of the floral arrangements create such dimension within the room!
Sense of humor. For Louis Vuitton’s Tribute to the 40th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing, Stark’s alien-like floral arrangements are just so appropriate and atypical of the traditional lush bouquets that overpower most events.
Awe-factor. At the New York City Opera’s Gala, Stark dazzles the attendees with decor that doubles as pure art.
Originality. I have never seen any other designer capable of using such cheap materials (i.e. paper, post-its, pencils, etc.) to create such expensive looking decor. At the Walker Art Center Grand Opening Gala, Stark’s team created thousands of metal paint cans that doubled as lighting fixtures.
These last few pictures don’t even need a caption to explain why David Stark is such a design genius, but I’m going to point out the obvious and note that Stark pretty much never fails to not only integrate an event’s purpose into his design (i.e. pencils creating the huge pencil installation at the Robin Hood gala that highlights education as the unifying theme behind the night’s festivities), but he also utilizes his designs to make the event’s mission the focal point of the entire evening, as shown in the New Yorkers for Children Fall Gala and Robin Hood gala.
Finally, I leave you with my final piece of evidence:
David Stark’s website is a representation of his own principles as a designer. The site is interactive, playful and whimsical. The hand is actually your cursor and allows you to poke falling bulbs for more bits of info or confetti, and the gallery of his work has a calculator of symbols in the right hand panel that encourages the user to play with his projects and generate random words that create an experience that is different for each person. In essence, this site is authentic experiential art, and Stark is all about the “extraordinary experience.”