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May 24, 2012
Over at Design Milk, we recently had the opportunity to interview Brooklyn-based designer David Weeks and take a tour of his space. While we were there, he mentioned Hanno the Gorilla as playing a critical role in both his business and his emotional development. He says, "The gorilla is emblematic for me, creatively and personally. I've said it was a cry for help. Business was good; it had grown. But it gets to a point where it's driving you crazy, because you're so busy, but you're not making enough money to get to the next step. In one of those moments I thought, 'I think I'll make a wooden gorilla.' So we went over to the shop, clamped a belt sander to the table and started carving shapes. It was very cathartic, satisfying. That was around 2006. It came out great and was mechanically compelling."
After he created Hanno, other wooden toys followed including Cubebot, a flexible wooden robot available in a number of sizes. David's flexible joint wooden toys are some of his best sellers and helped take the business to a new level. He explained that his kids play a role in influencing what he designs... "My best work has come from solving a problem in my own house or making a toy I'd want my own kid to play with. That has integrity... The other day my daughter was here and said, 'we don't have a rhino,' so I have to bring one home; they love the [Cubebot] too."
David recently created a giant Cubebot to be displayed in Milan during the Salone del Mobile furniture fair.
Besides his wooden toys, David runs a successful design business creating lighting and furniture--with the majority made and shipped from his fantastic Brooklyn studio and workshop. Not too many designers can say they also make everything! And that is what makes David Character Approved. Check out the exclusive Design Milk studio/shop tour here.