Stephen Burks is both a traveler and a designer. 

Independently and through association with the nonprofits Aid to Artisans, Artesanías de Colombia, the Clinton Global Initiative, Design Network Africa, and the Nature Conservancy, he has worked as a product development consultant in Australia, Colombia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, and Senegal.

He and his studio, Stephen Burks Man Made, have been commissioned by many of the world’s leading design-driven brands to develop collections that engage hand production as a strategy for innovation for manufacturers worldwide. These include BD Barcelona Design, Bolon, Cappellini, Calligaris, Dedar, Dedon, Estée Lauder, Harry Winston, Living Divani, Luceplan, Missoni, Moroso, Roche Bobois, and Swarovski. 

Stephen's work has been exhibited internationally including two museum exhibitions in New York. In 2011, Stephen Burks | Man Made, his first solo New York museum show, opened at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Stephen Burks | Are You a Hybrid, his first curatorial project, opened at the MAD, Museum of Arts & Design. 

He has received numerous awards, including the Illinois Institute of Technology Alumni Professional Achievement Award, the Brooklyn Museum Young Modernist Award, the Architektur & Wohnen Audi Mentor Prize, and the 2008 United States Artists Architecture & Design Target Fellowship Grant. 

Stephen believes in a pluralistic vision of design that is inclusive of all cultural perspectives. His ongoing social project bridges the gap between authentic developing world production, industrial manufacturing, and contemporary design.

Stephen is the 2015 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award winner in product design and a 2019 Harvard Loeb Fellow.