German entrepreneur Bobby Dekeyser’s exclusive outdoor furniture company Dedon has teamed with young American designer and creator Stephen Burks to present the distinctive Dala line of lounge chairs, ottomans, and stools that double as side tables to the world in April during Milan Design Week, the ultimate showcase for home-furnishing design. Dedon with its idealistic and progressive mission of social activism and green living is the perfect match for Burks’ eco-forward, handcrafted artistry.
Dedon’s 20 years of experience in outdoor furniture is a beacon of social responsibility, so it is no surprise that the origins of Dala—in name, form, and function—grew organically from Burks’ time spent studying traditional handmade craft techniques in Senegal. For example, the word “dala,” simply translated, means “to make” in a dialect often used in western Africa. Likewise, the concept for these woven pieces of furniture was directly influenced by artisans in the developing countries of Africa and the impromptu seating arrangements commonly found in their daily lives.
Each piece in the Dala collection begins in the same Dedon fashion, as a clean and durable aluminum and polyurethane fiber mesh which is then enveloped by a geometric grid of webbing. This webbing becomes the framework through which Dedon’s master weavers in Cebu in the Philippines thread strands of an ecologically-friendly fiber, a new material constructed from recycled food and drink packaging and polyethylene that is itself recyclable. Dala furniture, like all pieces designed and created by Dedon, are sustainably produced, 100 percent recyclable, and non-toxic. Every step of production—from research, to manufacture, to distribution—works to become environmentally sustainable with zero waste.
In addition to being environmentally responsible, Dala lounge chairs, ottomans, and stools are both beautiful and functional. They are available in 3 color families (fire, grass, and sea) inspired by hues and textures found in nature, and the repurposed materials have a unique luster and smooth texture. With handcrafted individuality inherent in the weaving of each singular patterned strip of varying thicknesses, each Dala piece is a reflection of the modern aesthetic and nature’s inspiration paired with traditional artisan techniques. The lightweight materials make these pieces portable, providing fluidity and comfort to outdoor living spaces.
The structure of each piece in the Dala collection is ideal for outdoor recreation, intended for direct contact with the ground. The cushions are made from breathable, light-weight, and fire- and light-resistant batyline fabric, making each piece durable in addition to being environmentally sound.
The Dala collection is another Dedon triumph, reflecting a devotion to the inspiration, comfort, and resources of our planet.