David Stark's Intern Shares Her Experiences (Part I)

David Stark's Intern Shares Her Experiences (Part I)

Kayne Rourke
Aug 14, 2012

Mixing Egypt and France during the concept stage.

The finalist of our Design Is Not Taught! program is halfway through her summer internship, so we asked her to share her experiences so far. Sounds like she's having a fantastic time with David's team!

Morgane Saout hails from Paris, France, where she has been working as a Brand Director for 5 years. Her experience as an intern this summer has opened her eyes to the world of event design, which is quite different from her day-to-day world.

Read Part I of Morgane's experiences below - in Part II she'll tell us about the second half of her internship and share a few thoughts on her plans for organizing the Apartment Therapy holiday party in December!

Morgane shares a bit about her experiences as an intern on David Stark's team below - we look forward to hearing more about her experiences in the fall:

After 5 years of working in the world of Branding, I'm back as an intern! But not just anywhere: at David Stark Design and Production in New York! What, you don't know David Stark? David and his team produce extraordinary events, everything from planning to production for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and product launches. Event planning is their playground!

I was fortunate enough to be selected as an intern through Apartment Therapy's "Design Is Not Taught" Internship challenge, where they were looking for a candidate to work with David's team for 3 months. What an opportunity! It's been six weeks into the internship so far and I've had a chance to meet David and most of the team. Everyone works to make each event more innovative and creative than the last. At David Stark, we do not have time to get bored!

I report to the Design Director and every day I'm learning more and more about the organization of each event: everything from making plank treads, to looking for textures, materials, colors, choosing furniture and decorative objects, designing custom-made structures, staging proportions, and creating floor plans. As you can see, it's quite diverse! We are in many meetings as we bring the concepts to life.

Ben and Jen working hard on a project.

Another thing I've learned so far is that the Design Department is not just involved in design! It is interesting to see how everything is designed so that it falls within the budget, and changes are made where needed to make sure we remain within the budget. Coming from a printing perspective, the only budget we had to worry about was the cost of paper and printing! Here, there are clearly many more considerations. Everything is calculated precisely, down to the last detail: knowing the exact number of flowers and candles we need, or how much the materials cost to make a custom structure, is essential. I love this attention to details like this! It takes a special organization to keep all these details in line, and David Stark is definitely the place!

A drawing by David.

The Design Department is located on the 1st floor with the strategic planners and coordinators. All of us work together on a regular basis. Downstairs there is a large administration and studio area for storing equipment, preparing the flowers, cleaning the flower pots, and shipping and packing. Everything happens there! Also, in another building there is the production studio. If you want something custom-made, this is where it happens! The team in charge will saw, cut, glue, screw, tape, assemble, and manufacture it all. They put all of their creativity and energy into customers' wildest dreams for their events.

Product from previous project, in David's office.

It's pretty amazing to see a project and implement all of the necessary steps that go into it. I never thought it would take this many people to pull off an event that lasts just one evening. But with the amount of detail and precision they put into every event, it's not surprising. I look forward to seeing what's in store for me in the upcoming weeks, including a small project that I'll get to work on with Apartment Therapy after the internship! I can't wait! Thank you to David and his team for such an extraordinary experience.

About David Stark

David Stark is celebrated for his innovative, imaginative events for a wide range of high-wattage celebrity clients such as Beyoncé Knowles, Martha Stewart, Mariska Hargitay, Glenn Close and Jon Stewart, major corporations such as Target, TBS and Condé Nast, as well as high-visibility fund-raising galas for the nation's most elite not-for-profit organizations including The Museum of Modern Art and The Robin Hood Foundation.

l to r:

  • A thirty foot tornado constructed from thousands of sneakers donated by Nike created a breathtaking centerpiece at a Robin Hood Foundation annual gala.

  • An aerial installation created from thousands of lines of flagging tape established the theme for the American Friends of the Israel Museum's gala.

  • For the opening of the new Michael Graves wing at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, a paper fantasy setting referenced William Morris flowers in the museum's collection.

Photo Credits: Susan Montagna (1st and 2nd), Heidi Ehalt (3rd).

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