New York’s newest design show, Collective Design Fair explores the blurring line between art and design.
Founded and created by Steven Learner, the fair comprises 24 international galleries that represent the best of what contemporary and vintage design has to offer. Our New York editor, Rita Nakouzi, selects her top picks from the inaugural edition.
When you first walk into the fair you instantly see Sebastian Errazuriz’s sculptural work Blow Me, which is made up of nine industrial drum fans with a neon sign lit in front of them. When visitors press the pedal in front of the drums they activate the fans, which sets the tone for a show that looks to figuratively “blow you away” with thought-provoking, witty and aesthetically interesting art and design pieces. Housed in Pier 25, each exhibiting gallery has plenty of space to really allow their vision, and that of their designers, to shine through.
R20th Century’s booth gives a cohesive story of melding vintage pieces with contemporary works, exemplified in the work of The Haas Brothers. Volume Gallery’s stellar roster of talent includes Jonathan Muecke, Minnesota-based collective Rolu and Snarkitecture. Rolu very much blurs the line between art and design with pieces that are as much beautiful sculptures as they are functional design pieces for the home.
One of our favorite galleries, Magen has a stellar desk from the 70s in the style of Joseph-Andre Motte. Also, Kinder Modern is a vintage and contemporary gallery for children’s design, comprising colorful pieces that are simple, modern and timeless.
Spectacles in and around the fair include the VIP and sitting areas that have been beautifully curated by BDDW, who always manage to create a mood that’s understated and elegantly thoughtful. In addition, a spectacular exhibition by renowned architect and designer Gaetano Pesce is his first in 25 years.
Speaking about the fair, Pesce says:
“For over 50 years, I have firmly believed that, if objects expressed values that were not exclusively utilitarian and that if the so-called work of art revealed its own functionality, as it did in the past, then the frontiers of artistic expression would open up to new territories, eliminating the barriers separating the various creative media and enriching the entire culture.”
His quote is fitting with the show, which intends to explore new territories and expand the way we look at, and interact with, design, while also educating us on the value of design and how it can enrich our culture. This is perhaps not a new dialogue in design, but it is a continuing one that has found a new setting within which to evolve and expand. We’re already looking forward to the next edition.