Themes and Thoughts about Collecting Design

What are some of the characteristics that make a great collector?

Access – cultural and monetary, sustained interest, superior ‘taste’, patronage, and desire for self expression through objects are few that come to mind.

As design has been formalized into a market category since the turn of the century it has gained a much wider audience as we start to internalize and adopt the idea of living with design.

3D printing, vintage, up-cycling and traditional craft and human experience are five large themes leading the way in the 21st century design industry. They all suggest a generation with a growing awareness of the impact creating objects has on our environment and suggest perhaps the importance of aligning our personal environments with the larger themes impacting the world.

Commissioning and acquiring design that contributes to themes and naratives we believe in creates ultimate luxury.

This week we share some recent exhibitions and collections that inspire us to think about the impact each of our acquisitions has on the world around us and also propose glorious objects that align with some global goals for the a better world.



Scraps | Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuse at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum. This exhibition explores uses for textile waste. Furniture production is confronting the same issues. In Paris we found a young company that is part of the solution.  Maximum Paris partners with manufacturers who provide their waste material – excess dye  and left over raw materials for example. Maximum then designs products to incorporate these materials thereby eliminating waste through up-cycling. Her are three currently available projects.


This perhaps doesn’t qualify as collectible design the way we have recently come to know it. But I would argue that this furniture has a very important place in the evolution of design and material culture. It is responding to a global issue.

If you’re looking for more exclusive design with an equally powerful message, Physical, a collection presented last spring in Milan by Kiki and Joost and presented by Nilufar at PAD London this week is an exciting project.20160519-_dsc0927 “We wanted to make physical things with our hands, with materials that you can touch and experience,” says Kiki. “We see how babies experience physics by playing with water and other things, and we were very inspired by this. It brings you back to the most important things in life,” she smiles. As reported in the Telegraph


Joost van Bleiswijk’s Meccano-inspired constructions with every single component handmade.


In Paris, preserving craft a major initiative for one of the most influential galleries: In 2015  Carpenters Workshop Gallery, opened Carpenters Workshop | Roissy, a 8,000 m2 space dedicated to artistic research and development, bringing together the elite of artisans, an homage to the heritage to French ‘Arts Décoratifs’. Vincenzo de Cotiis’ Pop Nouveau is the gallery’s present exhibition that is part of this project,  explores two themes: a rebellion against stereotypes and the liberation from mechanized forms using salvaged and reclaimed materials.


Side table


Large hanging wall cabinet


Coffee table

These are just a few of the projects and themes that design is tackling. Every couple of weeks we’ll present a company or designer whose works is forging links between our strong global themes and our individual instincts for aesthetic expression.  Is it collectible? Let’s discuss as we go!

Have a great weekend!







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