The design cognoscenti have a full dance card in New York next month. From May 8 through 19, the city will be pulsing with events, product presentations, and parties—all part of the annual NYCxDESIGN celebration. One event has distinguished itself for its clean edit of the decorative landscape: the Collective Design fair, taking place May 13 through 17, presents a curated assemblage of 20th century and contemporary design, with a selective showcase of 29 international galleries featuring furniture, lighting, sculpture, decorative objects, jewelry, and glass. This May marks the third edition of the fair. Collective Design, which also encompasses a year-round program of lectures and events, was founded by Steven Learner. The architect, interior designer, and passionate New Yorker craved a high-caliber, contemporary design show befitting his creative metropolis.
“The intention was to create a fair I wanted to attend,” says Learner. “And I don’t stand alone in that vision. Collective is more than a name: The vision, the vetting, the introductions, and the growth of the fair have really come from working with the design community.”
Owing much to its multidisciplinary roots—with insight from curators, gallery owners, designers, dealers, and collectors—Collective Design presents a refined contemporary perspective, blending established and emerging galleries with 15 original installations, including an Italian design showcase curated by Stefano Tonchi, editor in chief of W magazine; and a special Collective Influence exhibit, highlighting the career and work of the German designer Ingo Maurer.
“We have vintage work and contemporary work from Cologne, Stockholm, Mexico City, and Oslo—all brought together in a considered way,” says Learner of the fair, which attracted more than 8,000 visitors last year. The array reflects the diverse participants: sexy, limited-edition furniture by Sacha Walckhoff, creative director of Christian Lacroix, will be shown by the first-time exhibitor Galerie Gosserez in Paris; while Joern Lohmann of J. Lohmann Gallery in New York returns for a third time, and will premiere porcelain work from the Norwegian artist Sidsel Hanum. “This is a great platform to introduce new artists,” says Lohmann of the reception from attendees. First-time exhibitors also include BAC, de Vera, Etage Projects, Galerie Negropontes, Garrido Gallery, Glass Past, LMD/studio, Memphis-Post Design Gallery and ProjectB.
With a venue change each time, this year’s fair will unfold in the 60,000-square-foot, ground-level space of Skylight Clarkson Sq in West Soho. “We seek out amazing industrial spaces that are in transition,” says Learner of the “muscular” environments that host Collective Design. “They provide a great counterpoint to finished material that galleries are presenting.” (collectivedesignfair.com)