Q&A with Steven Learner from Collective Design Fair April 2014

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Q. How did Collective Design Fair get its start? Why New York?

SL: As a New York architect and interior designer I realized that there was a gap in the marketplace. I was traveling to Basel and London to shop for contemporary and vintage work because the fairs in New York were predominantly antiques-based. I also wanted to bring a curated selection of international exhibitors here to mix with the strong band of New York galleries and to include some new gems. We have galleries who are newer on the fair scene like Volume, a contemporary gallery from Chicago and New York-based Dienst + Dotter, a treasure trove of amazing Scandinavian work spanning centuries.

Q. What are you excited about for Collective 2?

SL: Since the beginning Collective has been about inclusivity, welcoming design connoisseurs and collectors alongside those discovering design for the first time. To add richness and context to the fair and to provide a point of entry for our visitors, we have exciting programming for Collective 2. Glenn Adamson, the Director of the Museum of Arts and Design has curated a special focus on Scandinavian design; Murray Moss and Franklin Getchell of Moss Bureau will present a solo exhibition of work by Dutch designer Hella Jongerius and Design Academy Eindhoven will exhibit the work of their up-and-coming graduates. I’m really excited to build on our mix of vintage and contemporary, established and younger galleries – a mix that was so central to the success of our first year.

Q. What makes this year different?

SL: We’ve grown from 23 to 36 galleries within a year and are adding some incredible design voices from around the world. Visitors to Collective 2 will discover Carwan Gallery from Beirut, Gallery SEOMI with locations in Los Angeles and Seoul, and ADN Galeria from Mexico City, among others.

Find out more at collectivedesignfair.com

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