Donzella at Collective Design’s 2015 Fair. Photo by Clemens Kois.

While the start of May ushers in a flurry of fairs, auctions, and exhibitions in New York City, there’s nothing quite like Collective Design. Launched three years ago by the architect/interior designer Steven Learner, the fair is dedicated solely to collectible design, including furniture, jewelry, and decorative objects. But Learner wants visitors to do more than buy at Collective Design—his goal is for the fair to serve as a conduit for education, exploration, and discovery.

To create a fair that caters to design enthusiasts of all levels, Learner enlisted some of the industry’s most notable experts and tastemakers to help shape the event. Learner says, “Two groups of industry professionals help guide Collective Design: The Collective, which is a passionate group of designers, curators, collectors and gallerists who recognize the need for a new design platform, and our Design Council, which includes members of the creative community. Their diverse experiences have shaped Collective Design into an engaging event, one for both seasoned collectors and those new to design. We’ve worked hard to create a fair environment where discovery and education are celebrated.”

Glove cabinet. Design by Finn Juhl, 1961. Produced in a limited edition by Roth Andersen, Denmark, 1995. H. 19, W. 27.5, D. 13.5 inches. Courtesy of Lost City Arts.

Held May 4-8 at Skylight Clarkson Sq, a raw event space in Manhattan’s chic SoHo neighborhood, this year’s Collective Design fair will feature approximately thirty dealers offering works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Among this year’s exhibitors are Lost City Arts, Donzella LTD, Hostler Burrows, R & Company, and Maison Gerard. Learner says, “The fair aims to be inclusive and accessible by including both established and emerging galleries featuring a range of work, from rare vintage furnishings to ceramics, jewelry, lighting and art objects from contemporary designers at a variety of price points. Presenting galleries create imaginative, immersive environments that appeal to seasoned collectors, as well the next generation of design collectors. Along with the gallery presentations, there are special exhibitions, installations and pop ups that encourage exploration of design trends and influences.”

Andy Paiko, Indefinite Sum, 2015. Glass, mirror and brass. Courtesy of Wexler Gallery.

Among the myriad events at Collective Design is the inaugural Collective Concept exhibition. The capsule presentation will feature fully realized environments created by some of the most innovative design talents working in lighting, furnishings, ceramics, and textiles today. According to Learner, the bespoke spaces “allow [the designers] to reconnect with the roots of their most innovative work.” Participants include lighting designer Lindsey Adelman, Apparatus Studio, Fort Standard, Calico Wallpaper and Cocobolo Design.

For its annual Collective Influence exhibition, which highlights the exceptional work and influence of a single creative force, the fair will honor the Japanese design firm nendo. Led by Oki Sato, the studio specializes in playful yet highly conceptual functional design. Nendo will create an immersive installation of new work at Collective Design that will lead visitors from the venue entrance through the heart of the fair. The exhibition, nendo’s first in the United States since 2011, will explore the firm’s creative process through volume, form, and materiality.

Unique stack laminated dining table in walnut. Designed and made by Wendell Castle, Scottsville, New York, 1971. Signed and dated. L. 82.25, W. 65.25, H. 28 inches. Photograph by Joe Kramm/R & Company.

Collective Design will also offer intimate tours led by members of the fair’s Design Council and other industry leaders, including Robert Couturier, Suchi Reddy, Steven Gambrel and Kelly Behun. Learner says, “Collective Design brings the world’s most engaging and provocative design voices to New York City—we’re generating an exciting exchange of ideas while showcasing the depth and diversity of design internationally. We hope visitors will enjoy their exploration of the fair, discovering something new and exciting in the world of design.”

For more information about Collective Design, click HERE.