Collective Design opened today for its fifth fair focused on 20th– and 21st-century design with 28 exhibitors. Founded by architect and interior designer Steven Learner specifically for the design and architectural community, the fair will host galleries, designers, and commercial brands from May 3 to May 7.

The design world continues to be enraptured by surrealism and, as a result, bright colors and fantastical forms reigned throughout. Paris-based Swiss designer, Mattia Bonetti’s work was highlighted as the Collective Influence installation that included Bonetti’s riotous sofa and Seussical-style lamp and side table. Just around the corner, R & Company touted the new generation of maximal whimsy with pieces by the Haas Brothers, Katie Stout, and Porky Hefer.

Mattia Bonetti's Collective Influence installation. (Photo by Clemens Kois)

Mattia Bonetti’s Collective Influence installation. (Photo by Clemens Kois)

More and more, companies are integrating technology to take the possibility of designs to new heights. At Collective, Othr’s 3-D printed works and Flavor Paper’s use of water-based conductive ink make a strong showing. Othr’s Vanguard Series took advantage of 3-D printing (Othr 3-D prints all of its wares, partnering with designers to create its pieces) by having Murray Moss, Annabelle Selldorf, Felix Burrichter, Christian Larsen, and India Mahdavi each nominate an emerging designer to create a piece for Othr. As a result, Egg Collective, GT2P, Ania Jaworska, Marie-Victoire Winckler, and Chen Chen and Kai Williams all created stunning vessels in a variety of 3-D printed porcelain, steel, and bronze.



Flavor Paper presented Conduct, a playful immersive installation that demonstrated the ability of wallpaper to transfer energy. Flavor Paper founder Jon Sherman discovered water-based conductive ink two years ago and partnered with UM Project to help display its potential. By pressing dots on the wallpaper, one can activate lights, sound, and movement in the installation.

Other highlights included new iterations of Apparatus’s, Stickbulb’s, and Calico Wallpaper’s offerings from Milan Design Week, as well as the Noguchi Museum’s Waiting Room installation of Robert Stadler and Isamu Noguchi’s works, which coincides with an exhibition at the museum (far, far away in Queens).

Thanks to Collective Design’s manageable size (one can easily navigate the entire show in under two hours), and fresh offerings, it will undoubtedly be a popular stop on this month’s design circuit.

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