“Collecting Design” (Video)

Collecting Design: History, Collections, Highlights

Collecting modern and contemporary design has become one of the most dynamic, influential territories in the international marketplace, a territory that stands at the forefront of style and taste.

While at first it was fueled mainly by the fine art market, collecting design has emerged as a discipline in its own right; one that not only dominates interior design, but also attracts those who value living with beautiful things. The design market is now a global barometer of trend forecasting, signifying status and culture. Collecting design inspires scholarly analysis, art fairs, museum exhibitions, and monographs, and was cited recently by the Wall Street Journal as a lucrative avenue of investment.

Although collecting design generates tremendous interest worldwide, a dedicated program was nowhere to be found. To fill the gap, I authored the first course exclusively devoted to collecting design, and it is open to everyone. My program is made possible by three institutions: the NY School of Interior Design, New York’s only private, not-for-profit college devoted exclusively to interior design; Cultured Magazine, the quarterly art and design publication, and Design Think Tank, the first organization to issue annual reports on the design market.

In my ten-session program, I examine the themes, periods, and styles with the strongest presence in the marketplace, including the American Arts & Crafts Movement, French Art Deco, American Modernism, Mid-Century Design in the US, Italy, and France, the Studio Movement, European Design of the 70s, and Contemporary Design. Each lecture is complimented by dialogues with dealers, collectors, curators, designers, and writers. I have the honor of sharing insights and candid advice from the world’s most knowledgeable experts. Together, we examine exhibitions, publications, auction records, relevant connoisseurship, major design fairs, and the stories behind the scenes.

Design matters: it influences mood, commerce, and even behavior. Design is everywhere, but few understand it. The purpose of this course is to help people become fluent in design, value its impact, and develop their own taste.

Daniella Ohad