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Clélie Debehault and Liv Vaisberg: COLLECTIBLE 2021

May 24, 2021

TLmag sat down with Clélie Debehault and Liv Vaisberg, founders of COLLECTIBLE, to dive into the event uniqueness of the event.

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Text by TLmag

TLmag35 features a conversation with the founders of COLLECTIBLE, Clélie Debehault, and Liv Vaisberg. COLLECTIBLE is a platform that aims to showcase and discover the best in contemporary collectible design. Debehault and Vaisberg discuss the origin of the event, the uniqueness of COLLECTIBLE, and how the current times contextualize the next edition.

TLmag: How did COLLECTIBLE Salon come to life and how did the exhibitors react? 

Clélie Debehault: COLLECTIBLE had to redefine itself this year as we had to adapt to the health crisis. Reinventing ourselves to meet the needs of our design community has always been integral to us and with our obligation to postpone the physical fair to 2022, we decided to reimagine the fair experience digitally and introduce COLLECTIBLE Salon, our new online platform. We shared our new plans with everyone and are lucky to be able to rely on a strong community of designers, design studios, galleries and other great partners who were keen to follow us online. Our fair evolves hand in hand with its exhibitors and aims to help them in the development of their activities, to stimulate the market for collectible design and to further establish credentials for contemporary creation.

TLmag: What makes COLLECTIBLE Salon different from other fairs’ platforms? 

Liv Vaisberg: We have put a lot of effort into designing COLLECTIBLE Salon’s boutique look and feel as well as building a strong navigation system that replicates our fair’s unique DNA as closely as possible. Therefore, visitors can navigate the fair’s usual sections digitally by using our search features ‘Main’, ‘Bespoke’ and ‘Curated’. COLLECTIBLE Salon also allows visitors to see some of the works in 3D and VR, providing an exciting and accessible destination for our strong community of designers, galleries, interior designers, collectors, journalists, editors, curators, and other design aficionados, to experience collectible design. Visitors can instantly connect with our exhibitors to obtain details about the works or exchange via the WhatsApp feature. We’ve also created the ‘Insiders’ Picks’ search feature for visitors to browse and discover the fantastic, curated selection of works by leading tastemakers in collectible design.  The digital platform is further linked to our new editorial section COLLECTIBLE In-Depth, offering additional content and background about our exhibitors with editorials and talks all year long. 

TLmag: How have the events of the last year shaped the work that will be on display? 

CD: Many designers have responded creatively to the pandemic through their work, and we are very excited to show these on COLLECTIBLE Salon; ETAGE PROJECTS from Copenhagen for example, will make their first appearance with works by Cristian Andersen and Bahraini Danish that reflect ‘optimism, hope and collaboration’. A new collection of bespoke lighting pieces entitled The Lights at the end of the tunnel by several European designers including Laurids Gallée, Sabine Marcelis and Arnaud Eubelen will be unveiled by Victor Hunt from Brussels. And unique and limited edition works addressing human connection by the likes of Paolo Gonzato, REM Atelier and TAKK will be presented by Camp Design Gallery from Milan. 

TLmag: Is there a particular aspect of the fair that is especially timely right now? 

LV: This year, more than ever, we are putting an emphasis on the local and the sustainable. Our Curated Section, titled TENSION!, is very reflective of today’s global issues with its themes of sustainability and natural resource depletion. Among the selected emerging design studios, Paris-based Sabourin Costes and STUDiOFOAM, both showcase new works challenging the possibilities of materials such as resin and leather. Sabourin Costes, by Paola Sabourin and Zoe Costes, unveils their latest work The Stool as part of their on-going Boudins collection. Entirely handmade, The Stool explores the intricate tension of resin by challenging its production process while STUDiOFOAM by Caroline Venet exhibits Le Bureau Vivant, experimenting the reuse of leather offcuts to reveal the potential and savoir-faire of leather. Also based in Paris, Argot Studio by Irish designer Eimear Ryan, introduces the Cut out chair in Valchromat, a sustainable surface material made from recycled pine wood and mill waste. 

CD: Each year, responsible design is at the heart of our fair. Our selected design galleries give centre stage to experimental design rooted in social and environmental consciousness. Amongst them, Amsterdam-based Mia Karlova Galerie showcases A life less ordinary, a collection of works by designers addressing the life-changing challenges highlighted by the recent pandemic and its resulting transformations including Femke Van Gemert‘s wall piece made of textile leftovers and Vadim Kibardin’s designs made with cardboard, soil, roots, eggshell, and bones. British collective Movimento Club feature a selection of works using new materials, new processes, and innovative ways to use the resources by international emerging designers and brands, including Jesper Eriksson’s anthracite coal side tables and Hot Wire Extensions Swiss brand’s floor lamp, re-purposing the waste of SLS 3D nylon powder, a material currently not recycled, to create organic bone-like structures built around a wire. 

TLmag: What are some of the pieces to be unveiled on COLLECTIBLE Salon

LV: To name a few, the organic Hayden stool in ceramic by Céline Salomon for Galerie Scène Ouverte will be unveiled in the Main Section; the Out Of Line lighting collection by Ben Storms, the new crafted wooden furniture and dazzling lighting pieces by DIM Atelier and Mircea Anghel and the first collection of functional art by RSLT in the Bespoke Section. Additionally, a collection of sculptural vases entitled Monolith by Baptiste Comte, the One armchair by design studio Aufgabe Null made of EPDM granules, wood, and foam, the solid resin sculptural Plump lounge chair by Ian Alistair Cochran,  the Path No. 4 armchair composed of a continuous bending cylinder by Ara Thorose, the colourful and lightweight Quatre Couleurs bench by Riwan Coëffic and the unique Cabinet with stone by Pierre De Valck encrusted by hand with a naturally bright pink thulite stone will be presented for the first time in the Curated Section of COLLECTIBLE Salon

TLmag: What projects marked your attention in the Bespoke Section of the fair? 

CD: It is extremely difficult to choose as all the works are standouts. Among the highlights are the module installation Stabel, an interpretation of a stacking system by Copenhagen based multidisciplinary studio Seche Studio, run by Laura Brandenburg Bilde and the collection of works dedicated to the power of the Sun which are made of sustainable material based on clay and recycled paper by FAINA, the label of Ukrainian studio Yakusha Design. Xavier Lust‘s Hard Whale cabinet with its wavering volume and its patina of aluminium reminiscent of the skin of a whale underwater is making a debut. Pauline Esparon exhibits her Pellis Lamp made of parchment, that aims to re-energise its craft by exploring new possible shapes and tensions with the material and highlighting its animal origin.

This year’s edition of Collectible will be held on Salon, a digital platform that aims to reproduce the fair experience online. COLLECTIBLE Salon runs from 28th until 30th of May 2021, with a VIP and Press Preview on 26-27 May 2021, whilst the physical fair will be postponed to 2022. Simultaneously, across Brussels, visitors are offered exciting insights into the city’s flourishing design scene.

Cover image: Partsby Arnaud Eubelen, 2020, Unique pieces, Image © Victor Hunt Dealer

Aufgabe Null, Germany One , armchair 2020 L 40 x W 65 x H 60 cm EPDM, wood, foam Unique piece Price on request Image © Theresa Lou
Baptiste Comte / France Monolith Vases 2020 ca. 12x12x74cm Clay Unique pieces Image © Baptiste Comte
Ben Storms - Belgium Teaser Image _Out of line collection 2021 dimensions not available natural stone limited edition price on request image © Nathalie Van Der Masse
BARACCHE by Paolo Gonzato 2020 60 x 97 cm Green Float glass, tropicalized iron, led Unique piece Photo Federico Floriani Courtesy Camp Design Gallery
The Stool By Sabourin Costes 2020 300x485x380mm Resin Limited edition of 10 Image © and courtesy S abourin Costes
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