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Good Things Come in Threes: COLLECTIBLE 2020

With its expanded roster of over 100 international exhibitors, and offering a platform for both represented and unrepresented designers, the third edition of COLLECTIBLE is an exciting space of possibilities.

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Thriving at the crossroads of design, architecture and art, COLLECTIBLE has made a name for itself as a one of a kind platform for the showcase and discovery of the best in collectable design today. Every year the fair transforms the interior of the iconic VanderBought building into a new landscape, this year with the help of Rotterdam-based architectural practice Atelier Tomas Dirrix. Seeking to create new organisation principles, relationships and processes as a basis for architecture, the atelier intends to take the fair’s visitors and exhibitors on a multi-sensory journey in their scenography, with multiple displays relating to taste, sight and sound.

Speaking of the layout of this year’s fair, the selection committee (Olivier Gabet, Director of the MAD – Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Alexis Georgacopoulos, Director of the University of Art and Design, Dieter Vander Velpen, Founder of Dieter Vander Velpen Architects, Brent Dzekciorius, Founder of Dzek, and Annalisa Rosso, Editor-in-Chief of Icon Design magazine) and founders (Clélie Debehault and Liv Vaisberg, who we interviewed during the first edition of the fair) have split the exhibitors up into three categories: the Main section, the Bespoke section and the Curated section. The first section will feature (international) galleries — like Paris based gallery ToolsGalerie and TLmag’s sister gallery Spazio Nobile which is based in Brussels. Their show “Ikebana”, inspired by the shapes, lines and forms of the Japanese flower arrangement tradition, features craftsmen like silversmith and metalworker Adi Toch, and pieces made from materials like coal by Jesper Eriksson as well as paper and water objects by Pao Hui Kao.

The brand-new Bespoke section of the fair showcases signature works by individual designers and design studios through fresh creations and high-end commissions. Among the highlights, Emerging design hub and residency Zaventem Ateliers (Brussels), showing new works by talented makers based in the communal workshop, while BRUT Collective (also Brussels) presents a variation of their second edition of BODEM, a curated ensemble of art and design pieces produced in collaboration with Belgian architectural practice Antoine Architectural Finishes.

Last, but not least, the fair’s Curated section is dedicated to designers and design studios with no gallery representation: a space for radical experimentation and discovery where participants are required to explore pioneering ideas and processes in design. Curated and selected by one of the fair’s Selection Committee members, advisor Brent Dzekciorius, exhibitors in this section include (among others) Albane Salmon from Atelier Sauvage (Paris), Studio Cober (Maastricht) and Supertoys Supertoys (Rotterdam).

We spoke to Brent Dzekciorius for a closer look at the selection process of COLLECTIBLE’s curated section:

TLmag: In your own practice, you’ve acted as a director of Phillips auction house and have founded your own art and design production company DZEK. How is working as a Selection Committee member at Collectible different (or similar) from your own spaces?

Brent Dzekciorius (BD): As the director at Phillips auction house (2010-2013) I curated a number of exhibitions with emerging and established contemporary designers. Dzek, however, has a very specific remit which is to create original architectural products in collaboration with designers, material scientists and architects. The gallery and auction positions allowed for a much broader range of work and I see my work as a selection committee member at Collectible more in line with this experience. In fact, with Collectible I think it’s even more important that the selections encompassed an even wider range of perspectives so there’s an even greater opportunity to experience more of what is happening today. Of course, it’s important to weigh this against the history of our field in order to be sure we offer authentic original voices.

TLmag: For this year’s edition of Collectible, you selected 32 unrepresented designers to form a curated show. With designers based internationally, like New York and Beirut, but also locally from Brussels, the show promises to show a diverse representation of contemporary design(ers) from around the globe. Could you walk us through the process of curating a show with works by such a large range of designers?

BD: As you say it’s a very diverse field of international designers! These designers were selected from a pool of open call submissions and I think that this diversity and their quality is a testament to the standing of Collectible as an exceptional emerging contemporary design platform. Their shared emerging status gives them a likemindedness about what design can look like and it almost feels as though the designers and the fair are growing up together as partners in this next generation. If I were properly curating a show then you would be absolutely right; organising all of this into a coherent strand of thinking would be extremely challenging. Fortunately, we set different criteria for the curated section and prioritised having a range of perspectives and modes of working that are reflective of the best young design today. Thankfully, it wasn’t just me: [Collectible Founders] Liv Vaisberg and Clélie Debehault were additional support! Wespent days reviewing the submissions and in some cases, we had very different opinions, and it was these differences that made the process so spirited and energetic.

TLmag: The scenography of the curated show stands separate from the rest of Collectible’s scenography and is created by Döppel Studio. How did this come about and how was the collaboration with Döppel Studio?

BD: It is important that the curated section has a unique scenography considering the remit is completely different than the rest of the fair: these are emerging design talents without any representation so it’s the fair’s job to give them a platform of their own and of equal value. Liv and Clélie contacted several studios and in the end, were most convinced by the work of Döppel Studio. The Paris based design studio used earthy clay tones throughout the exhibition design as a reference to the emergent qualities the platform can have for these young designers.

COLLECTIBLEwill be held at theVanderborght building from March 5th to 7th, 2020.


Cover Photo: Collectible 2020, Vanderborght Building. Courtesy of COLLECTIBLE.

Brent Dzekciorius
Döppel Studio
Clelie Debehault and Liv Vaisberg. Credit: Miles Fischer.
Spazio Nobile, Jin Kuramoto, The Bamboo Chair, 2017, bended bamboo. Photo Margaux Nieto.
Spazio Nobile, Pao Hui Kao, Paper pleats collection, 2018, paper and rice glue
Scenography Atelier Thomas Dirrix. Courtesy of COLLECTIBLE.
Supertoys Supertoys, Haarlem, Any
Döppel Studio
BRUT, Collective Zaventem, Bodem 2019. Credit: Alexander Popelier.

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