The Design Edit asked five prominent voices in the field of collectible design what they’d learnt from the past year, and where their focus will be in 2022.
Aric Chen was appointed as the first curatorial director of events at Design Miami/ in Florida and Basel in 2018. In April this year he was named the new General and Artistic Director of Rotterdam’s Het Nieuwe Instituut (HNI). He plans to expand on the institute’s tradition of research and critical inquiry.
“This year I really got to know Chris Shao, a twenty-something designer-wunderkind who’d just returned to China from New York and totally shook things up here in less than a year with his Objective design gallery and a million other projects – including being our local partner for Design Miami/, which is currently at Shanghai and China for the first time this November. Having spent 13 years in China, I can say I’ve been waiting for this moment as a catalyst for expanding design discursively.
In 2022, I’m looking forward to things not returning to ‘normal’, to the extent that ‘normal’ was unsustainable in every sense. In my new position at HNI, I’m looking forward to seeing what more we can do to prompt ways of rethinking design and its role in human (and non-human) activity (and inactivity).”
Sarah Myerscough is the Managing Director of her eponymous gallery in Barnes, London. There, the gallery displays the work of skilled artist-designer-makers from across the globe, who reflect contemporary debates within craft and design.
“Through the exhibition ‘Broken Beauty’ this year, I considered the value of ‘permanence’ in contemporary design and craft and questioned its importance. The idea of longevity is somehow integral to the value of an artwork. However, aesthetic beauty seems less and less to me about the perfect piece that lasts forever, but about the imperfect, the vulnerable, the fragile – which perhaps offers a deeper and more profound emotional connection to a crafted collectible piece, in an increasingly vulnerable natural world.
Next year, I am looking forward to the FOG fair in San Francisco in January. Perhaps we will be free from any Covid-related restrictions and able to properly rejoice in a beautiful setting with an appreciative audience of collectible craft and design.”
Martin Clausen is the Co-founder and Creative Director at ADORNO, a digital gallery dedicated to gathering some of the best pieces of collectible design and craft from around the globe.
“This year, I witnessed a change in the way we explore and collect design – we are heading rapidly towards a more connected, open and digitalised market. With a smartphone in your hand, you don’t need to be an expert to find exactly what you want, and even connect directly with the maker. People want to buy from creators directly, and as the demand for authenticity grows, the space between maker and consumer shrinks. This connectedness extends beyond the west and we at ADORNO have seen remarkable growth in sales from emerging makers in regions like Latin America and the Middle East.
In 2022, I’m excited to continue down the virtual path and explore how ADORNO can further enhance physical and online experiences with AR and VR.”
Sabrina Dolla arrived at Artcurial in 2006, where she worked with the late François Tajan and Félix Marcilhac. In 2020, she took over direction of Decorative Arts of the 20th and 21st Century.
“This year allowed collectors who were already very sharp to reflect on their collections and to be more demanding and consequently more capable of appreciating the exceptional. 2021 has been the year of rigour – but also of enthusiasm – since more than 85% of the lots were sold at our last major sale on May 31st.
Next year, Artcurial will focus on collectible design, which will complement the sales of decorative objects and furniture. 2022 will be a return to the basics, helped of course by digital tools.”
Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte is founder of NOMAD, the travelling showcase for collectible design, and the Co-founder and Art Director of Carwan Gallery in Athens. Bellavance was recently appointed Art Director of the Fonderia Artistica Battaglia’s design department.
“Very few of us could have foreseen the extraordinary year the world has gone through. However, I feel I am back with fresh eyes. The pristine landscapes and new rhythms of the wonderful places I’ve explored have drastically changed my perspective on things: the way I work and approach all my projects. ‘Arrivederci’ to global superficiality and ‘hello’ to quality and the essential. 2021 marks a new way of thinking for creatives, curators, galleries and fairs.
In 2022, I am anticipating the increase of quality in all projects and the fact that there will be more and more inspiration linked to the environment, to our connection and awareness of nature and natural resources.”
Find out where to pick up your copy of The Design Edit print issue 1 here.