My relationship with art is complicated. I always had an issue understanding and hence appreciating unquantifiable matters: say, an expressionist painting or a sculpture made of street garbage. I’m very reluctant to give an opinion about a piece of art — however powerful, amusing or touching it may appear. Design, though, is a different story. The design of, say, a chair is generally structured: from what purpose it should serve to what feelings it should trigger, to how much it should cost to produce. A designer is an engineer who with a strong focus and due experimentation sets to create an intentionally delightful object — in form and function. An artist, a free bird, may have no intention behind their work or the only intention on their mind is to spark a public discussion.

What if the distinction between artist and designer is removed? Then, we’ll end up with a collection of pieces that neither solve a design problem, nor spark a discussion.

At the start of New York Design Week, I stopped by at the Collective Design fair — a secluded playground for designers who want to be artists.

Lights by Frederieke Taylor Gallery

Wallpaper by Flavor Paper
Mirrors by Katie Stout
Installation curated by Noguchi Museum Senior Curator Dakin Hart

Chen Chen & Kai for OTHR

Stools by breadedEscalope
Mirror by Fernando Mastrangelo Studio
Italian glassware by Glass Past

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