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Explore highlights of the Collab collection.
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Collab is a group of design professionals and enthusiasts who support modern and contemporary design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Members experience great design year-round through exhibition previews, design-inspired field trips, special access to the Museum’s world-class design collection, lectures, and opportunities to meet and learn from design curators and visionaries.

Join Collab
Become a Collab member or buy a gift membership for a friend or family member who is passionate about design. Membership contributions fund Collab activities and support acquisitions, exhibitions, publications, and programs. Collab benefits include:
  • Invitations to special Collab events
  • Discounts on ticketed Collab events, including the annual Collab Design Excellence Award, lecture, and gala
  • Discounts on design books in the Museum Store
  • Bragging rights for supporting one of the world’s largest and most important modern and contemporary design collections as well as the wider community of design students and professionals

Membership in Collab is available exclusively to members of the Museum.
Once you select your membership level, please check Collab under Enhancements.

Programs and Events
Guided by its mission to create engaging experiences that educate and inspire, Collab brings you into the center of the design revolution. Events include previews and curator-led tours of exhibitions in the Collab Gallery in the Museum’s Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, lectures, publications, design-inspired field trips, the Student Design Competition, and our signature program, the prestigious annual Design Excellence Award.

View upcoming Collab events >>

Highlights of the Collab Student Design Competition
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Great Stair Hall Balcony
Reservations required
Free for Collab members

What's next in toy design? Witness the future through the eyes of undergraduate design students competing for significant prizes to design a child's toy or piece of furniture in the "For Kids Only: Student Design Competition." Internationally recognized designer Zanini de Zanine will lead a tour of selected entries, followed by a Collab members-only reception.

Collab members RSVP to Development at 215-684-7750.

Design Excellence: New Generation
Friday, November 18, 2016
6:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Location: Van Pelt Auditorium
Paid tickets required
Lecture & Reception (public/member adult): $150; Lecture & Reception (Collab member - 2 tickets per): $120; Lecture ONLY (general): $25; Lecture ONLY (member): $20; Lecture ONLY (student w/ ID): $10; 10 for 8: $1200

​Join fellow Collab members in honoring three of today's most innovative international designers under forty - Oki Sato of Tokyo, Faye Toogood of London, and Zanini de Zanine of Rio de Janeiro. This new program focuses on emerging trends that this next generation of dynamic leaders of contemporary design brings to the field. Ticket purchase required for lecture and gala; discount for Collab members.

Tour of the Summer Collab Exhibition
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Collab Gallery
Reservations required
Collab members RSVP to Development at 215-684-7750.

Join exhibition curator Colin Fanning for an exclusive, members-only tour of the Collab summer exhibition Channeling Nature.


Design Excellence Award
Photograph by Clint Blowers

Collab Design Excellence Award

Each year Collab presents the Design Excellence Award to a design professional or manufacturer whose impact on the field is inspirational. Past recipients have included Rolf Fehlbaum, Marc Newson, Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast, Zaha Hadid, Alberto Alessi, Marcel Wanders, and Frank O. Gehry.

Past recipients of this prestigious award >>

The Student Design Competition

For more than twenty years the annual Collab Student Design Competition has been an exceptional opportunity for college students to network with peers, meet the global design leaders who are judging their work, and experience the rigor of competition. Their assignment: to design an object inspired by the work of that year’s Design Excellence Award recipient.

The 2016 Collab Student Design Competition will take place on Monday, November 14, 2016. This annual event is held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and provides a unique opportunity for regional university design students to experience competition outside the classroom and to receive valuable feedback from nationally recognized industry leaders.

This year Collab is honoring three designers under the age of 40 for the 2016 Design Excellence: New Generation program (Friday, November 18). Global in scope, Oki Sato of Nendo is Japanese. Faye Toogood is British and Zanini De Zanine Caldas is Brazilian. Each of the designers successfully integrates their local cultural and histories with the global scale and rapid pace of the design profession today: i.e., Oki Sato's playful spins on Japanese minimalism, Faye Toogood's engagement with the history (and present) of the blue-collar trades in England, and Zanini de Zanine's homages to midcentury Brazilian modernism and simultaneous interest in reclaimed materials.

Some of the shared aspects of their work include an interest in geometry (working with but also subverting the conventions of minimalism), the expressive or communicative use of materials, and a very close attention to the role of process in design. They also all show a willingness to move between industrial and artisanal methods in their work, which hearkens back to the idea of uniting the global and the local. The following brief focuses on common themes among the three designers’ work: strong focus on materiality, simplicity, playfulness and a sense of humor.

The following brief focuses on common themes among the three designers’ work: strong focus on materiality, simplicity, playfulness and a sense of humor.

Design an object (a toy, piece of furniture or combination of the two) for a child, under the age of 10, which is predominantly made of a single material. The material must be utilized in a non-traditional, unexpected manner.

Caroline Tiger, Jaime Salm, Lisa Mahar, Jackie Promislo, Caroline Kim

Download 2016 Competition Brief and Registration Form >>

Previous Competitions >>

For more information, please contact Development by phone at 215-684-7750, by fax at 215-236-0796, or by e-mail at .

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