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
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 >>
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
A Collab members-only event
RSVP by June 22 to Development at 215-684-7750.
Please join Colin Fanning, Curatorial Fellow for European Decorative Arts and Sculpture, for a special tour of the exhibition The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community, part of the larger Creative Africa suite of exhibitions in the Museum’s Perelman Building. A native of Burkina Faso but trained and practicing in Berlin, Kéré has received growing international attention and acclaim for his community-focused, contextually sensitive work that places people at the center of the architectural process. The exhibition includes both a retrospective of Kéré’s inventive built projects in Burkina Faso and beyond—illustrated through architectural models, material studies, and photographs—as well as an immersive site-specific installation in the Perelman Building’s Skylit Atrium.
Collab Design Excellence AwardEach 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 >>
- 2015 Bruce Mau
- 2014 Rolf Fehlbaum of Vitra
- 2013 Marc Newson
- 2012 Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast
- 2011 Zaha Hadid
- 2010 Alberto Alessi
- 2009 Marcel Wanders
- 2008 Frank O. Gehry
- 2006 Georg Jensen
- 2005 Gaetano Pesce
- 2004 Florence Knoll Bassett
- 2003 Richard Gluckman
- 2002 Ingo Maurer
- 2001 No award given
- 2000 Milton Glaser
- 1999 Jonathan Ive, Maya Lin, and Karim Rashid
- 1998 Sir Terence Conran
- 1997 Philippe Starck and Ian Schrager
- 1996 Richard Meier
- 1995 Michael Graves
- 1994 Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown
- 1993 Swid Powell
- 1991 Jack Lenor Larsen
- 1989 Niels Diffrient
- 1988 Vignelli Associates
- 1986 George Nakashima
The Student Design CompetitionFor 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.
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. Judges
Caroline Tiger, Jaime Salm, Lisa Mahar, Jackie Promislo, Caroline Kim Download 2016 Competition Brief and Registration Form >>
Previous Competitions >>
First Place: Samantha Siermine
Moore College of Art & Design
The habitat was inspired by observing how people interact with nature and open parks. In the urban environment plants do not occupy as much space as they should. With so many chemicals in the air, people need a place that they can go to take a breath of fresh air. About the 2015 Competition: Collab held its Twenty-Second Annual College Student Design Competition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Monday, November 17, 2014. The competition was held in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots. The 2014 Collab Design Excellence Award honoree and the inspiration for this year’s Collab Student Design Competition, is Rolf Fehlbaum, Chairman Emeritus of Vitra. 2015 Judges: Alan Jacobson, Alina Wheeler, Jedd Davis, Dan King, Ken Carbone
First Place: Jude Marks
University of the Arts
Quiet Creativity is a celebration of the powerful contributions quiet people bring to the workplace. This brand reflects my quiet nature, which allows for me to focus and be creative. I used hand drawn elements of the tools of a graphic designer in the logo to make up the shape of a brain to depict the idea of the brain in motion even when the mouth is still. About the 2015 Competition: Collab held its Twenty-Third Annual College Student Design Competition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Monday, November 16, 2015. The competition was held in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Work on What You Love: Bruce Mau Rethinking Design celebrating the work of branding and design visionary Bruce Mau – recipient of Collab’s 2015 Design Excellence Award. 2014 Judges: Brad Ascalon, Melanie Becker, Barbara Eberlein, Tyler Hays, Bradford Shellhammer
2013: Table It
First Place: Justin Martin
University of the Arts, Industrial Design
Professor: Douglas Bucci STABIL utilizes the latest in induction cooking technology to provide a social cooking experience for its users. About the 2013 Competition: Collab held its Twenty-First Annual College Student Design Competition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Monday, November 18, 2013. The competition was held in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Marc Newson: At Home celebrating one of the most acclaimed and influential designers of his generation – recipient of Collab’s 2013 Design Excellence Award. 2013 Judges: Jeffrey Bernett, Peter Danko, Frederick McSwain, Eugenie Perret, Ilene Shaw
2012: Game On!
First Place: Lou Stuber
Are We There Yet?!
Tyler School of Art/Temple University The concept behind Are We There Yet?! is loosely based off of family road trips that I have experienced with my own family across the country. Things never seem to go exactly according to schedule when you are on a road trip. The object of the game is to end up at your final destination, Shallow Waters, with the most money left to enjoy your stay at the world’s best water park. About the 2012 Competition: Collab held its Twentieth Annual College Student Design Competition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Monday, November 19, 2012. The competition was held in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Double Portrait: Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast, Graphic Designers celebrating the innovative graphic design work of Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast—recipients of Collab’s 2012 Design Excellence Award. 2012 Judges: Drew Freeman, Byron Glaser, Patti Ann Harris, Bonnie Mackay, Larry Mangel
- 2011: OverNighter
First Place: Silvia Terhedebrugge
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY, Industrial Design
Faculty Advisors: Katrin Mueller- Russo About the 2011 Competition: Collab held its Nineteenth Annual College Student Design Competition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Monday, November 14, 2011. The competition was held in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion celebrating the innovative designs of Zaha Hadid, the recipient of Collab’s 2011 Design Excellence Award. 2011 Judges: Kirsten Climer, John Edelman, Victor Sanz, Susan Szenasy, Janet Villano
2010: Tabletop Accessory Set
First Place: James Read Hughes
University of the Arts
Professors: Doug Bucci and Daniel Michalik
In this series of dipping plates for oil and vinegar, each porcelain dish is mass-producible and uses only one material. A humanistic and whimsical aspect is introduced into each design in the form of a relief at the plate’s bottom, which uses the natural properties of each liquid to create a sublime pattern that reveals itself during use. About the 2010 Competition: Collab held its Eighteenth Annual College Student Design Competition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Monday, November 15, 2010. The competition was held in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Alessi: Ethical and Radical celebrating the innovative products of the Italian manufacturer, Alberto Alessi - recipient of Collab’s 2010 Design Excellence Award. 2010 Judges: Harry Allen, Carla Diana, Richard Kratchman, Diane Minnite, Diane O’Donnel
2009: Tabletop Luminaire
First Place Winner: Jordan Cammarata
Professors: Mark Havens and Jason Lempieri
A contemporary interpretation of Harvey Hubbell’s pull chain socket, patented in 1896. About the 2009 Competition: Collab held its Seventeenth Annual Student Design Competition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Monday, November 16, 2009. This year’s competition was held in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Marcel Wanders: Daydreams celebrating the innovative design work of the Dutch designer, the recipient of Collab’s 2009 Design Excellence Award. 2009 Judges: Dennis Askins, Russell Blanchard, Lisa Foley, Jamer Hunt, David Raizman, Gina Reimann
2008: Processing Frank Gehry
First Place Winner: Jesse Gerard
The University of the Arts
Professor: Dan Michalik
The layered plywood technique widely associated with Frank Gehry is adapted to design and produce the Lewis Bench.
2007: Mapping Modernism
First Place Winner: Yesenia Perez-Cruz
A. Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, Drexel University, Graphic Design
Professor Jody Graff The Development of Modern Seats No other household object is as emblematic of Modernist ideals as the chair. The chair can be mass-produced, sold globally, and is a subject of experimentation with technology and materials. These qualities are exhibited in a vast, white showroom, faithful to the Modernist ideology that an interior space should be "open and free-flowing." Upon entering the exhibit, the viewer was met with a large-scale banner showing line illustrations of chairs. The chairs were not arranged chronologically, but are grouped by similarity of line, demonstrating that development of chairs is about refinement and reinvention of pre-existing forms. The similarities existing between chairs created decades apart demonstrates the immense influence of Modernist techniques and ideals. About the 2007 Competition: Collab’s Fifteenth Annual Student Competition, Mapping Modernism, was held in conjunction with the celebration of Collab's new gallery in the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building and its opening exhibition, Designing Modern: 1920 to the Present. This year, students were asked to consider the scope of the Modern Design dialogue. The competition challenged students to design a "Map" that links associations between people, things, or events within the context of the revolutionary ideas and trends in art, architecture, and design that developed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The map should communicate the student’s interpretation of the forces that flowed into, through and around modern design, giving shape to its origins and output. 2007 Judges: Conny Purtill, Erin Mulchay, Dana Micucci, Julie Hirschfeld, and Jason Alger
2006: The Intelligent Ornament
First Place Winner: Miho Wakabayashi
Pratt Institute, Industrial Design
Professor Katrin Mueller
Miho's project examines ornament in the tabletop context and celebrates Jensen's aesthetic through organic motif and structural pattern making. The bowl's hidden intelligence is the application of a unique electrostatic coating on the interior. This silvery heat-retaining material allows the bread to be kept warm long after the basket is moved from the oven to the table. About the 2006 Competition: Collab's Fourteenth Annual Student Design Competition, The Intelligent Ornament, was part of a week-long series of events celebrating Collab's 2006 Design Excellence Award recipient, Georg Jensen and Georg Jensen, Inc. It posed the question: If Jensen were alive today, what objects might he be moved to create? The competition challenged students to design a physical model and supporting presentation board for their “Intelligent Ornament.” A distinguished panel of judges used both in measuring the overall success of each entry. 2006 Judges: Clive Roux, Virgil Marti, Barbara Flanagan, Monique Faber, Maria Eife
- 2005: Variance and The Vase
First Place Winner: Brett Duncan
University of The Arts, Industrial Design
Professor Rama Korposh Brett Duncan's Ice Bloom consisted of flowers frozen in a sphere of ice which blossom and expand as the ice around them melts. Also embedded in the ice sculpture are glass beads which become apparent as the ice melts and they drop sporadically onto the surface the vase melts on. The gentle, occasional sound produced by the dropping beads reminds us of the fleeting quality of the vase. Here, variance is produced in a temporal event which one of our judges likened to a performance. About the 2005 Competition: The 2005 competition brief reflected the richness of Collab Design Excellence Award recipient Gaetano Pesce’s contribution to design through his unique approach. By combining elements of art, design, philosophy, and technology, Mr. Pesce has encouraged the wondrous and accidental, embracing imperfections as traits which enhance and humanize his work. Applying this philosophy to design for production has been referred to as “variance.” Students interpreted this concept in their development of a full-scale functional prototype of a flower vase. Winning designs demonstrated variance in both philosophy and in manufacturing strategy. 2005 Judges: Laetitia Wolff, Senior Design Editor, SURFACE Magazine; Lyn Godley, Designer; Adam Kamens, CEO, Amuneal Metal Forms Inc.; Mark Gisi, Director of Sales and Marketing, Amuneal Metal Forms Inc.; Drew Hamilton, Owner, Dane Décor Downtown.
- 2004: Furniture Classics for The Future
- 2003: Main Exterior Signage for The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s new Perelman Building acquisition
- 2002: Paper Lighting
- 2001: Designing The Design Excellence Award
- 2000: CD Box Set Packaging
- 1999: Clock for The New Milennium
- 1998: Shopping Bag for the Terrence Conran Home Furnishing Collection
- 1997: Ice Bucket for Starck/Schrager Mondrian Hotel
- 1996: Chair or Seating Unit for the Richard Meier Museum in Ulm, Germany
- 1995: Tea Kettle
- 1994: Lighting Fixture with Japanese Influence
- 1993: Dinnerware Place Setting
Philadelphia University, Industrial Design
Professor Todd Corlett
Adam Johnson said of his redesign for the Bertoia Chair, "This lounge chair rises up out of the ground to suspend the human body in a minimalist redesign of a classic piece." Judges called this chair a "show-stopper" and a beautiful sculpture which allowed the viewer to fall into the visual comfort of the form.
Tie for First Place Winner: Stephen Cooke
University of The Arts, Industrial Design
Professors Patty Beirne and Rama Korposh Stephen Cook said of his "Leaf Chair" that it "combines the discipline of the grid structure with the organic clustering of material at its midsection, coupling design with sculpture." The judges found it to be an interesting juxtaposition to the Bertoia Chair's sense of order with a random and casual sensibility. One of the judges compared the gesture of the seat to that of a wedding dress with a train cascading in its wake.
About the 2004 Competition: The 2004 Collab Design Excellence Award recipient was Florence Knoll-Bassett. This year’s theme reflected the rich history of Knoll International’s contribution to the language of design through it’s iconographic furniture. Collab provided several classic designs from the Knoll Studio line from which students chose as points of departure for their design explorations. Through research into material and technological innovations, students redesigned their chosen object for the future. 2004 Judges: Claudia Gould, Director, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania; George H. Marcus, Assistant Professor, History of Art, the University of Pennsylvania; Jeff Miller, Founder and Principal, Jeff Miller Inc., and VP of Design, ECCO Design Inc., New York; Bill Shea, Founding Partner, Shea+Latone, Inc.; Stephan Copeland, Founder, the Copeland Studio.
For more information, please contact Development by phone at 215-684-7750, by fax at 215-236-0796, or by e-mail at .