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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 >>

Tyler Hays: The Art of Making Everything
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
By invitation only
Free for invitees

Meet the creative mind behind the luxury furniture label BDDW. Then take a self-guided tour of his crafted objects, which will be installed in several period rooms.

Tour of Student Design Competition
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Great Stair Hall Balcony
By invitation only
Free for invitees

Take a tour of the annual Collab Student Design Competition, led by one of the judges, and see what the next generation imagines for interiors of the future. “Grand Gesture” asks entrants to create an eye-catching piece of furniture that becomes the focal point of the room. See entries, in the form of scale models, and enjoy a Collab members-only reception.

Collab Design Excellence Award: Patricia Urquiola
Saturday, November 18, 2017
6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Location: Great Stair Hall
Paid tickets required
Lecture and party: $150; $120 Collab member (2 tickets per)
Lecture only: $25; $20 member; $10 for student

Celebrate Patricia Urquiola as she receives Collab’s 2017 Design Excellence Award. Fusing the artisanal and the industrial, this acclaimed international designer creates cool, innovative objects for the home and office. The exhibition Patricia Urquiola: Between Craft and Industry explores how she fuses handcraftsmanship with modern materials and technologies.

Lecture: 6:00 p.m.
Party: 8:00 p.m.


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.

2017 Student Design Competition: Grand Gesture

The 2017 Collab Student Design Competition will take place on Monday, November 13, 2017. 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. Each year’s competition is thematically linked to the work of the annual Collab Design Excellence Award honoree, a world-class individual recognized as having made significant contributions to the field of design.

The 2017 Collab Design Excellence Award honoree and the inspiration for this year’s Collab Student Design Competition, is Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola. One of the few women designers working today (and even over the last century) with an international reputation, Urquiola takes a humanistic approach to her work, combining handmade and industrial techniques. The exhibition titled Patricia Urquiola: Between Craft and Industry, will open at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Saturday, November 18, 2017 when Urquiola will receive Collab’s Design Excellence Award.

A lifelong traveler both literally and metaphorically, Urquiola takes inspiration from objects as diverse and random as Japanese bamboo whisks and antibodies. She is one of a new generation of post-modern designers who works at all scales, designing furniture and objects as well as interiors and buildings. Urquiola uses color and often unconventional shapes as she successfully fuses hand-craftmanship with modern materials and technologies.

Design a piece of furniture that is the focal point of a room and incorporates storage. Urquiola's work touches on artistry, craft, technology, culture, and a nod to the “hand.” Student submissions must speak to Urqioula's influence and must be reproducible. No full scale, scale models required.

Diane Barnes, Catherine Birch, Odile Hainault, Barry Richards, Matt Tyson

Download 2017 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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