View upcoming Collab events >>
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
With Lisa S. Roberts, Museum Trustee and member of Collab
Lisa Roberts, Museum Trustee and member of Collab: The Group for Modern and Contemporary Design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, presents her new book designPOP, featuring game-changing international products designed since the year 2000. Following the presentation enjoy an episode from her TV series, My Design Life, and a book signing.
6:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Lecture & Reception (public/member adult): $150; Lecture & Reception (Collab member - 2 tix per): $120;
Lecture ONLY (general): $25; Lecture ONLY (member): $20; Lecture ONLY (student w/ ID): $10
Rolf Fehlbaum, currently chairman emeritus at Vitra, will receive Collab’s 2014 Design Excellence Award on Friday, November 21.Established in 1950, the family-owned Swiss company Vitra is one of the most innovative design firms in the world. Renowned for its functional yet inspiring interior designs, furniture, and accessories, Vitra is internationally recognized for its creative partnerships with design visionaries such as Philippe Starck, Ron Arad, and Verner Panton. Its remarkable ensemble of contemporary architecture and strong commitment to education via exhibitions, collections and archives, publications, and public programs set Vitra apart from other design companies. This exhibition tells Vitra’s story—its American roots, product collaborations, architectural commissions, communication methods, and approach to both designers and consumers—through an immersive presentation of furniture and design objects, models and material studies, drawings, aerial photographs of its campus, and videos. In 1957, Vitra founders Willi and Erika Fehlbaum rooted the company in the United States by licensing furniture for the European market from the Michigan firm of Herman Miller, including designs by Americans Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson. The Eameses’ understanding of design as the “recognition of need” and their warning against “stylistic excess” have shaped Vitra’s endeavors ever since. In addition to new products by leading international designers, the company continues to manufacture classics of modern furniture design. Rolf Fehlbaum, who personally knew the Eameses and George Nelson, joined Vitra in 1977. After a major fire destroyed Vitra’s facilities in Weil am Rhein, Germany, in 1981, he commissioned British architect Nicholas Grimshaw to design new factory buildings; these were the first in a series of structures Fehlbaum would commission for the Vitra campus, including the Vitra Design Museum and offices by Frank Gehry, the Fire Station by Zaha Hadid, a conference pavilion by Tadao Ando, and Balancing Tools, a large-scale outdoor sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Each year Collab, a group that supports the Museum’s modern and contemporary design collection and programs, honors a design professional who has made significant contributions to the field. In addition, Collab’s Student Design Competition (offered since 1993) challenges area college students to be inspired by themes closely associated with the Design Excellence Award winner and the corresponding exhibition.
Collab Design Excellence Award
Past recipients of this prestigious award >>
- 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
Collab's 2014 Design Excellence AwardOn November 21, 2014, Collab will honor Dr. Rolf Fehlbaum, Chairman Emeritus of Vitra AG, with their 2014 Design Excellence Award. The award will be presented in conjunction with a preview of the exhibition Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots (November 22, 2014 - April 26, 2015). Read more >>
The Student Design CompetitionThe Collab Student Design Competition is a remarkable annual event held in conjunction with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The competition brief is always linked thematically to that year's Collab Design Excellence Award recipient. For the past twenty years, the event has been an exceptional opportunity for students to experience the rigors of competition and have industry leaders from around the world judge their work. In addition, students interact with colleagues from other universities and institutions, exposing them to an array of design approaches.
The 2014 Competition Brief: DiversityThe 2014 Collab Student Design Competition will take place on Monday, November 17, 2014. 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 2014 Collab Design Excellence Award honoree and the inspiration for this year’s Collab Student Design Competition, is Rolf Fehlbaum, Chairman Emeritus of Vitra, the Swiss office furniture company founded by his father. Fehlbaum made Vitra one of the most innovative design firms in the world, not only for its products, but also for the architecture of its own buildings and its unique commitment to education. A visionary patron of architecture and design, Fehlbaum created Vitra Edition in 1987 to develop experimental furniture in limited editions with leading contemporary designers such as Ron Arad, Philippe Starck, Ettore Sottsass, Shiro Kuramata, and Borek Sipek. In 1989 he founded the Vitra Design Museum to house his collection and archives of furniture, material studies, and documents, and to promote research and programs about design. Fehlbaum has received numerous honors and awards, including an honorary doctorate from London’s Royal College of Art.
ThemeVitra recognizes that the twenty-first century home environment is a productive and diverse space in which inhabitants play, learn, cook, eat, relax, converse, and work. Their furnishings accommodate these diversities and work within the context of multiple settings.
ChallengeStudents will be challenged to design a chair or seating, which fits into the context of the home and incorporates new design materials and/or technologies. It must be functional and convey a specific style statement. Students must also include a presentation board that describes their research and process, includes the basis for their design as it addresses domestic living; and incorporates a collage of images that defines the space the chair/seating will fit in.
SubmissionsAll submissions must include the following components:
- Model: 1/4” scale except for 3-D printed models, which can be 1/8” scale or otherwise noted
- Presentation Board
- 11" x 17" full color, borderless, mounted vertically (portrait format)
- Design statement outlining concept, technical and materials information, and collage imagery
No name on the front of the board
- Your name and the name of University or College should be on the back of the board only
- High-resolution product image
- Registration Form
- Email form by 12 pm (noon) on Thursday, November 13 to: email@example.com
- Also print form and place in sealed envelope, tape it securely to the back of presentation board, and submit it with 3-D model on Monday November 17
- Image of Model/Project Statement
After the Registration Form is received, you will be sent a Sharefile link to upload your Project Image + Statement by Sunday November 16.
- Hi res image: Minimum Photoshop Image Size: 5 x 7 @ 300 dpi (jpeg, eps, or pdf)
- Project Name and Inspiration Statement with: your name, email, address, phone number, and school (please submit a Word Doc with this information, include on CD/Flash Drive with high res product image)
- Evidence of applied research of process and materials
- Originality and creativity of the concept
- Functionality of design and ability to make multiples
- Construction (craft of submission)
Student Competition Exhibition40-50 of the best designs will go on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for one week, November 17 – 21. There will be a “People’s Choice Award” during the week where museum visitors will be able to cast their votes via iPad stations mounted in the galleries, or vote online. The museum has recently launched ‘Pay What You Wish Wednesday Nights’ at the Museum—and the student exhibition will be featured on Wednesday November 19th. Invite friends and family to come and vote. The “People’s Choice Award” along with all student winners will be presented at the Collab Design Excellence Awards Lecture on November 21.
Free AdmissionAll student competition participants are invited to the Collab Design Excellence Award program for FREE. Preregistration required at competition.
Date and Location for SubmissionsThe competition will take place on Monday, November 17 at the Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Fairmount and Pennsylvania Avenues. All entries (scale model and mounted presentation board) are due at the Perelman Building by 9:00 am. Students will return to Perelman at 3:00 pm for the announcement of the winners and a feedback session by the panel of judges. Students should enter Perelman through the front Entrance at both times.
PrizesFirst Prize – $750 + NextFab Prize
Second Prize – $500 | Third Prize – $250 | Two Honorable – $150 each | Peoples Choice Award – $150
NextFab PrizeFirst Prize will also receive $600 worth of services from NextFab — Philadelphia’s “gym for innovators,” where creatives from all industries can utilize resources to learn, work, or consult with experts in fields such as 3D printing, laser cutting, electronics, textiles, large format printing, and traditional / CNC wood and metal working. This in-kind gift can go toward classes, contract services , and or membership.
PublicationAfter the competition, a selection of the winning projects will be published on the Philadelphia Museum of Art website and presented in the Collab Journal.
Return of EntriesWith the exception of those selected to be on display at the PMA, all projects must be picked up at the end of the day of the competition. The Museum cannot be responsible for any projects, not selected, that are left after 5:00 pm on Monday, November 17, 2014. All selected projects can be picked up on Saturday November 22 between 9:00-11:00 am at the Kelly Drive North Entrance. (Out of town students’ projects will be mailed back.)
EligibilityStudents submitting projects to the Collab Student Design Competition must be currently enrolled in a college or university. All submissions are due by 9:00 am, November 17, Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Students are encouraged to attend the event and are expected to hand deliver their entries. All entries must be solo; no joint or team projects will be accepted and cannot be delivered by post or by email. The entrant waives all rights to entries, and the winners are at the full discretion of the Jury.
- Brad Ascalon – Brad Ascalon Studio NYC
Brad Ascalon Studio NYC was founded in 2006, Brad Ascalon’s eponymous design studio specializes in contract and residential furniture, lighting, packaging and consumer products. His clients include Design Within Reach, Ligne Roset, Bernhardt Design, Redken, Holly Hunt, Gaia & Gino, L’Oreal, and numerous other global brands. Ascalon earned a Masters’ degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute in 2005, and that same year was recognized by Wallpaper* magazine as one of the “Ten Most Wanted” emerging designers in the world. He is currently regarded as one of the leading American design voices of his generation.
Melanie Becker – Vitra Vice President, Western Region, North America
Melanie Becker has worked within the Vitra organization for 14 years. She pioneered the Swiss manufacturers presence on the West Coast resulting in collaborations with innovative creative companies and cultural institutions. Ms Becker has consulted with the architecture and product design programs at Woodbury School of Architecture, Otis College of Art & Design and others. She resides in Venice, CA.
Barbara Eberlein – Eberlein Design Consultants Ltd.
Barbara Eberlein, ASID, President and Creative Director of Eberlein Design Consultants Ltd. founded her firm in 1982 and produces a broad range of fine interiors. She has built a national reputation for expertise in the restoration of significant historic structures of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Appearing on dozens of national television programs, she also frequently lectures on design and preservation. Her numerous awards include twenty-six ASID Design Excellence Awards and fourteen IDA Design Awards, among many others. Clients range from residential, educational, corporate, institutional and hospitality interiors.
Tyler Hays – BDDW
Tyler Hays, originally a painter and sculptor, is the founder and designer behind BDDW. Tyler fabricates all his own work in his Philadelphia workshops. Employing nearly 100 artisans and craftsmen working in metal, wood, ceramics and stone. Tyler, originally from Joseph, Oregon, started his workshop In Brooklyn in 1995 and moved it to Philadelphia 5 years ago. In 2014, Tyler opened his second showroom in Milan, Italy.
Bradford Shellhammer – Shellhammer.co
Bradford Shellhammer has been named one of the ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ by Fast Company and coined the ‘King of Quirk’ by Forbes Magazine and the ‘Eames of E-Commerce’ by USA Today. Bradford is the Chief Design Office of Backcountry.com and the Creative Director of SuperPier in NYC and was the Founder and Chief Design Officer of Fab.com. He runs a design agency, Shellhammer & Company, in NYC and hold two degrees, a BA with honors in Communications and Media Studies from Goucher College and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons The New School For Design.
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 Collab by phone at 215-763-8100 or by e-mail at .