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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 Museum. Enjoy exhibition previews, field trips, special access to the Museum’s design collection, talks, and opportunities to mingle with design curators and visionaries.

Become a Collab Member
Membership contributions fund Collab activities and support acquisitions, exhibitions, publications, and programs. Benefits include:
  • Invitations to special Collab events
  • Discounted tickets for Collab events
  • Discounts on design books in the Museum Store

Collab membership is available exclusively to Museum members.
Select your membership level and then check Collab under Enhancements.

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Design Excellence Award
Photograph by Clint Blowers

2017 Collab Design Excellence Award: Patricia Urquiola

Each year Collab presents the Design Excellence Award to a design professional or manufacturer whose impact on the field is inspirational. This year, Collab honors acclaimed international designer Patricia Urquiola, who creates cool, innovative objects for the home and office. Explore her work in the exhibition Patricia Urquiola: Between Craft and Industry.

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 email .

For more information, please contact Collab by e-mail at .

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