As much as popular culture would have us believe, trends don’t just fall out of the sky. They start somewhere—and one of those points of origin happens to be the Collectible Design Fair in Brussels. Dedicated exclusively to contemporary design, the one-of-a-kind showcase has become a platform for rising voices and industry veterans with an appetite for newness.
“We strive to show our visitors—many of whom are art collectors—that design is as interesting and valuable to collect as contemporary art,” says Clélie Debehault, cofounder of Collectible.
When Debehault and Liv Vaisberg established Collectible in 2017, they wanted to bring together galleries, individuals, and design studios with three unique requirements in mind: the pieces need to be contemporary (made in the 21st century), collectible (unique or limited editions), and design oriented (functional).
“Collectible is not a traditional commercial fair with a series of booths, but rather a selling exhibition in which visitors discover six tightly curated floors showcasing the work of exhibitors selected by an international jury of leading design figures,” says Vaisberg.
Now in its second installment, this year’s showcase (March 14–17) will feature works from more than 90 international exhibitors, from heavyweight galleries such as Maniera, Victor Hunt, and Valerie Traan to rising talent like Raw Material and Jonatan Nilsson. Collectible will also introduce two new curated exhibitor sections—one for art galleries and another for young designers who have graduated in the past two years.
Reimagined raw materials, hits of glamour, and organic forms lead the way at this year’s fair. Here are 10 unmissable tastemakers we’re excited to see more of.
After receiving a grant from the Swedish Arts Grant Committee last year, Stockholm-based artist Nilsson decided to take a chance on product design and drop out of school. With the hope of establishing his own studio very soon, he is kicking off an exciting year ahead by debuting his Shifting Shape series at Collectible. The colorful collection of vases explores the distinct shapes that result from mold-blown glass.
“I’m most interested in actually having the time to focus on experimenting with new techniques,” says Nilsson. “I would also like to work with concrete some more.”
Founded in 2017, Studio LoHo—the brainchild of Karel Loontiens and Jo Hoeven—takes a material-oriented approach to interior and product design. While design lovers may remember the clay bath series they presented during Salone del Mobile in 2018 or their newly debuted bed-and-breakfast, Kind of Jo, this year the duo has their hearts set on something fresh: leather chairs, daybeds, and other lounge-worthy pieces.
Rajasthan-based studio and newcomer Raw Material is changing everything we thought we knew about marble. Often turning to ancient Indian temples and architectural monuments for inspiration, all of its pieces—including the Offcut 05 table it has designed for Collectible—explore the principles of joinery and are constructed, rather than assembled, without the use of any adhesives or mortar.
Nathalie Nahon is one of many artists who will be represented by French gallery Scène Ouverte this year. By translating dance and body gestures into floor and table lamps, her fixtures predict plenty of movement for the future of statement lighting.
Born in Caracas and based in Barcelona, textile artist Araujo’s style serves as both a playful expression of shapes and an analytical study of color composition. The installation she has created for this year’s fair is nothing short of electric. “The piece that I’m presenting at Collectible is more personal and experimental: a conversation with myself, a dialogue between materials, a juxtaposition of colors, and a combination of three techniques: knitting, embroidery, and weaving,” says Araujo. Wall hangings have met their match.
Paris design gallery and publishing house Éditions du Coté will present a number of works by forward-thinking artisans this year. Joan Tarrago’s Maddi table—a seamless merger of the natural landscape and the interior of the home—is one furniture staple we want in our living rooms ASAP.
In line with his Amsterdam-based studio’s form-meets-function ethos, design veteran Visser’s dynamic Harold Gold Cabinet puts a glamorous spin on storage. We already know that grids are on the rise, but this see-through wardrobe—crafted out of expanded metal—suggests that trending prints and patterns can double as a muse for furniture.
Skål Gallery from London will present a number of art objects, including the whimsical work of Emily Forgot. Wavering between illustrations and interior design, her transportive miniature landscapes offer a playful peek into the future of fine art and architecture.
Among the many artists with an unusual fascination for marrying polar-opposite materials is Harry Morgan, represented by Antwerp gallery Modern Shapes. Drawing on ancient techniques such as Venetian glassblowing and Brutalist architecture, Morgan’s mixed concrete and glass sculptures are a testament to the beauty of high contrast.
In addition to young designers, art galleries, and design studios, Collectible will also feature a number of special projects. In partnership with Zaventem Ateliers, Lindy Freya Tangelder, founder of Brussels studio Destroyers/Builders, will present a chair and two stools—sturdy pieces that speak to her signature minimalist-meets-Brutalist aesthetic.