Ten: A Decade Collecting Design
13 October - 8 December 2011
Ten years ago, Rabih Hage, designer, collector and patron, already running a successful architecture and interior design studio, embarked on a new adventure. Excited by the talents of young designers he encountered throughout the world, Hage began collecting the prototype, one- off pieces these designers had made as they explored new ideas.
Before the phrase “design art” had become common currency, or the notion of collectible contemporary design had stirred in common consciousness, Hage recognised in these one-off pieces the seeds of a new art form. Within a year he had opened a gallery, eager to encourage young designers to persist with their vision and to share their latest conceptions with the world.
Soon after the opening of his gallery he was commissioning new work, inviting designers to produce prototypes for limited edition production, or one off pieces, exploring further this genre which at first he called “sculpture furniture” or “art furniture”. As he puts it: “Rather than keeping secret these discoveries I made in Milan or New York or Prague, I wanted to share my special notebook with the public.”
Ten years on, many of these designers are still at the cutting edge, producing pioneering work both for production and as single pieces. In turn, many of their one-off pieces have become hugely valuable collectors’ prizes, exchanging hands at auction for many times their original purchase price.