Collective Design, the annual design fair founded in 2013 by architect Steven Learner, announced today the launch of its new platform, Source. The site is positioned to meet the sourcing needs of members of the trade by bringing vetted studios, artists, and makers together with interior designers and other industry professionals. What is more, Source’s invite-only model is poised to harness Learner’s substantial Rolodex to help foster propitious connections and deepen relationships—while helping to diversify countless projects in the process.
“There’s nothing else like this out there,” Learner says to AD PRO. “It’s about bespoke objects and helping design firms understand the capacity of someone to create 36 chairs in a different finish, or putting them in touch with a designer who has his own factory of impeccable quality.”
Like so much of the creative output that has been realized in 2020, the platform is, to a certain extent, the result of making lemons into lemonade. With fairs and travel canceled for the majority of the year, Learner decided to incubate this novel concept after observing another digital success. This past May, Collective Design’s page was the eighth most visited presence in the Frieze New York Online Viewing Rooms. Their objects on offer were also some of the most viewed works included in Frieze’s digital effort.
Around the same time, New York–based designer Kristina O’Neal of AvroKO asked Learner for Los Angeles maker recommendations. Learner sent one, to which O’Neal responded enthusiastically that she needed 10 more, as well as recommendations in Mexico City and New York. This was his light bulb moment.