My next couple of articles for Cobo Social, the platform for collectors based in Hong Kong, will focus on the territory of collectible contemporary design, which has generated a lot of attention and headlines in recent years, and has to be defined and analyzed for architects, art collectors, and design collectors seeking to explore, invest, and get involved. In the marketplace for collectible design, the contemporary, meaning 21st century objects, has come to the forefront of style and taste, particularly of that of the new generation of art collectors and interior designers. They are often seen in interiors featured in some of the world’s leading magazines. While I always advise beginners to use the service of a professional adviser, it is important to get the knowledge one needs in order to develop the taste for contemporary design. If you think that contemporary design can be defined in stylistic terms, or that it has a unified aesthetic character as was so apparent in past styles, then you will be surprised to learn of the enormous scope that typifies the 21st century design found in the collectible arena. While it is always innovative, inspiring, has a certain component of craftsmanship, and informed by narratives, it manifests a wide range of oppositions which have long structured matters of class and culture: high and low, elite and popular, minimalist and ornate, expressive and plain, local and global, familiar and surprising, luxurious and plain. Unlike design one find in high end stores, which is for the most part produced in open editions, the territory of collectible design is outlined by objects produced in limited editions or one-offs. It manifests the design of our era, and thus it is the design that one would find in museum collections, representing the 21st century.
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