Collectible design: Art based on emotions



Grandpa stories


It all started with a Scotch.

It all started with a Scotch architect Charles Mackintosh. In 1897, he founded the Art school in Glasgow. Later, an Austrian architect Josef Hofmann appeared on the trend-scene with his extraordinary “Vienna Workshop” community of visual artists working in ceramics, furniture, fashion, and graphic art.

If we can not work for everyone, let’s work for those, who can afford it ー
J. Hoffmann

‘Series B Glasses’ by Josef Hofman ($1,320-$1,990)

It’s all about emotions


Collectible status goes to the designers who are deemed important and to the design that is proven covetable. Certain modern artists have always belonged to this category: Marc Newson, Ron Arad, Studio Job, Oskar Zieta, Zaha Hadid etc. 

The one and the only requirement for the design to be considered collectible is a compelling narrative. Stories always fascinate.

We collect design items for a sophisticated reason  we have an emotional connection with these things, they speak to us in a special way, they show something who we are. It’s an investment beyond financial. The collectible design is about the stories that resonate: the one of our life and the one of the design item

Collectible means emotional, personal.
‘Cake Stool’ by Fernando and Humberto Campana (£15,000–£20,000)

Big people, big prices

Invited to design the apartments of a presidential Pompidou couple in the Élysée Palace,  Frenchman Pierre Paulin got a reputation as the unsurpassed creator of everything you can sit on. His chairs are still an example of great convenience.

‘Tongue Chair ‘ by Pierre Paulin ($1,700-$2,400)

Great Gino Sarfatti has designed more than 400 lamps. Many of them have served as a starting point for the creation of the whole series of modern models.

‘Arteluce Model 1074 Floor Lamp 1956’ by Gino Sarfatti ($2,750-$3,500)

If 50 years ago the oak plywood chair of the modernism classicist Jean Prouve were made in huge parties and cost about 150 francs, today each item costs from 2 up to 10 thousand. Euros.

‘No.4 chairs set of eight’ by Jean Prouve ($100,000-$150,000)

Proust chair ー a visiting card of Alessandro Mendini ー has been first made of marble and only later ー of wood and fabric. Certainly a museum thing.

‘Proust Chair’ by Alessandro Mendini ($10,700-$12,760)

The aluminum chaise lounge ‘Lockheed Lounge’ by the Australian designer Marc Newson has been sold at the Phillips auction for 2,5 million pounds in 2015. By the way, he is one of the main inspirators of Sergey Makhno.

‘Lockhead Lounge’ by Marc Newson (£2,434,500)

As to the brightness of creative decisions, industrial design has always conceded to the collectible one. However, Philippe Starck is sure that the design is, first of all, a sense of humor and pleasure people give to themselves. His well-known Juicy Salif juice extractor is functional, ergonomic, and extremely amusing.

‘Juicy Salif’ by Philippe Starck (€60-€2500)

None of those who are considered to be design icons today assumed that the objects created by them will be so fabulously expensive, but the quality of those things has made them invaluable copies.

Off the beaten track


Today the collectible design is farther and farther from industrial production. This is mainly connected with the emergence of the galleries what has allowed artists to create more freely. 

Self-expressing, the designer is deprived of obligations to create convenient objects. The main task is to challenge the preconceptions that don’t allow us to relax enough to feel the comfort. And the main task of Sergey Makhno Architects is to make art convenient. Because the main trend today is the return to art, craft, and the synthesis of handmade with modern technologies. 

Well, somebody does return, yet we just keep going the same track.

Art track.


Author ー Alina Kulyk
Main visualー Ihor Havrylenko

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