The founders of the COLLECTIBLE design fair reflect on an ever-evolving industry

The Design Muscles from Brussels

The founders of the COLLECTIBLE design fair reflect on an ever-evolving industry

Collection Terra, Tellus, Seating in oak and stone by Llewellyn Chupin (2019) (Courtesy Llewellyn Chupin)

Returning to Brussels’ historic Vanderborght Building next week is the third edition of the annual COLLECTIBLE gallery fair. A newcomer to the ever-saturated international design calendar, this event stands apart by only exhibiting 21st-century wares and embodying the avant-garde approach that continues to define its hometown.

On view from March 5 to 8, COLLECTIBLE is set to bring together 40 of the world’s leading emerging and established galleries. In addition, the fair will host a number of special exhibitions that highlight young experimental talents. This year’s roster includes Atelier Jespers, Rademakers Gallery, Todd Merrill, ToolsGalerie, Ben Storms, Charlotte Kidger, Christian + Jade, müsing-sellés, Naz Yologlu, Philipp Weber, Sayar & Garibeh, Sophia Taillet, STUDIO RAW MATERIAL, Sight Unseen, and Ben & Aja Blanc (featured in AN Interior Fall 2019). AN Interior’s editor Adrian Madlener spoke to COLLECTIBLE’s founders Clélie Debehault and Liv Vaisberg about what makes this event different.

AN Interior: Catching up to the art market, the collectible design industry continues to grow with new events, exhibitions, collaborations, etc. What makes COLLECTIBLE unique?

Clélie Debehault: Our concept is simple. We are the only fair purely dedicated to contemporary collectible design. We don’t show vintage or historical pieces. Our goal is to create an efficient platform that caters to and sheds light on this output. In turn, we seek to stimulate a market that supports this type of collectible design. COLLECTIBLE is Belgian by origin but global in its reach.

AN: Talk about the fair’s structure and how this model is beneficial to young talents. What’s new this year?

Liv Vaisberg: Spread across six floors of a former furniture department store, built in the 1930s, the fair presents work in a museum-like setting. A central atrium that runs through each level makes for a natural flow between the different booths and exhibitions. Joining our main program this year are new initiatives like Bespoke, which educates collectors on how to commission pieces, and Curated Section, which spotlights young designers who do not yet have representation.

The Food Design section will provide this overlooked facet of the field with a dedicated platform. We will also be hosting a dinner food experience on opening night that will cover the entirety of the exhibition space.

CD: New exhibitors this year include Barcelona’s Side Gallery, Eindhoven’s Galerie KRL, Moscow’s Fābula gallery, Geneva and New York’s Galerie Philia; special projects by Italian platform DiSé and Venice Biennial Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement winner Jimmy Durham.

Read the full interview on our interiors and design website,