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TASCHEN’S “Collecting Design,” by Adam Lindemann

Mar 14, 2011 by D. J. Schwartz

‘From the same author of Collecting Contemporary Art, Adam Lindemann–a superior curator and educator–provides the reader with a 360 degree view of what Collecting Design means.

The myriad of reasons that that entails–are explained to the reader from the Collector, Dealer, Tastemaker and Auction House Experts who’ve spent many collective years formulating their collections, acquisitions, assignments, experiences, and recommendations into this quite extensive—yet simple and fluid–fulfilling world of their experiences when collecting Design and Collective art.

As a result, Mr. Lindemann and TASCHEN’s 3 year commitment to producing this book is the result of their collaboration. And to that end, as it relates to Collecting Design, TASCHEN publications has again provided us a superior and well documented book on the topic.

In all, 32 internationally renowned experts have provided, via Mr. Lindemann’s interviews, an exceptionally assorted methodology and glimpse into each one’s ways, means, aesthetic, pricing and valuation, and most importantly, their insights of the what’s, why’s, where’s, who’s, and how’s of each one of their unique approaches to collecting design.

They are linearly broken down into the following sections:

Collector, Dealer, Auction House, and Influence Maker, to bring and categorize for both neophyte as well as the experienced collector, the way they understand the growing importance of Collecting Design.

And from and because of that and that alone, and as it relates to the contemporary art world—a much overused term—nonetheless its growing influence within the same is something quite separate and a distinct category of simply collecting art; yet at the same time its growing acceptance is growing into collecting art by leaps and bounds.

Interviewed are such luminaries’ from the design world as Peter Brant, Ronald Lauder, Zesty Meyers and Evan Snyderman to such household names as Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld and Ian Schrager.

From those interviews, we begin listening to the experts opinions as to which designer is of ubiquitous value and collectability, which design era is significant and why, which one of its designers is in favor or not, why certain designs are more or less important at any given moment, which leads the reader into the most important understanding of the ways design, form, function, and art connect–and how that comes into play when both tastes and money are concerned.

A point sure of controversy is the author’s choice to not interview any designers of which he has designated this book toward and about. It’s up to the reader to agree or disagree with his reasons; but I don’t think it matters.

As a result, we quickly become immersed and embark into an intimate and close understanding why this uncommon endeavor–can rapidly turn and weave into an outright obsession; but on a deeper level we learn that price is less integral to the process of Collecting Design then one may think.

That’s because those that have been chosen to share their wisdom and thoughts of why they do what they do, are able to provide others with what otherwise one might never learn.

But this is one of those rare books that translates the entire process we call design–not because of design for design’s sake–but for its unique way of assisting us in our appreciation of our surroundings.

And as a result, it helps us understand the forces of the reasons we might choose to make our surroundings more beautiful.

Toward the end of the book, we’re provided with an annual listing of dates of auctions, design fairs and events that take place every year around the world.

Lastly, the author provides a glossary of terms–including methods of design, schools of design, and other noteworthy terms–that will give the reader a substantive working knowledge when it comes to Collecting Design.

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