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Explore highlights of the Collab collection.
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Collab is a group of design professionals and enthusiasts who support modern and contemporary design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Members experience great design year-round through exhibition previews, design-inspired field trips, special access to the Museum’s world-class design collection, lectures, and opportunities to meet and learn from design curators and visionaries.

Join Collab
Become a Collab member or buy a gift membership for a friend or family member who is passionate about design. Membership contributions fund Collab activities and support acquisitions, exhibitions, publications, and programs. Collab benefits include:
  • Invitations to special Collab events
  • Discounts on ticketed Collab events, including the annual Collab Design Excellence Award, lecture, and gala
  • Discounts on design books in the Museum Store
  • Bragging rights for supporting one of the world’s largest and most important modern and contemporary design collections as well as the wider community of design students and professionals

Membership in Collab is available exclusively to members of the Museum.
Once you select your membership level, please check Collab under Enhancements.

Programs and Events
Guided by its mission to create engaging experiences that educate and inspire, Collab brings you into the center of the design revolution. Events include previews and curator-led tours of exhibitions in the Collab Gallery in the Museum’s Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, lectures, publications, design-inspired field trips, the Student Design Competition, and our signature program, the prestigious annual Design Excellence Award.

View upcoming Collab events >>

Bertoia, Nakashima, Schultz at Knoll: Reflections by the Next Generation
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
Location: Seminar Room; Granite Hill
Reservations required
Free after admission

Celebrate DesignPhiladelphia with panelists Celia Bertoia, Mira Nakashima, and Peter Schultz who will talk about the work of their fathers at Knoll and the ongoing legacy of that work at Knoll and beyond. Meet the panelists at a Collab members-only reception following the program.

Highlights of the Collab Student Design Competition
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: East Balcony, Granite Hill

Glimpse the future of design as you explore the competition entries created by college-level design students responding to the theme Selfie: Design Your Personal Brand Identity. Winners receive cash prozes and their work is published in the Collab Journal. A members-only reception will follow.

Collab 2015 Design Excellence Award
Friday, November 20, 2015
6:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Location: Main: Van Pelt Auditorium; Perelman: Collab gallery, Skylit atrium, Café
Paid tickets required
Lecture & Reception (public/member adult): $150; Lecture & Reception (Collab member - 2 tix per): $120; Lecture ONLY (general): $25; Lecture ONLY (member): $20; Lecture ONLY (student w/ ID): $10

Join us in honoring Bruce Mau, branding and design visionary and this year's recipient of Collab's prestigious award. Mau applies his innovative methods to the environmental and social concerns of clients that range from countries (Guatemala and Panama) to institutes of higher learning (Arizona State University) and corporations (Coca-Cola and Emeco). Collab members receive 20% off the full evening admission on up to two tickets.


Design Excellence Award
Photograph by Clint Blowers

Collab Design Excellence Award

Each year Collab presents the Design Excellence Award to a design professional or manufacturer whose impact on the field is inspirational. Past recipients have included Rolf Fehlbaum, Marc Newson, Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast, Zaha Hadid, Alberto Alessi, Marcel Wanders, and Frank O. Gehry.

Past recipients of this prestigious award >>

Collab's 2015 Design Excellence Award

On November 20, 2015, Collab will honor Bruce Mau, branding and design visionary and this year's recipient of Collab's prestigious award. Mau applies his innovative methods to the environmental and social concerns of clients that range from countries (Guatemala and Panama) to institutes of higher learning (Arizona State University) and corporations (Coca-Cola and Emeco).

Learn more >>

Jude Marks, Untitled, University of the Arts, First Place
View the 2014 Student Design Competition winners.
View Slideshow >>

The Student Design Competition

For more than twenty years the annual Collab Student Design Competition has been an exceptional opportunity for college students to network with peers, meet the global design leaders who are judging their work, and experience the rigor of competition. Their assignment: to design an object inspired by the work of that year’s Design Excellence Award recipient.

The 2015 Student Design Competition: Selfie

The 2015 Collab Student Design Competition will take place on Monday, November 16, 2015. This annual event is held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and provides a unique opportunity for regional university design students to experience competition outside the classroom and to receive valuable feedback from nationally recognized industry leaders. Each year’s competition is thematically linked to the work of the annual Collab Design Excellence Award honoree, a world-class individual recognized as having made significant contributions to the field of design.

Learn more about 2015 submissions >>

Design Your Personal Brand Identity

Regardless of your design discipline, your brand is your most important asset. It’s a reflection of your creativity and your design intelligence. Students are challenged to design a personal identity program that will capture their essence, amplify differentiation, fuel recognition of work, and help attract future clients/collaborators. Seize every opportunity to make an indelible impression on the world.


All submissions must include the following components:
  1. A symbol (could be a logotype) that is designed to work across mediums
  2. Business card
  3. Website home page (This is your storefront, show for desktop and smart phone.)
  4. Icon for Twitter or Instagram
  5. Tagline: one sentence that is no longer than a tweet that is your statement to the world
  6. 3-dimensional object that you can leave behind that represents your brand (Full size model)
  7. Presentation board >>
Presentation board must include:

Front of Board
  1. High-resolution image of identity image, business card, icon, website homepage
  2. Tagline
  3. Design statement outlining personal brand concept and a description/illustration of research and process

Back of Board
  1. Your name and University/College. NO NAMES ON THE FRONT OF THE BOARD.
  2. In a sealed envelope taped securely to the back of the board, include: Completed registration form
    Also, include a Flash Drive with following files:
    • Completed registration form (Word Doc)
    • Design Statement (Word Doc)
    • High resolution image files of business card, icon, website homepage and 3D model. (tiff, jpeg or pdf, minimum size 5” x 7”, 300 dpi)

  • 1/8" Illustration Board
  • 11" x 17" full color, borderless, mounted vertically (portrait format)

Final Submission due on Monday November 16 must include:
  • Presentation Board
  • Hard copy of Business Card
  • 3D object

Judging Criteria

  1. Evidence of applied research of process
  2. Originality and creativity of the concept
  3. Construction and organization (craft of submission)

Student Competition Exhibition

30-40 of the best designs will go on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for one week, November 16–20, 2015.

There will be a “People’s Choice Award” during the week where museum visitors will be able to cast their votes via iPad stations mounted in the galleries, or vote online. The museum has Pay What You Wish Wednesday Nights at the Museum—and the student exhibition will be featured on Wednesday November 18. Invite friends and family to come and vote. The “People’s Choice Award” along with all student winners will be presented at the Collab Design Excellence Awards Lecture on November 20.

Free Admission

All student competition participants are invited to the Collab Design Excellence Award program for FREE. Preregistration required at competition.

Date and Location for Submissions

The competition will take place on Monday, November 16 at the Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Fairmount and Pennsylvania Avenues. All entries are due at the Perelman Building by 9:00 am. Students will return to Perelman at 3:00 pm for the announcement of the winners and a feedback session by the panel of judges. Students should enter Perelman through the front entrance at both times.


First Prize $750 | Second Prize $500 | Third Prize $250 | Two Honorable $150 each | Peoples Choice Award $150


After the competition, a selection of the winning projects will be published on the Philadelphia Museum of Art website and presented in the Collab Journal.

Return of Entries

With the exception of those selected to be on display at the PMA, all projects must be picked up at the end of the day of the competition. The Museum cannot be responsible for any projects, not selected, that are left after 5:00 pm on Monday, November 16, 2015. All selected projects can be picked up on Saturday November 21 between 9:00–11:00 am at the Kelly Drive North Entrance. (Out of town students’ projects will be mailed back.)


Students submitting projects to the Collab Student Design Competition must be currently enrolled in a college or university. All submissions are due by 9:00 am, November 16, Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Students are encouraged to attend the event and are expected to hand deliver their entries. All entries must be solo; no joint or team projects will be accepted and cannot be delivered by post or by email. The entrant waives all rights to entries, and the winners are at the full discretion of the Jury.


  • Alan Jacobson
    Founder of Ex;it Design Strategy and J2 Design Partnership. Ex;it is an experience design and strategy firm that designs the connection between people, information and environment. Ex;it's sister studio, J2 Design Partnership, is a brand strategy and visual communications agency encompassing brand design, printed materials and web and digital communications. Clients include: Brandywine Realty Trust, PHLConvention and Visitors Bureau, University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Kaiser Permanente, George Washington University, Memorial Sloane Kettering, and Harlem Academy.
  • Alina Wheeler
    Alina Wheeler is the author of Designing Brand Identity: an essential guide for the whole branding team, now in its fourth edition. Published in seven languages, her best selling book illuminates global best practices for brands, and deconstructs a disciplined process for brand recognition and revitalization. Alina is a passionate design advocate and process coach, renown for her strategic imagination. She is an AIGA Fellow, and former national board member.
  • Jedd Davis
    Jedd has nearly 20 years of experience working in advertising, media and digital marketing. He has held strategy roles at various agencies and his experience has given him insights into how people engage with content and their surroundings, and how communications and design can influence understanding. Jedd is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Publicis Health Media, the leading media agency in the healthcare space. Jedd has served on the Board of Collab for 5 years, and the Executive Board for the past two years.
  • Josh Goldblum
    Bluecadet’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Josh Goldblum is devoted to working with museums, universities, and nonprofit organizations to educate, engage and entertain through digital innovation. He has conceptualized and created websites, mobile apps, interactive installations, and immersive environments for such organizations as MoMA, Smithsonian Institution, Doctors Without Borders, National Geographic, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and over 20 prestigious institutions in Philadelphia.
  • Ken Carbone
    Ken Carbone is a designer, artist, musician, author and teacher. He is the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Director of the Carbone Smolan Agency, a design and branding company in New York City. His agency’s client list includes: W Hotels, Morgan Stanley, Taubman Centers, Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Tiffany & Co., Canon, Carnegie Textiles, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Architectural Record Magazine and the Musee du Louvre. Ken is the author of The Virtuoso: Face to Face with 40 Extraordinary Talents, published by Stewart Tabori & Chang.

Previous Competitions >>

For more information, please contact Development by phone at 215-684-7750, by fax at 215-236-0796, or by e-mail at .

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