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Collab is a collaboration of design professionals and enthusiasts supporting the modern and contemporary design collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A volunteer committee founded in 1970, Collab is dedicated to enriching the Museum’s collections with outstanding examples of mass-produced and unique designs, and to making the collections accessible to the general public, students, and the design community. Now among the most important in the country, the design collections of more than 2,000 objects range from appliances and furniture to ceramics, glass, posters, wallpapers, and lighting.

Members of Collab receive special access to a variety of design related programs at the Museum, including private curator led tours, free admission to Collab’s annual Spring Lecture, discounted tickets to Collab’s signature program, the Design Excellence Award, and other member benefits.

Once you select your membership level, please check Collab under Enhancements.

Collab supports a wide range of educational programming at the Museum, including exhibitions, publications, lectures, symposia, and a citywide, college-level Student Design Competition, as well as a distinguished annual Design Excellence Award. Collab also supports focused installations that showcase the work of their Design Excellence Award recipients—design professionals who have made a significant contribution to the field. Past honorees include Florence Knoll Bassett, Milton Glaser, Michael Graves, Richard Meier, Karim Rashid, George Nakashima, Gaetano Pesce, and Philippe Starck.

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Collab Design Excellence Award

Design Excellence Award
Photograph by Clint Blowers
Each year, the Design Excellence Award is presented by Collab to a design professional who has made a significant contribution to the field.

The award itself, of silver and laser-etched rubber, was designed by Kate Reynolds in 2001 and is fabricated for Collab each year by jewlery designer Maria Eife. Reynolds was a sophomore in Philadelphia University’s Industrial Design program when she entered the 2001 Student Design Competition, Designing The Design Excellence Award. Of her project, she said, "This award is meant to symbolize the continuity of design. Its shape reflects the endless relationship between past, present, and future.”

The elegance of her thinking touched that year's judges and the Collab group so deeply that it has been adopted as an element symbolic of Collab's mission, binding them to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Past recipients of this prestigious award >>

The Student Design Competition

The Collab Student Design Competition is a remarkable annual event held in conjunction with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The competition brief is always linked thematically to that year's Collab Design Excellence Award recipient. For the past twenty years, the event has been an exceptional opportunity for students to experience the rigors of competition and have industry leaders from around the world judge their work. In addition, students interact with colleagues from other universities and institutions, exposing them to an array of design approaches.

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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