Three questions to
Today, we have the pleasure of talking to Anaïs Sandra Carion, the Managing Director at MAD Brussels, the Center for Fashion & Design. As a member of the jury for the CURATED Sections 2024, she shares her journey into collectible design and offers her vision of the design industry.
COLLECTIBLE: What initially drew you to the world of collectible design, and how has your involvement in this field evolved over the years?
Anaïs Sandra Carion: It’s quite interesting how a gradual shift has taken place among many designers. Initially, years ago, when I was working with Hermès we collaborated with many designers for the set design of the store windows. Most of those designers who I worked with evolved from classic furniture design to collectible design over the years. I had the chance to see this change take place among many of them.
C: As a professional in the design industry, how do you see the role of collectible design in pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation within the broader design landscape?
ASC: The interesting part of collectible design is that no rules apply; designers are free to explore their creativity, and especially to explore the material. Nowadays many of them create with their hands, whereas 20 years ago we would distinguish a furniture designer who just made the drawings, from a craftsman who crafted the object. Today we find all those different roles in one collectible designer. I believe that collectible designers, through their freedom, explore material in a way which subsequently influences the design of the furniture. They then discover, for example, how sustainable materials can also be used to create, and in turn find new ways to disrupt classic design and materials. However, making a living from collectible design is just for a happy few, so it is important that collectible designers diversify what they offer with their work.
C: What have you been up to recently? Which recent project would you like to draw attention to?
ASC: I haven’t been up to anything in terms of creating as you can imagine (laugh), but every day I have the opportunity to visit collectible designers in their studios, or to discover their work in exhibitions or galleries At MAD we showcase those discoveries with our “crafts” exhibitions. The first chapter in 2022 was about textiles, the one in 2023 was about ceramics, and we are excited to announce a new exhibition about another craft in 2025.