Collective Design

Distinguishing an Annual Design Fair

National and international communications and media relations supporting a year-round campaign distinguishing Collective Design's organizer and fair. 

July 2014 to May 2015
New York, NY

In July 2014, R+A began working with Collective Design to support the third edition of their annual design fair in New York City. Composed of a passionate group of industry notables—including designers, architects, gallerists, and collectors—Collective Design engages a diverse range of global voices to foster a dialogue on 20th- and 21st-century design. As a fair conceived and guided by design leaders, our strategy focused on repositioning Collective Design as a year-round platform for engagement with the creative community. R+A created a communications strategy and a media relations campaign that engaged and educated media in advance of the fair's May 2015 opening, helping to define and distinguish the fair in an increasingly crowded cultural landscape.

R+A helped to differentiate Collective Design from its peers by facilitating media moments and events for the design leadership who guide the fair. To highlight the inclusive and diverse nature of the fair, our strategy also included promoting Collective Design’s partnerships and collaborations with museums, designers, auction houses, and high-profile brands. To accomplish this, we engaged directly with fair exhibitors and developed specific story angles keyed to select galleries, works, and designers. Additionally, we developed core messages around the fair’s 2015 venue in West Soho, positioning the lesser-known site as a destination tied to Collective Design’s exploratory spirit.


By fall 2014, media coverage of the 2015 fair had begun to appear in national outlets as a result of the campaign, nine months from the outset. The momentum built steadily up to the May opening, resulting in extensive print and online coverage—including leadership profiles, highlights slideshows, and news items in the United States, as well as in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, and Italy. Coverage appeared in array of national and international dailies, as well as significant architecture, art, design, lifestyle, and shelter outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, New York Magazine, New York Observer, Vogue, Architectural Digest, Interior Design, Elle Décor, Surface Magazine, Art + Auction, Modern Painters, Hyperallergic, Artinfo, artnet, The Architect’s Newspaper, and more. Foot traffic at the fair increased significantly too, as the media and public alike embraced the concept of a destination venue.

  • In total, the fair was covered in 200+ outlets, a 60% increase over the previous year
  • 300+ media attended the fair's opening night
  • The 2015 fair had 10,000 visitors overall, a 25% increase over the previous year
Project Timeline
  • July 2014 – R+A begins developing communications strategies and media campaign plans for Collective Design
  • August 2014 – Core communications materials developed, defining the group’s membership and function for both the media and the public
  • September 2014 – Announcement of 2015 fair location, Skylight Clarkson Sq
  • October 2014 – London media meetings during Frieze as well as an NYC media event in partnership with Collective Design’s partner, Bruun Rasmussen
  • November 2014 – Announcement of special exhibition curator, Stefano Tonchi
  • December 2014 – Miami media breakfast event at Art Basel Miami Beach
  • January 2015 – Los Angeles studio visits and West Coast media cultivation during Art Los Angeles Contemporary
  • February 2015 – Announcement of 2015 exhibitors
  • March 2015 – Press preview of 2015 fair venue with leadership remarks
  • April 2015 – Announcement of 2015 special design collaborations
  • May 2015 – Collective Design’s 2015 fair opens
Client Relationship
Services Provided For Project
Communications + Media Relations
Analysis + Strategic Planning
Marketing Strategy
Executive Counsel + Management Consulting
Brand Positioning + Constituency Development
Sponsorship + Revenue Strategy
Social Media + Online Strategy
Program Strategy
Other Services Provided
Event Planning