Mac Collins wins Design Museum Emerging Designer Award

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Mac Collins honored with the Design Museum’s first Emerging Designer Award

The Design Museum announces British designer Mac Collins as the recipient of the Ralph Saltzman Prize, a new annual honor to celebrate and support emerging designers

British designer Mac Collins is the winner of the Design Museum’s inaugural Ralph Saltzman Prize, an annual award for emerging designers. As part of the award, Collins will receive a £5,000 grant and will showcase her work in a solo exhibition at the Design Museum, from February 2 to April 2, 2022.

Design Museum’s Ralph Saltzman Award

‘Ikva’ chairs for Benchmark. Photography: David Cleveland

“I created the Ralph Saltzman Award as a legacy to my father,” says Lisa Saltzman. Ralph Saltzman was the co-founder and president of Designtex, and through his company he championed many innovations in design and sustainability. “The Prize will be a means of giving young creators an opportunity, a reward and a show. Mac is a worthy winner. In addition to aesthetic quality, Mac brings personal narratives into her work and sees her practice as an exploration of her identity within the African diaspora, and that’s interesting.

MacCollins’ work

Collins was nominated by designers Kim Colin and Sam Hecht of Industrial Facility, and was chosen by a jury chaired by Justin McGuirk, chief curator at the Design Museum. Collins’ work was selected for the personal approach to his creations and for his ability, McGuirk notes, to “break with paradigms and introduce clear decisions: there is something quite strong in his processes as that designer”.

Collins graduated from Northumbria University, Newcastle in 2018. Through his work he explores personal and cultural narratives, in particular his own identity and Caribbean heritage.

‘Concur’, a chair and stool designed by Collins and manufactured by Benchmark for Discovered, an initiative of Wallpaper* and AHEC

Collins’ graduation project, the “Iklwa” chair, was acquired by Benchmark and produced by the British brand as a collection comprising two chairs and a table. Collins was also part of Discovered, an initiative of Wallpaper* and AHEC, supporting the work of emerging designers through mentorship, making their design, and exhibiting at the Design Museum. In September 2021, Collins received the Emerging Design Medal at the London Design Festival.

“It is an honor to receive the inaugural Ralph Saltzman Award at the Design Museum,” says Collins. “The Fellowship provides some financial, and therefore creative, freedom to communicate a current narrative through a new collection of works. This distinction also provides a physical platform to showcase work within an institution that carries considerable weight. §

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