Over the years Fernando Mastrangelo, founder of the annual In Good Company exhibition, has found himself in many studios of talented, young artists and makers. He not only has a true passion for emerging talent, but an uncanny knack for spotting it.

“Furniture is no longer solely, or even primarily, a medium of function.” Mastrangelo says “It’s starting to become more and more a medium for artistic expression for the sake of artistic expression.” When it comes to furniture making these days, form and modality are starting to make room for, and even daringly giving way to quirky composition, political statement, bombastic style, and narrative or conceptual expression.

In Good Company believes that this wave of exploration within design is unbelievably exciting not just because of the interesting work that is bound to come out of it, but because of the ways in which that work will affect how we analyze, critique, market, and understand furniture pieces in the future. When a lamp is no longer just a lamp, but a sculpture no less at home in the Guggenheim than it is in your own living room; when a piece born of design transcends into high art, what do you call it? Collectible Design.

Collectible design is a somewhat new, almost purposefully vague term floating around the design fairs and showing up in the hashtags of high-end galleries. It’s an umbrella term for sculptural, conceptual, and otherwise undefinable design work to gather under. This genre of work that overlaps mediums and skill sets is what inspired Mastrangelo to turn the In Good Company exhibition from one in which he handpicks talent from within the design community to an open call for any American-based artist or designer. Anyone with a design, with an idea, could apply to exhibit at In Good Company. It’s no wonder so many of the submissions from young artists sans limits fell under that oh-so-fascinating Collectible Design umbrella.

With hundreds of impressive applications across the nation, Mastrangelo needed help siphoning the best from the bunch and so he enlisted the best of the bunch, Rossana Orlandi. Orlandi needs little to no introduction; she is a design world maven from the design capital of the world, Milan. She has been recognized around the globe as a champion for emerging design, having discovered several important European designers, including Maarten Baas, Nacho Carbonell and Piet van Eek. In fact, Orlandi herself tapped Mastrangelo at the start of his own design career in 2016 to exhibit in her Salone de Mobile show which she hosts every year at her namesake gallery boasting more than 40,000 visitors over the 4-day show. Rossana’s exhibitions are well known for curating top emerging talent from across Europe and introducing the marketplace to up and coming talent. Mastrangelo took a page out of her book when he founded In Good Company, a non-profit and annual exhibition focused on showcasing new, emerging, and relatively unknown artists and designers.

The pair met in Milan recently and pored over design applications for several days. They narrowed it down to 14 exceptional never-before-seen designs; one of which will earn the Emerging Designer of the Year award upon exhibition which is accompanied by a $5,000 prize. Amidst a cacophony of design noise there were times when all Orlandi needed was to see a sketch and she’d pronounce “It’s gorgeous.” in a beautiful Italian accent that assures you that she is an indisputable arbiter of taste. She’s put her stamp of approval on so many of Europe’s delectable design and now she’s turned her talents toward the west with In Good Company as her first curatorial debut. Collectible Design could not ask for a better duo to spearhead it into the eyes, minds, and hopefully homes, of the global art market.

Come see the third edition of In Good Company, the Emerging Collectible Design show of the year, where the best of the best of the future will unveil their creations to the high-end design market. Rossana Orlandi, Fernando Mastrangelo, and a lot of names you’ll want to remember, will see you there. The exhibition opens September 13th at 6pm and runs through October 11th by appointment. Email for scheduling.

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Benjamin Freddie