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Steven Learner has a unique vantage point in the design world. As an architect, interior designer and collector, he’s steeped in industry knowledge and connections. As a curious human with a curator’s eye, he’s made it his mission to discover and engage the most interesting new creative studios out there. As a connector, he’s created new ways for industry professionals to network and collaborate, from a physical design and art fair to his latest online directory, Source. His passion for the design community has made him a go-to resource for designers all over the world.
“I want to introduce you to my personal list of creative makers I have worked with and the new studios I am discovering every day.”
In 2013, architect Steven Learner launched the Collective Design Fair (CDF). The fair, held in New York City each spring as part of New York’s Design Week, was the first of its kind: a space for galleries and designers to elevate their visibility, for established creative studios to showcase new work, and for the design community to discover talent and commission projects.
The relationships forged at this fair led to incredible work — and a realization for Learner: personal connection was at the heart of great design.
As the design world and the world at large have changed, the Collective Design vision has transformed and expanded. With the creation of Agency, Learner offers one-on-one consultation with studios to refine their professional trajectory, clarify their brand, and make career-defining connections. He also established Source, a global directory of top design talent accessible to firms looking to commission or collaborate with creative makers. Because of his personal relationships with the creatives he highlights, Learner can offer bespoke recommendations and introductions to these studios, forging exciting new connections in the design space.
Among many others, Learner’s eponymous architecture and interior design firm has created interiors for the Guggenheim Museum, Christie’s Private Sales, DiDonna Galleries, Haunch of Venison, and Sean Kelly Gallery. Private projects include residences for prominent artists, collectors, and gallerists such as Barnaby Furnas, Dominique Levy and Sean Kelly, culminating in a private museum and art library for a renowned private collection.
During his time as Creative Director of CDF, Learner commissioned projects from legendary designers Gaetano Pesce, Ingo Mauer, Hella Jongerius, Mattia Bonetti and Nendo, and fostered partnerships with cultural institutions such as The Noguchi Museum, Design Academy Eindhoven, Storefront for Art and Architecture and Cranbrook Academy of Art.