A preview of work discussed in this series, with designs by (from left) Angell, Wyller & Aarseth; Francois Chambard; BIKEID; and Claudia & Harry Washington
The traditional barriers to recognition as a designer are lower than ever—but there are still certain people you'd do well to impress if you hope to make a career as an independent product designer. Museum and gallery curators, retailers at physical and online stores, creative directors for manufacturers and distributors—these people can give budding designers an amazing platform for wider exposure and help them win the commissions and make the connections vital for lasting success.
So how does one get the attention of these design gatekeepers? Recently, we tasked Bryn Smith, a writer and designer based in Brooklyn, with finding out. She called up ten influential curators, retailers, and creative directors and asked them each a batch of five questions:
How do you find out about new designers?
What kinds of design are you looking for at the moment?
What's the best way for a designer to approach you? And what should he or she not do?
Can you tell us about a recent successful collaboration with a young or emerging designer?
Their answers provide a revealing peek behind the inner workings of some of America's most important design brands and institutions—and should, we hope, give Core readers some useful advice for how to get into the good graces of industry tastemakers.
Our first conversation is with Jerry Helling, the president and creative director of Bernhardt Design, a major incubator of American design talent. We'll be posting a new interview every weekday morning for the next two weeks. So check back, and by all means let us know what you think in the comments.