Design Summit Explores Materials + Methods from the Global Cultures to Tech Trailblazers


| Santa Fe, NM – March, 2017 | The Museum of New Mexico Licensing Program hosted the second biennial Museum Design Summit on February 23 + 24 in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s Museum of International Folk Art and Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. The 120 attendees – leaders in design, manufacturing, technology, fashion, and media -- spent two days immersed in presentations, museum collection tours, hands on activities, rich discussion and spirited networking events. This invitation-only event examined the product design process from beginning to end, focusing specifically on innovative uses of materials and methods of production – both those culturally-based and tech-inspired.

Content ranged from the evolution of design and materials through historic trade routes, the role artisans can play in product design and how new materials are re-shaping our lives, to how sustainability and technological innovation drives design trends and the opportunities that new plant fibers present for product design.

Presentations featured Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson, founders of the Brooklyn based fashion house: Ace & Jig, Deborah Keiser, VP Supply Chain, Sundance Catalog, Jackie Dettmar, VP Commercial Product Development for the Mohawk Group, Kourtney Morgan, lead designer & Nellie Cohen, Worn Wear program manager from Patagonia, Lora Smith & Joe Schroeder founder of Big Switch Farm, Adele Stafford, Voices of Industry, Paul Makovsky, Editorial and Brand Director of Metropolis; and Pamela Kelly founder of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation’s Licensing Program.

In conceiving of the Museum Design Summit, Pamela Kelly, VP of Licensing & Brand Management, had three goals in mind: to introduce designers to the extraordinary resources in the two featured museums, forge new licensing partnerships, and provide a unique setting in which designers and manufacturers are exposed to one-of-a-kind, culturally-based textiles.

Kelly says of the Museum Design Summit experience, “Alchemical. In curating this unique event, we aim to deconstruct traditional approaches to design and introduce a sense of wonder.” She continues, “By providing designers with the chance to see how global cultures approach materials, methods of production, and pattern, we hope to transform their design process and ignite their imagination.”

Textile designer Kimberle Frost has worked with the Museum of New Mexico Foundation (MNMF) Licensing program to create textile collections and notes the experience was transformative. Frost shares, "I continue to be impressed by the museum's archival treasures, and with each visit, I unearth another beautiful find that inspires my work. This year’s Summit was rich with valuable information and content bringing creatives together to explore the ideas of material renewal.”

Sponsors and participants of the Museum Design Summit included Hunter Douglas, Valdese Weavers, Wolf Gordon, Jaipur Living, Hickory Chair, Kravet Fabrics, Sunbrella, Meyer Fabrics, Duralee, Wearbest, Rohleder, Weitzner, Himatsingka, Katsu, and retailers West Elm, Target, New Balance and Vera Bradley, were among the group.

In her closing remarks, Pamela Kelly, said:  “It is our hope that you, our guests, are now better acquainted with the breadth of the Museum’s collections and clear about their value as an unparalleled design resource featuring material and design innovation from the around world. Equally, we hope you leave feeling more adventurous in your approach to materials, sustainable methods of production and methods for creating compelling pattern.”

About MNMF Licensing Program

Since 1998, the MNMF Licensing Program has partnered with the many highly regarded home furnishings manufacturers to develop collections inspired by the four museums’ expansive textiles, furniture, basketry, and ceramic collections. Not only do MNMF licensees gain access to the museum’s world renowned international collections for design inspiration but they also use to their advantage their affiliation with a 100-year-old cultural institution. Past and current partners include Pollack Fabrics, Jan Kath, Kravet Fabrics, Valdese Weavers, Odegard Carpets, Hickory Chair, Wolf Gordon, Jaipur Living, Shaw Rugs, Designtex, West Elm and Marshall Field’s.

About the Museum of New Mexico Foundation

Founded in 1962, the Museum of New Mexico Foundation is a private, non-profit organization which provides essential financial support and services for education, exhibitions, collections and capital projects at the Museum of New Mexico (MNM). The MNM is comprised of four institutions: Museum of International Folk Art and Museum of Indian Arts Culture, New Mexico History Museum and Palace of the Governors, New Mexico Museum of Art, seven historic sites and the Office of Archaeological Studies. For more information, please visit or connect through Facebook and Instagram @mnmlicensing.