Craig Robins, the real estate developer and entrepreneur behind Design Miami, spoke with Fast Company’s Co. Design:
So, who’s selling?
Newson, Zaha Hadid, Konstantin Grcic, the Bouroullec brothers, the Campana brothers, and Tokujin Yoshioka are all doing well. Ron Arad is in a strange moment. He wants to be considered an artist, not a designer, so he’s undermining himself a bit. Still, I have huge respect for him and I collect him. But everybody’s doing less business. You have to give more, charge less. Collectors are willing to spend money, but they want good deals right now.
And who’s buying?
Americans are still very important. Europeans had a big advantage because of the strength of the euro. There’s a fair amount of buying in the MidEast, but secretively. They’re buying to fill up the spaces in their new design museums. Plus, design for them is more acceptable and less political. There’s no nudity, no figurative art.
Can you quantify how design has done as an investment for those who were savvy enough to buy when this whole thing got started?
Over the last 10 years, if you bought right, you’ve probably seen 10, 20, or 30 times what you paid. The multiple was higher before the crash — it’s probably 30% off the peak. But if you bought something for $15K and it’s worth $150K instead of $250K, it’s still not too bad. It’s shocking how much art and design has appreciated.
Is High-End Design a Good Investment? Design Miami After the Market Crash (Fastcodesign.com)