Be Original Americas: Originality Deconstructed Exhibition

03.21.23 | By
Be Original Americas: Originality Deconstructed Exhibition

After ten years, Be Original Americas has arrived at the third and final stop for their last traveling exhibition – Originality Deconstructed. The Ace Hotel DTLA hosts the non-profit’s show through March 26, 2023, with a live and online auction to follow in collaboration with Rago/Wright on Saturday, March 25, 2023 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

modern red adirondack style chair on display

Photo: Benjamin Meyers

A celebration of creativity, the showcase pulls back the curtain on some of the design industry’s most iconic products, incorporating physical designs, disassembled elements, raw materials, and videos. By unveiling the stories behind and discovering the intricacies that make each design original, visitors can better grasp the issues surrounding sustainability and the challenges that can come with ensuring the authenticity of a design in today’s day and age.

Among the vignette-style show are works by Be Original Americas members Carl Hansen & Søn, Cerno Group, Designtex, Emeco, Kvadrat, Ligne Roset, Loll Designs, Lumens, Kay Bojensen from Rosendahl Design Group, and The Modern Fan Company.

clear canisters displaying individual components of a whole product

Photo: Benjamin Meyers

The Originality Deconstructed exhibition was mounted by Brussels-born, New York-based writer, curator, and consultant Adrian Madlener, with support from Imaginative Sponsor Lumens, Host Sponsor Ace Hotel, and Inspired Sponsor 2Modern.

individual components of a whole product

Photo: Benjamin Meyers

“We’ve been honored to partner with Be Original Americas for this one-of-a-kind exhibition that places curiosity and authenticity at the center of the design conversation,” says Laura Walsh, Lumens CEO. “Exhibitions like Originality Deconstructed reflect the cultural importance of honoring historic design while setting the stage for the next generation of makers.”

triangular chrome and lavender tea kettle

Virgil Abloh edition Michael Graves, Alessi Tea Kettle

neutral textile art

Suzanne Rick, “Refuse DC”

On the evening of March 25th, Rago/Wright will host the live and online auction, featuring donated items from some of the most noteworthy designers and firms in the world. The event will also be held at the Ace Hotel DTLA and include prototypes of never produced products, iconic pieces no longer in production, historic books and catalogs, original works of art, and one-of-a-kind signed objects.

modern toilet brush and holder

Philippe Starck, Excalibur Toilet Brushes, set of 4

industrial style table lamp

Lluís Porqueras, Funiculí S Table Lamp

“Originality and authenticity are two of the most important qualities of designs to hit the auction block. They are also the foundation of all works that have become iconic markers in the history of design,” says Richard Wright, founder of Wright. “Rago/Wright is proud to support Be Original Americas and their mission to inform and educate makers, designers, and consumers about the economic, ethical, and environmental value of authentic design.”

two books

Knoll Publications, 2 works

Coleman Gutshall, President, Be Original Americas and Vice President of Strategic Operations, Bernhardt Design, states: “The third and final edition of Originality Deconstructed clearly illustrates that the momentum is building for knowing more about the making of products and projects we buy and specify. We hope to continue connecting with more people IRL and are extremely pleased with the reaction to this exhibition.”

striped white section of sofa with pillow

Ligne Roset, Liz Collins Prado Sofa

Included among the more than 25 auction objects is a Marcel Wanders designed, limited-edition signed vase made especially for the 12.5 year wedding anniversary of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands. A limited-edition Virgil Abloh version of Michael Graves’ Alessi kettle that’s been laser signed by Alberto Alessi himself will also be up for grabs. Also listed, Foscarini’s Wassily Blown Glass Table Lamp, designed by Adam Tihany and Joseph Mancini in 1985, and a large scale, signed original piece of art by Ronan Bouroullec. And from the personal collection of Gregg Buchbinder, Chairman of Emeco, a Philippe Starck designed prototype Kong rocking armchair, which never found its way into production. This is just the tip of the iceberg, you can view the full auction here.

chrome pig bank

Harry Allen, Bank in the Form of a Pig, Silver Chrome

wood armchair

Hans J. Wegner, Special Edition Wishbone Chair

The Be Original Americas: Originality Deconstructed exhibition runs through Sunday, March 26th at the Ace Hotel DTLA and can be viewed 10 am-6 pm. The Original Design auction will be held there as well (live version by invitation only) on March 25, 2023 at 5:30 -7:30 p.m.

For details on attending, go here. The online auction will be posted on,, and before the live event. Once posted, you can leave bids or register to bid live online at any of the three sites.

hourglass-shaped yellow table lamp

Adam Tihany + Joseph Mancini, K6 Wassily Table Lamp

leather upholstered lounge chair

Charles Pollock, CP.1 Chair

Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.