The word collection alludes to seasonal haute couture collections and also to museum collections, respectively created and curated. But here, the term design collection includes a number of objects created independently by several designers (unlike fashion collections), but nonetheless conceived as an entity at the time of creation (unlike museum collections). Several design collections are introduced within which the author was involved, in the context of collections by Hussein Chalayan, Dunne & Raby, the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, and the Museum of Jurassic Technology. The differing purposes of these design collections are identified, as are the various roles played by the author – and the balance between creation and curation. Collections can illuminate themes and imply a landscape of alternatives that transcend any individual piece. Design collections can thereby play a valuable role across design practice, education, and research.