Design Miami celebrates collectable design – we unearth some of the highlights from this year’s Basel edition. Elana Castle writes.
June 22nd, 2016
Every year the design world’s most influential collectors, gallerists, designers and curators descend on Design Miami. Hosted alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami has grown to be one of the more interesting events for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design. The event naturally blends and binds art and design, and its presentations are often an interesting alliance or intersection of the two disciplines.
While the Galleries form the show’s core marketplace for 20th and 21st century design, Design Miami also presents exciting collaborations between designers and manufacturers, and a line-up of lectures and unique commissions. We’ve selected a few highlights from this year’s Design Miami/ Basel edition:
Design Miami’s newest exhibition platform invites designers, curators, innovators and gallerists to present cabinets of curiosity throughout the fair that expose inventive snapshots of life, innovative scientific and technological research and creative production.
A Future Made (an initiative from the Crafts Council and The New Craftsmen) presented Nature Lab. Each wondrous object was created by pushing the natural boundaries of wood, sand, salt, clay, flowers or ice, which trialled radical new techniques and proposed new ways of working with nature.
Design at Large
Design at Large, curated by founder and editor in chief of Cabana Magazine, Martina Mondadori Sartogo, presented large-scale architectural limited edition dwellings that ranged from functional pavilions to modular homes. The structures explored the connections between the built and natural worlds, demonstrating how architecture and design can accommodate and enhance its natural surroundings.
Ron Arad presented Armadillo Tea Pavilion Shelter (constructed by Revolution Precrafted Properties), an independent structure composed of five (or more, if desired) mechanically-fixed modular components. The moulded shells are made in range of finishes (from durable PVDF-coated timber composite for outdoors, to oiled hardwood-veneered plywood for indoor use), depending on their intended purpose. Whilst not airtight or designed to withstand extreme climatic conditions, the structure gives one loose shelter from sun, wind and noise.
Design Miami invites institutions to create unique exhibitions with strong curatorial and educational perspectives. This year, a highlight was an exhibition of Zaha Hadid’s work, commemorating her contribution to the field of design. Known for her fluid form-making, the focus of this particular exhibition was on her memorable design objects, including her Liquid Glacial range of acrylic stools and tables and her black granite Valle shelves.
Hess Classic presents 20 years of Italian Chefs d’oeuvre – Design Meets Innovation
This year the 2016 Swarovski Designers of the Future Award was awarded to sound artist Yuri Suzuki, glass artist Anjali Srinivasan and German-Icelandic design duo Studio Brynjar & Veronika.
Srinivasan created an undulating wave of special, touch-sensitive interactive tiles, Suzuki produced a musical instrument that makes sound by tapping crystals and Studio Brynjar & Veronika designed crystal blinds that cast rainbows when hit by the sun.
Srinivasan’s work, Unda, measuring six metres in length approximates an “an architectural surface for crystal drawing” which responds to touch by lighting up the area of contact. The piece which is composed of 1,500 of the interactive touch crystals and 3,000 Swarovski crystals and 5,000 glass pieces creates a trail of illumination that appears to follow the movement of a person’s hand.
Photography by James Harris.
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