For its sixteenth edition, Design Miami/ Basel explores the theme The Golden Age. Alongside presentations from 34 of the world’s leading galleries and 18 Curio exhibitions, the fair presents the first Podium exhibition in Basel, and an exciting series of Special Satellite Projects, digital and in-person talks.
Curio is focused explorations of cutting edge design thinking, here are some highlights
Though the prickly pear cactus is the most common member of the Cacti family, it does not make it short of surprises. That is why Naihan Li chose them as the inspiration for this collection of organic form sitting objects. The fruit and flower of the cactus adds an extra element of playfulness to the comical cast. The “prickles” are made with the unique Chinese lacquer-making method known as the “rhino skin technique”. The body is digitally modeled, carved into shape by robotic arms, and reinforced by carbon fiber. In this “100% All-Natural” series of new works, Naihan brings the traditional Chinese motive of turning organic forms into household objects, in a contemporary setting.
Executed in the smaller size to its original predecessor Quartz Low Table Set, the design of the small Quartz Set also stems from the physical properties of the natural stone formations found in nature. Mimicking the interlocking nature of the quartz stone segments, this table set has been designed in 3 parts, which when placed together merge into one formation. The Quartz Set’s composition of the three table parts allows for greater functionality, allowing for the segments to be placed around the interior as three separate entities, or being assembled as an interlocking set of three or two tables, creating one large piece of art-furniture.
Dynamism, a combination of stability and functional lightness. The inspiration for the creation of this desk comes from Stefano Trapani’s passion for antique furniture from the 18th century and the Biedermeier period. The Charles Dix is a contemporary reinterpretation of those exquisite antique cylinder desks. At the base of this beautiful object, made in Italy by Italian master cabinetmakers, there is a great dynamic fusion. The slender legs that support this desk create a game of stability, which is carefully played by these very same elements that converse with each other and intersect one other. Made of wood and veneered in precious white ebony, a rare wood essence in which its splendid grain recalls a hand-drawn, black-inked, linear pattern, the Charles Dix is a desk where everything can be shown or hidden behind its cylindrical mechanism. It is elegantly equipped with whitened birds eye maple wood-veneered drawers, small storage compartments and niches. In one of these compartments lies a secret container concealed behind a gold leaf interior wall. Furthermore, its retractable tray provides this magnificent cylinder desk with the capacity to expand its work area by sliding the surface out by some inches.
Jean Servais works the palm tree thanks to a craftsman descended from a family of sculptors of the king, the “old Kanga“. Here’s a Coconut tree trunk, Amazakoué wooden box lacquered in yellow, blue, red, black and white.
Zemlia (Ukrainian for: earth) — a two-meter wool-woven tapestry with a layered texture that incarnates the rich, Ukrainian, black-colored soil.
The long, umbilical-like strands fall to the ground, representative of the primal connection of every Ukrainian to their soil. Earth as a source of life, a source of strength, a base of collective memory — all intertwined in modern design. Created using an ancient Ukrainian craft “lizhnykarstvo”, passed down from mother to daughter in the Carpathians, a mountainous region of western Ukraine. Every stitch is the DNA of generations, a witness to the mystery of Ukrainian land, its history and spirit.
Yasmine Mahmoudieh’s unique vision is embodied in her latest installation. Called “Flowniversum” – a combination of flow and universe – it showcases her bold ‘circular economy’ approach to turning ocean plastic waste into aesthetically beautiful products that are at once functional and ecologically sustainable. In line with the transformative impulse behind the ‘Golden Age’ them of this year’s Design Miami/Dresden event, Yasmine has recycled and transformed tens of thousands of plastic bottles taken from the oceans to create an innovative 3D printed furniture collection. The centrepiece is her ‘Flow Chair’, which mimics the organic flow of the human body and sets a new standard in aesthetic, ergonomic and environmental design. The installation also includes a wave-like veil feature that flows around the exhibition space with a translucency that allows for the creation of different moods through indirect lighting. The veil, like the furniture collection, can be recycled into entirely different products in the future. In addition, the installation incorporates a screen that displays a unique educational NFT collection. Showing an animated representation of a plastic-filled ocean metamorphosing into beautiful vases designed by Yasmine, these digital assets – located at the intersection of the real and the virtual worlds – are commercially valuable artworks that speak to, and amplify, the environmental theme of the installation. “Flowniversum” stands as an emblematic and inspirational example of how to transform plastic waste into design and manufacturing opportunities that powerfully connect with an increasingly eco-conscious audience.
Rare, spectacular drinks cabinet produced in 1969 by Italian company Borghesani in Verona. It is said to have been inspired by the Moon landing and the imaginings of fictional space creatures. Its solid wood body with details in brass combines retro mechanical beauty with organic and anatomical shapes.
Ivan has designed Arcade’s Murano glasses alongside international artists and designers including Laura de Santillana, Paola Navone and Marcello Panza, having been in the hands of maestro Andrea Zilio for the past thirty years. Arcade’s pieces were exhibited at the Musée d’Orsay and the Beaubourg in Paris, at the Venice Glass Week, at Palazzo Litta and the Triennale in Milan, and are permanently held in the collection of the Museo del Vetro in Murano.
Courtesy of Design Miami.
Design Miami/Basel is taking place from the 14th – 19th of June, 2022