Design Miami/ Basel returned to the Herzog & de Meuron-designed fairgrounds for its 13th edition, presenting its traditional mix of new creative projects, iconic designs from the past and conceptual interpretations of the genre. With 43 international galleries presenting work from names of modern and contemporary design, as well as ten special Curio presentations and more large-scale installations, this edition once again offered a magnificent celebration of culture and commerce. Here are our highlights.

(Con)temporary Home by ETEL

(Con)temporary Home by ETEL

This year’s Collectors Lounge is created by Brazilian brand ETEL and designed by Italian architecture firm Superluna. The space is designed to feel like a domestic environment, encased in a steel frame which gently separates the lounge area from the bustling fair. Inside, contemporary and historical Brazilian design pieces are arranged in conversation with photographs by Ruy Teixeira, which complete the space. Among the iconic furniture offering guests a place to relax and enjoy a glass of champagne is a notable selection of pieces by Jorge Zalszupin, a special tribute to the Brazilian master’s 96th birthday. 

Watercolour Collection by Nendo, presented by Friedman Benda

Friedman Benda Nendo at Design Miami 2018

New York gallery Friedman Benda presents a new body of work from the Tokyo-based Nendo, a collection created to impress the illusion of watercolour paintings on paper. The 18 pieces are made of folded sheets of metal finished with a technique that makes them appear like pieces of paper, then painted by hand to mimic a light blue watercolour effect. The pieces suggest traditional furniture shapes, reimaged by the design studio in slightly abstract compositions. The paint interacting with the forms creates a poetic illusory effect.

Anne Holtrop for Maniera

Maniera at Design Miami 2018

Belgian gallery Maniera has been working closely with international architects, commissioning furniture that brings their signature aesthetic to a small scale. At Design Miami/ Basel, the gallery will present new work by Dutch architect Anne Holtrop, including furniture, lighting and accessories that form micro-architectures based on the Holtrop’s shape and material sensibility.

Design at Large, curated by François Halard

Design at Large at Design Miami 2018

For 2018, Design Miami/ Basel’s annual Design at Large initiative was entrusted to photographer François Halard, who is exploring the lasting impact of good design on our lives and on the world around us with a series of nine diverse projects from the 20th and 21st century. The display includes iconic elements of Jean Prouvè’s architecture (pictured), Gaetano Pesce’s interiors for the Dujardin children’s store in Knokke-Le-Zoute on the Belgian coastline and a micro-architecture by RDAI, amongst others. ‘I am looking at how the past has influenced the now and how the now may influence the tomorrow, it is all linked,’ says Halard. ‘Ideas are the bedrock of art and design; will and craft makes them physical, and time is the mediator. In some of these projects we can see concepts that have defined the last 50 years of art and design as well as in other ways we may see the seeds of the cities of tomorrow, and yet only time will tell.’

‘A New Layer Taiwan’, presented by Spazio Nobile Gallery

Spazio Nobile at Design Miami 2018

An initiative by the National Taiwanese Craft Research and Development Institute, in collaboration with Belgian gallery Spazio Nobile, ‘A New Layer Taiwan’ is an ongoing project fostering creative relations between Taiwanese craftsmen and international designers. Curator Lise Coirier enlisted seven designers and invited them to Taiwan to collaborate with local craftsmen and workshops. The results include ceramic pieces by Anton Alvarez and BCXSY, bamboo furniture by Sebastian Herkner (pictured) and Jin Kuramoto, and lacquer objects by Julie Richoz and a lacquered clay table Wonmin Park.

Blue and White, by Olivier van Herpt, for VIVID

Olivia van Herpt at Design Miami 2018

Eindhoven graduate Olivier Van Herpt developed a unique ceramic 3D printing technique that created a new distinctive aesthetic for the material. The latest in his ongoing series of experiments is a set inspired by the Delft tradition of blue porcelain, initially started as a commission by the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag to complete the pedestal of a 17th-century tulip pyramid. The blue pattern, explains Van Herpt, is the translation of human interaction with the machine. Cobalt pigment is applied by hand on the clay before it’s inserted in the extruder; the pattern is then reconstructed by the 3D printer, resulting in a radial gradient that, as all of the designer’s pieces, celebrates cooperation between man and machine.

Limited edition Feltri, by Gaetano Pesce, for Cassina, with vintage quilts selected by Raf Simons, for Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein at Design Miami 2018

Calvin Klein makes its debut at Design Miami/ Basel with an installation celebrating Italian designer Gaetano Pesce’s work. The designer’s Feltri chair, designed in 1987 for Cassina, is presented in an environment inspired by an authentic barn, and reinterpreted by creative director Raf Simons using one-of-a-kind American heirloom quilts from the 19th and 20th centuries. The installation features 100 limited edition numbered chairs.

’Origins: Design from the Ancient World’, presented by Galerie Chenel and Oscar Humphries

Oscar Humphries Roman Design exhibition

After last year’s successful Curio installation, where he reproduced a Turin auditorium designed by Carlo Mollino, Oscar Humphries returns to Design Miami/ Basel with yet another Italian marvel. In collaboration with Paris’ Galerie Chenel, the Australian curator presents the first ever display of Roman design seen at a design fair. The collection focuses on Greco-Roman artefacts, design and architectural elements from 200 BC to approximately 200 AD, including columns, capitals, urns, and fragmentary sections from interiors and furniture. The magnificent display is set to gain a deeper meaning amidst the modern and contemporary design booths, showing how the impact of Roman styles can be found in many genres, from Art Deco to Memphis shapes. The project, its curators explain, ‘was conceived to bring this material to a new audience and to give it a new context that demonstrates the fundamental synergy of great design from any period, as well as its profound differences.’ §