Fair report: Design Miami/Basel 2010 highlights

Rectangular Objects
Port table lamp, by Alexander Taylor, 2010.
(Image credit: David Gill Galleries, London)

This is the second year that Design Miami/Basel has been located in Hall 5 of the gargantuan international air fair, but for the first time it seemed not so much an interesting add-on as a truly dynamic force in its own right.

It has taken commentators a few years to move on from the 'is it art? is it design?' debate and just enjoy it for what it is: a brave new world of both. Stand after stand seemed to have raised the curatorial bar, with plenty of new works by big talents such as Studio Job, Pablo Reinoso, Studio Makkink & Bey, Atelier Van Lieshout, Richard Woods and Marc Quinn to name a few.

The legendary Maria Pergay showed current pieces at Demisch Danant (New York) while acclaimed typographer and graphic artist Stefan Sagmeister launched his first foray into the design-art hybrid at Droog (New York). But there was plenty to discover as well – design satellites on the upper floor included the 2010 W Hotels Designers of the Future Award – Beta Tank, Graham Hudson, rAndom International and Ziegbaum & Coelho – as well as eight smaller galleries each devoted to one rising star.

While 21st-century pieces undoubtedly stole the show, mid and late 20th-century was still a core feature. Controversially, the 18th-century was also represented by Didier Aaron (Paris) and Galerie Perrin (Paris) – while this prompted dark mutterings from some along the thin-end-of-the-wedge lines, others viewed it as an opportunity to educate collectors that if a design is excellent, it will always sit happily with a design of equal excellence – no matter how old it is.

Detail from Alone in a Crowd table

Detail from Alone in a Crowd table, by Rolf Sachs, 2010. Image copyright of Rolf Sachs, Cologne

(Image credit: courtesy of Gabrielle Ammann Gallery)

Alone in a Crowd table

Alone in a Crowd table, by Rolf Sachs, 2010. The frame is made of oak and steel and under the glass surface Sachs has personally placed 511 Preiser miniature figures. Image copyright of Rolf Sachs

(Image credit: courtesy of Gabrielle Ammann Gallery, Cologne)

’Fabrique en Chine’ - Dike Shoes

’Fabrique en Chine’ - Dike Shoes, by André Dubreuil, 2010. In this work, the prolific artist-craftsman challenges the notion that China is a country where everything is made cheaply. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of Contrasts Gallery, Shanghai)

Berceau, by Christophe Come

Berceau, by Christophe Come, 2008. New York

(Image credit: Cristina Grajales Inc)

Broken Cubes

Broken Cubes, by Maria Pergay, 2010. New York 

(Image credit: Demisch Danant)

Cabinet cart,

Cabinet cart, by Kiki Van Eijk, 2010. courtesy of Secondome, Rome 

(Image credit: Serena Eller)

Fake Chair

Fake Chair (Skull), by Danful Yang, 2010. One of the new additions to the Fake series of 20 pieces by XYZ Design - a continuing statement about the onslaught of consumer culture in China.

(Image credit: Contrasts Gallery, Shanghai )

Fragile Future Concrete Chandelier

ragile Future Concrete Chandelier, by Lonneke Gordijin and Ralph Nauta, 2010. 

(Image credit: Carpenters Workshop Gallery, London)

Fragile Future Concrete Chandelier

Fragile Future Concrete Chandelier, by Lonneke Gordijin and Ralph Nauta, 2010.

(Image credit: Carpenters Workshop Gallery, London)

Artificial Vases

Artificial Vases, by Hella Jongerius, 2009 - limited edition collection of four vases installed on a table: glass, blow glass, ceramic, plastic, leather and wood.  courtesy of Galerie Kreo, Paris

(Image credit: Fabrice Gousset)

Fakir cabinet

Fakir cabinet, by Mattia Bonetti, 2004.

(Image credit: David Gill Galleries, London)

Swarm, by rAndom International

Swarm, by rAndom International, 2010. More than purely decorative, the Swarm chandelier reacts to ambient sounds - combined with 9,000 LEDs, the sophisticated behavioural algorithm reacts naturally, and in realtime, exactly as a swarm of insects would. 

(Image credit: Carpenters Workshop Gallery, London)

Glass dome lights

Rattus Maximus, by Rolf Sachs, 2010. Unique in a series of 17 glass dome lights - an albino rat stands on a carefully crafted still life of sardine cans, broken eggs and other household waste.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Gabrielle Ammann, Cologne )

The Unbearable Lightness

The Unbearable Lightness, 2010

(Image credit: Tomas Libertiny)

Darwin chair

Darwin chair, by Stefan Sagmeister, 2010. This is the prototype of a planned edition of 20 - a structure of about 200 sheets of attached prints, made of Tyvek and epoxy, developed by Grenswerk. courtesy of Droog, New York

(Image credit: Johannes van Assem)

Octopus Chair

Octopus Chair, by Sam Woong Lee, 2010. Mother-of-pearl work in the Korean tradition on a contemporary form. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of Gallery Seomi, Seoul)

Mission side table

Mission side table, by Roy McMakin, 2008. New York

(Image credit: Cristina Grajales Inc)

Rietveld Lego buffet

Rietveld Lego buffet, by Minale-Maeda, 2010. A playful interpretation of Rietveld’s 20th-century buffet made of approximately 28,000 Lego bricks.  courtesy of Droog, New York

(Image credit: Minale-Maeda Studio)

Panther, Satyendra Pakhalé

Panther, Satyendra Pakhalé, 2010.

(Image credit: Gabrielle Ammann, Cologne)

Painting on the Floor coffee table

Painting on the Floor coffee table, by Philip Michael Wolfson, 2010. This work is inspired by a reverence for the training required for a scholar to achieve mastery of Music, Board Game, Calligraphy and Painting.

(Image credit: Contrasts Gallery, Shanghai)

Stag Stool

Stag Stool, by Rick Owens, 2009. courtesy of Jousse Enterprise, Paris

(Image credit: Adrien Dirand)

Honeycomb vase

Honeycomb vase, by Tomas Libertiny, 2007. This is the piece that gave rise to Libertiny’s spectacular The Unbearable Lightness, 2010, that was one of the stars of the fair - the controlled manufacture of the figure of Christ produced by bees.

(Image credit: Image courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery.)