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.