Rome resurrected

Step inside the historical world of Roman art, design and architecture at Design Miami/Basel 2018

A collaboration between curator Oscar Humphries and Paris’ Galerie Chenel, 'Origins: Design from the Ancient World' is a display of architectural remains from Roman times. The collection marks the debut of Roman-era pieces at Design Miami/Basel, and 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, some of which are seen in this film. ‘All of the sculptures are definitely carrying with them the passage of time,’ antiquarian and gallerist Ollivier Chenel muses in this film.

The project  ‘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,’ Humphries explains. The materials bring to mind contemporary design movements, from postmodern to Art Deco, their white marble almost minimalist in its appearance. ‘Each great architectural movement and its protagonists nod to some degree to Rome and Athens, from Ettore Sottsass to Andrea Palladio,’ adds Humphries. ‘It is remarkable that these objects survived the ravages of time, making their aesthetic and philosophical gravitas all the more powerful.’

'Origins: Design from the Ancient World' is on view 12-17 June at Design Miami/Basel

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.