All design-lovers’ eyes were focused on Design Miami this past week, which was running for its 14th year. The renowned fair runs alongside Art Basel which showcases collectible art from leading galleries around the world. Both events annually attract some of the world’s most influential designers, curators, critics and collectors. This year, the fair focused on innovative materials (including a memory foam sofa and a suite of stainless steel furniture). It also presented a new ‘Curio’ exhibition, which displayed ‘cabinets of curiosity’ throughout the fair. Here are some of our top picks from the week.
A sense of play and light-heartedness was apparent throughout the fair this year. Najla El Zein’s sculptural bench was reminiscent of a loving embrace or two perfectly placed puzzle pieces. Appearing as smooth and impressionable as a sand dune (it was in fact made from sandstone) and as fun to clamber over as it was snug to sit on, the work aims to portray ‘stages of proximity between two entities.’
Jenny Nordberg’s work comprised of hand-made mirrors. Inspired by 19th-century techniques, each mirror was crafted with the application of a thin layer of silver liquid dispensed upon the glass. Like underdeveloped photographs, the effects could be unexpected and at times unnerving, even more so as guests were the subject in the frame.
Worlds collide in this elaborate armchair. The Swiss designer took inspiration from across the centuries. Using plush velvet evocative of the 1600s (you know how much we love velvet) and abstract swirls straight out of a 20th-century abstract painting (his craftmanship even included cutting-edge robotics and 3D printing). The result; a chair exuding glamour, intelligence and modernity, but most importantly, a sense of fun.
‘Moving art beyond the frame’ was the aim of this interactive installation. With the wall as its canvas, the work came to life again and again with the moving and placing of a range of cut out shapes in various colours and materials. Henri Matisse’s much-loved cutouts inspired the experimentation and playfulness within this ‘wallpaper’ installation. It took the normally domestic task of picking out your favourite wallpaper to a whole new level of artistry and fun.
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Posted on 17th December 2018