Design Miami/Basel 2017: Highlights – Design Miami/ Basel presented its most far-reaching edition ever over the past week, somewhat in contrast with the state of the world and reaffirming design’s strong bonding power. ‘Looking around our world in 2017 – from the US to the UK, France and beyond – it is with great pride that this edition of Design Miami/ Basel will be the most diverse ever,’ said Rodman Primack, fair’s chief creative officer. ‘More countries than any previous edition are represented at the fair and a broader range of styles and aesthetics than ever before.’
It was clearly a year of debuts: for its inaugural Basel outing, South American gallery Mercado Moderno (based in Rio de Janeiro) took over a booth of the Herzog & de Meuron-designed halls, presenting the finest modern and contemporary design from Brazil. A first for the fair is also the introduction of art deco, art nouveau and De Stijl pieces, courtesy of first-time Monaco gallerist Robert Zehil who displayed a rich collection of pieces by the likes of Renè Lalique and Albert Cheuret.
Significant solo shows included an Ettore Sottsass display by Friedman Benda, which followed a series of initiatives that have been celebrating the designer’s centenary throughout the year (such as the Fondazione Giorgio Cini’s retrospective of his glass works, and Charles Zana’s personal collection of Sottsass ceramics, both on display in Venice).
Throughout the fair, another strong Italian presence was felt in architecture group BBPR; Milanese gallery Nilufar dedicated its stand to public and private commissions by the firm, including outdoor lighting for Milan’s Mediolanum cinema and a wood, metal and glass panel created for a private residence. Other galleries which included BBPR in their offerings were Chicago-based Casati (a 1958 loveseat the group designed for their Casa Ravelli project), along with Milan’s Galleria Rossella Colombari and Monaco-based Gate 5.
Elsewhere in the fair, Kenny Schachter presented his collection of cars that ranged from Zaha Hadid-designed futuristic vehicles to classics such as the 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia and an Austin Mini Cooper. Swarovski returned with its forward-thinking Designers of the Future initiative, presenting a minimal space where the three winners’ works conversed through different media exploring the potential of crystal.
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