Basel 2019– The 14th edition of Design Miami/ Basel goes on show in the Swiss city exploring the role of design, materials and making in a post-nature, Anthropocene future. Elements: Earth is the fair’s main theme chosen by curatorial director Aric Chen. On show 41 international galleries from 12 countries, 13 exhibitions at the Curio platform and the Design at Large program showcasing 9 ambitious, large-scale installations exceeding the spatial confines of a traditional gallery booth.
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“The growing inescapability of our impact on the planet presents once-unthinkable scenarios for what the future might look like,” says Aric Chen. “Elements: Earth brings into focus emerging possibilities for reimagining how we use the planet’s resources, the very nature of those resources, and the conceptual, visual, and design languages that might arise as a result.”
Joseph Walsh Studio presents Magnus V
Irish designer Joseph Walsh has crafted layers of olive ash wood to create towering sculpture that pushed the material’s formal and technical possibilities. A ribbon-like geometry balances at a scale large enough to redefine the space it occupies. The pieces is the largest work to date in his Magnus series. Alongside, it is the Eximon a limestone bench with naturally embedded fossils in low relief.
Galerie Philippe Gravier presents The Black Pavilion by Odile Decq
French designer Odile Decq has created The Black Pavilion for Parisian Galerie Philippe Gravier. From the exterior, the Patrick Rimoux’ dark and opaque black-glass structure is transformed by collage-like light sculptures by which were inspired by Decq’s vision of nature and projected onto its surface. Inside, the pavilion’s one-way-mirrored glass “creates a voyeuristic tension that questions our relationship with ourselves, one another, and our surroundings”.
Swarovski’s Future Award winners reflect on climate change, design-wise
The Swarovski Designers of the Future Award honours promising talents exploring crystal innovation and sustainability. Juju Wang’s kinetic architectural facades were inspired by the importance of water and how a dynamic patterned design creates calmness and depth in a space, Studio Klarenbeek & Dros presents a series of 3D printed crystal objects inspired by the reduction of the Arctic icecaps observed between 1984 and 2012 due to global warming. British designer Raffe Burrell presents a collection of lighting pieces inspired by waterfalls in the Tyrolean mountains that surround Swarovski’s historic headquarters in Wattens, Austria.
Mercado Moderno presents Manimal by Mameluca Studio
Rio de Janeiro gallery Mercado Moderno showcases new designs by by Brazilian Mameluca Studio which were inspired by urban birds’ architectural ‘woven’ nests. As the city has devoured Nature, birds adapted to recycle wood, bulrush fibers, cardboard pulp as well as reused fishing nets, natural debris and disposal of waste products. “Our creations proposes new hierarchies around notions of waste,” explain the designers.
Jason Jacques Gallery presents Moss Tower by Kim Simonsson
The Moss People handmade sculptures by Finnish ceramicist Kim Simonsson’s are crafted from a stoneware, paint, and green nylon fiber to give them their soft, moss-like texture. Inspired by Nordic fables and fairytales, the figures form an arboreal community that literally gathers moss through eerie stillness. Building on their narrative, Simonsson is presenting them here on tiers of metal scaffolding that offer an industrial reinterpretation of the forest they inhabit.
Etage Project collaborations
Gallery Etage Projects presents three works by Danish artist FOS and Spanish designer Guillermo Santomá, which reflect on the role of human beings in the anthropocene. The A Million Times film by FOS depicts an explorer’s echoing journey into the arctic; his the Leaking Fountain neon installation suggests that the origins of that body of water might be broken plumbing. Functioning as a working instrument, Santomá’s Piano is made of roughhewn foam embedded with speakers, evoking an ambiguous relic of a postindustrial future.
Galerie VIVID presents Metamorphism by Shahar Livne
By combining plastic fragments with minerals and placing them under heat and pressure to simulate the Earth’s geological processes, Shahar Livne’s Metamorphism installation for Galerie VIVID investigates the nature of emerging materials at a time when plastic has become part of the planet’s stratigraphy. Alongside objects made from the resulting composite, the showcase includes an Alan Boom’s video reflecting on the notion of plastic as a non-biodegradable “hyper object”.