While Art Basel was in full flow last week, Design Miami Basel
beckoned at design lovers from across the tram tracks (quite literally, for those who haven't visited the sprawling event space in Basel's Rosental area).
Featuring works from the late Zaha Hadid, Jean Prouvé and Kengo Kuma the fair, running from June 14-19, was a space for highly collectable contemporary design on the bleeding edge of innovation.
We asked Christian Larsen, associate curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, to take us through his highlights.
"There's a kind of hybridization happening right now between art and design, and the design market is modeling itself and mimicking the art market," suggests Larson. Collectors scour the fair in much the same way as the booths in Basel, he says.
"All of a sudden you're finding chairs -- extraordinary chairs, albeit -- going for astounding prices. This is not your average Ikea depot. This is really carefully made, luxuriously crafted and highly conceptual -- and absolutely collectable."
Nilufar Gallery/ Milan, Galleries Credit: james harris
Among Larsen's tips is Joris Laarman
, a Dutch design lab engineering robotic arms to "print" with metals. Their output manifests in beautifully sculpted, textured objects at Design Miami Basel, but their uses are limitless.
Larsen says the technology Laarman is creating will one day be used to design self-building bridges.
"This kind of experimental design has implications for a wider audience," he says. "These are experiments in thinking."