design miami/ basel to host immense-scale installations that probe the future of materiality

from june 11–16, design miami/ basel returns for its fourteenth edition, bringing together forty-one galleries from twelve countries. the 2019 fair marks the first directed by aric chen, who will oversee exhibitions, commissions, and collaborations in both basel and miami beach this year. chen has chosen to develop the fair under a pertinent theme that explores the role of design, materials and making in a post-nature, anthropocene future: elements: earth.

‘it’s not just design’s role in exploring materials, and ways of making, living, consuming and producing that have taken on new urgency as our impact on the planet becomes all too clear,’ chen describes. ‘design and designers also help to articulate the future, and this year we want to highlight what designers are seeing as human activity continues to alter the very nature of earth.’


etage projects presents piano by guillermo santomá, together with a million times and leaking fountain by FOS

the central manifestation of aric chen’s curatorial theme is presented at design miami/ basel’s design at large platform, an annual showcase of historical and contemporary design installations that exceed the confines of a traditional gallery booth. set within a 2000 square meter event hall designed by herzog & de meuron, nine participants present projects that can take the form of structures, pavilions, or any other larger scale installations — including performances and video projections. from objects made using ‘mined’ e-waste, to a speculative material formed from the now-plastic-filled geological strata of the earth, designboom previews the future-probing projects at this year’s highlight group exhibition, design at large.

etage projects

etage projects presents three works, made separately by danish artist FOS and spanish designer guillermo santomá, which reflect on the role of human beings in the anthropocene. the film ‘a million times’ by FOS depicts an explorer’s echoing journey into the arctic, while the neon installation ‘leaking fountain’ suggests that the origins of that body of water might be broken plumbing. meanwhile, santomá’s ‘piano’ functions as a working instrument and is made of rough-hewn foam embedded with speakers — an ambiguous relic of a postindustrial future.


etage projects presents a film by FOS titled, ‘a million times’

joseph walsh studio

irish designer joseph walsh is presenting the largest work to date in his ‘magnus’ series: magnus V. the large-scale installation is made using layers of olive ash wood that push the material’s formal and technical possibilities. working with the wood’s inherent properties, walsh has created a complex, ribbon-like geometry that balances at a scale large enough to redefine the space it occupies.


joseph walsh studio presents his large-scale installation, magnus V

friedman benda: territories

friedman benda presents andrea branzi’s ongoing research into the relationship between humans, societies, and constructed landscapes with ‘territories’. born out of the ‘no-stop city’ project first conceived in the late 1960s, ‘territories’ is one of twenty-five works in this series that branzi has produced over the last 40 years. accompanied by his own texts, the presentation for design miami/ basel is the largest grouping ever to be exhibited together.


friedman benda presents territories by andrea branzi

friedman benda: bleached II

israeli designer erez nevi pana’s body of work explores the consequences of mineral extraction at the dead sea. for these new furniture designs presented by friedman benda, bleached II, nevi pana has submerged aluminum structures encased in luffa into the highly saline water of an industrial evaporation pond at the dead sea works plant. the pieces naturally become encrusted in crystallized salt, offering a re-imagination of possible outcomes of humanity’s interference with nature — all the while exploring the convergence of the organic and the ornate.


friedman benda presents bleached II by erez nevi pana

galerie VIVID

for galerie VIVID, designer shahar livne investigates the nature of emerging materials at a time when plastic has become part of the planet’s strata. her artistic process involves heating a composite mixture of plastic fragments to simulate the earth’s geological processes. alongside objects made from the resulting material, the installation for design at large includes a video, created in collaboration with artist alan boom, that reflects on the notion of plastic as a non-biodegradable ‘hyper object’.


galerie VIVID presents metamorphism by shahar livne

jason jacques gallery

handmade in his studio in fiskars, finland, the moss people sculptures by artist kim simonsson are ‘an arboreal community’ inspired by nordic fables and fairytales. the sculptures are the result of a flocking technique that combines stoneware, paint, and green nylon fiber, which give them a soft, moss-like texture. building on their narrative, simonsson is presenting them with jason jacques gallery on tiers of metal scaffolding that offer an industrial reinterpretation of the forest they would normally inhabit.


jason jacques gallery presents moss tower by kim simonsson

giustini / stagetti

for giustini / stagetti, formafantasma presents an ambitious investigation into the recycling of precious electronic waste. making use of a diverse range of media, ‘ore streams’ includes furniture concepts designed using old computers and phones, aiming to address the meaning of production in multiple perspectives and offer an insight into how design can be an invaluable agent for change. using form and color to initiate a deeper exploration of ‘above ground mining’, the studio draws attention to the complex role design plays in transforming resources. ‘ore streams’ comprises a range of office furniture including a cabinet, desk, table and a low chair, using dead-stock and recycled materials.


giustini / stagetti presents ore streams by formafantasma

mercado moderno

mameluca studio observed brazilian birds — joão de barro, joão graveto, and tecelões — known as ‘the weaver birds’ who use natural detritus like mud, sticks, and leaves to build their nests. the result is ‘manimal’ for mercado moderno, an installation of three nest-like structures made of reclaimed wood, bulrush fibers, cardboard pulp, and reused fishing nets that contrasts our creation and disposal of waste products with the birds’ reliance on natural debris.


mercado moderno presents manimal by mameluca studio

galerie philippe gravier

the black pavilion by odile decq for galerie philippe gravier translates the action of copy-and-paste into an installation, subverting the conventional relationship between pavilion, context, and viewer. externally, the dark and opaque black-glass structure is transformed by collage-like light sculptures, created by patrick rimoux, that are projected onto its surface. interally, the pavilion’s one-way-mirrored glass offers a view to the outside, creating a voyeuristic tension that questions our relationship with the world around us.


galerie philippe gravier presents the black pavilion by odile decq

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