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Design Miami/ Basel 2018: My Favourites

Topic: Design Travels
Design Miami/ Basel 2018: my favourites

Today we go visit Design Miami/, one of the most relevant global fairs of collectible design. During its two yearly appointments (Miami - USA in December and Basel - Switzerland in June) it gathers designers, galleries and critics from all around the world.

I found a lot of interesting inspirations last week in Basel and I’ve narrowed them to 5 favourites.

A (Con)Temporary Home - Studio Superluna & ETEL

Some of the masterpieces of the Brazilian furniture company ETEL have been displayed at Design Miami/ Basel 2018 in A (Con)Temporary Home.

The installation – designed by the Italian Studio Superluna – created a comfortable home-like ambiance with some iconic pieces from ETEL. Welcoming lounge and dining areas greeted the visitors, together with the smell of wood typical of ETEL showrooms.
Petalas coffee table was also there! And if you follow me on Instagram you already know how much I like it!

Lounge setting created at Design Miami/ Basel with iconic ETEL products
Credit: Etel (via Instagram)
A second lounge setting created at Design Miami/ Basel with iconic ETEL products
Credit: Etel (via Instagram)
Detail of the coffee table texture
Credit: DforDesign

Precarious & Magma - Nouvel Limited

Precarious, the vase and Magma, the wall lamp, were the two products showcased at Design Miami/ Basel 2018 in the installation of Nouvel Limited, a Mexican glass manufacturer. Fighting gravity, they both bring glass design to its most dramatic extent.

Overall view of the Nouvel Limited installation at Design Miami/ Basel
Credit: DforDesign

Precarious, designed by Héctor Esrawe, Emiliano Godoy and Brian Thoreen, is a blown-glass vase. Once it cools down and hardens, the glass sustains two brass pieces, that serve as a base in the final product. A really precarious design, where the two components could not exist without each other.

The Precarious vase, made of blown glass and brass
Credit: Héctor Esrawe

Magma, designed by EWE Studio, is a modular wall light fixture. The opaque glass surface and irregular shape really make this light fixture look like lava, ready to pour down the wall.

The Magma light fixture, that looks like pouring lava
Credit: EWE Studio

Watercolour Collection - Nendo

Yes, that Nendo. The famous Japanese design studio was also part of Design Miami/ Basel 2018.
Brought to the fair by the American gallery Friedman Benda, the Watercolour Collection is composed of 18 white metal furniture pieces, with a gentle blue colouring inspired by watercolours.

View of some pieces from the Watercolour Collection presented at Design Miami/ Basel by Nendo
Credit: DforDesign
More pieces from the Watercolour Collection by Nendo
Credit: DforDesign
A high table from the Watercolour Collection by Nendo
Credit: DforDesign

The pieces would have already been beautiful by themselves. But the display – a long and white gallery – gave them an extra touch of magic.


Also thanks to its regular participation to Milan Design Week, the name Nendo now associates with the idea of stunning and peaceful installations in the mind of any design-lover. And this one at Design Miami/ Basel 2018 was yet another amazing example!

Endless form – Zhang Zhoujie Digital Lab

Where artificial intelligence meets design.

It all starts with a chair-shaped series of sensors, that collects body shape data when people sit on it. From there, a software elaborates the shape of a personalized chair, that fits the user’s body perfectly.

A chair created with the aid of artificial intelligence to fit the user’s body perfectly
Credit: DforDesign

Fifty chairs produced with this method were exposed at the entrance of the fair and they were literally the first thing I saw at this Design Miami/ Basel 2018!

The fifty chairs displayed at the entrance of the fair
Credit: DforDesign

Smart home and crystal - Swarovski

The Swarovski Designers of the Future Award gives young designers the opportunity to develop an innovative design using Swarovski crystals. Blending cutting edge technology with a challenging brief, the results are always spectacular pieces, that answer to some of the challenges of modern living.
This year the theme was smart living, and the role that crystals could have in it. The three winning projects were presented during the fair, and definitely made for the most sparkling corner of Design Miami/ Basel 2018!

The three winning designers of -The Swarovski designers of the future award- with their creations
Credit: L’Officiel USA

Blurring Tiles

In a world dominated by technology, we sometimes forget to simply look around and enjoy the beauty of our environment. This thinking inspired Study O Portable to use the reflective properties of crystal to develop everyday objects like room dividers and coffee tables that recall nature in the way colours blur and light is reflected. The geometric blue, green and clear tiles they’re made of seem to blur when in light, resulting in a charming gradient of colours.

Overview of the products developed by Study O Portable
Credit: Visual&
Detail of the tiled texture of the products developed by Study O Portable
Credit: Visual&

Dream Machine

The connected world we live in can end up feeling restless. And Frank Kolkman has designed Dream Machine to respond to this challenge. Made of Swarovski sticks, this device generates light and sound effects that synchronize with brainwaves, allowing deep relaxation.

The Dream Machine, designed by Frank Kolkman
Credit: Visual&
View of the Dream Machine in action
Credit: L’Officiel USA

Crystals and smart home

Smart home would not exist without technology home assistants (read Amazon Echo or Google Home). Yosuke Ushigome has challenged the very nature of the interaction between humans and technology. Inspired by the emotional sense of beauty that crystals generate, he has explored how crystal could become a way to interact with smart home devices more naturally. Just imagine having to caress a shiny crystal to switch your coffee machine on! How cool would that be!

A big Swarovski crystal, that could work as an interface between humans and smart home devices
Credit: Visual&

So many beautiful discoveries and inspirations! Bye bye Design Miami/ Basel, I’ll see you next year!

For more insights on the fair, check out my Instagram stories! And to see more of Basel, come visit the Kunsthalle restaurant, featuring an amazing original chandelier by Verner Panton!

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