Design Miami/Basel is taking place in the Swiss city until the next 19 June, providing the visitors with the opportunity to browse creative furniture presented by some of the best interior designer and international galleries. This edition, a six-tonne meditation space, a modular armadillo and designs by Zaha Hadid are amongst the highlight. Read on and find out our picks of installations and displays that shouldn’t be missed:
Owan by Kengo Kuma
The project seeks to create a harmonious relationship between architecture and landscape. While the structure’s thin metal shell looks like it offers little protection from the elements, it is actually lined with a waterproof membrane.
Called Owan, the structure is made from a metal referred to as a “memory alloy”, which means it can be bent into new forms when heated.
Designed to be movable, the installation is part of Galerie Philippe Gravier’s Small Nomad House Project, which also includes Kuma’s wooden pavilion from last year’s FIAC event in Paris and a stacked-box pavilion by fellow Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto.
Maxéville Design Office by Jean Prouve
A demountable office by French architect Jean Prouvé that was until recently being used as a swingers’ club has been restored for display at Design Miami/Basel.
The structure, now known as the Maxéville Design Office, began life in 1947 at the historic Ateliers Jean Prouvé in Maxéville and is being presented by the Galerie Patrick Seguin, frequent champions of Prouvé’s work.
While other Prouvé creations at the site were destroyed after his departure from the company in 1953, this one remained concealed behind cladding and over time served as the atelier’s design office, a plumber’s office, a restaurant, and finally a swingers’ club called Le Bounty.
Civilized Primitives by Kiki Van Eijk
Each of the objects in Kiki van Eijk’s new furniture collection is modelled on branches found in the forests surrounding the Dutch designer’s Eindhoven home, and cast in bronze.
As part of the Design at Large program, the collection is displayed in an outdoor Bedouin-style tent, created using the large-scale printing processes of Dutch company Exposize. Van Eijk’s Physical Interaction light sculptures, which are turned on through unusual interactions like blowing on a mobile or lighting a flint, are also on show inside.
Zaha Hadid design exhibition
The late Zaha Hadid may be best known for her architecture, but her fluid forms also translated into some memorable design objects, which are now the focus of an exhibition during Design Miami/Basel.
The exhibition has been put together by her firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, to commemorate her contribution to the field of design following her unexpected death earlier this year.
Last month, Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia said he makes his staff meditate every day to help them “resist cravings and improve concentration”, after he installed a space for relaxing activity at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
The trend has continued at Design Miami/Basel, which is hosting a hulking but hollow stone cube called the Stone Tea House Meditative Alcove by Japanese sculptors Masatoshi Izumi and Koichi Hara.
Armadillo Tea Pavilion by Ron Arad
Another calming space is Israeli designer Ron Arad’s Armadillo Tea Pavilion. Assembled from five moulded wood shells, it resembles the overlapping body armour of an armadillo.
Its components are modular, so it can be configured to suit different spaces, and the shells can be made in a variety of timbers depending on whether it will be used indoors or out.
The Armadillo Tea Pavilion comes from the catalogue of Revolution Precrafted, a company that aims to “democratise high-design and architecture” by providing prefab structures from more than 30 famous designers – including Tom Dixon, Marcel Wanders, Kengo Kuma and Zaha Hadid. It launched its first design at last year’s Design Miami, the sister event of the Basel edition.