Tuesday, March 3, 2009

roll your eyes at the young, beautiful, and fresh: Design Miami/Basel

I'm talking about furniture, not celebrities. Into its fourth year this June, Design Miami/Basel is the design fair to be at...if you could afford any of the furniture on sale. The fair is a sister project to the Art Basel Miami Beach, and presents "limited-edition, experimental and historically significant design work" that focuses on the discourse surrounding products that are creative and commercial. It's the haute couture show of industrial design, so if you can't buy a multimillion dollar installation by Jeff Koons, you can at least buy chairs for a fraction of the price. Of course, by fraction, I still mean a ticket price that's equivalent to a post-secondary degree in Canada.

One of the designers in this fair I'm especially excited about is architect Zaha Hadid, who made a gloss-finish polyurethane "aqua table" that's sold for $23,000. The prototype was auctioned for $300,000. And you can own it too on the Established & Sons website (even this webstore sounds like you need an exclusive access card to get in).

I couldn't stop drooling over Hadid's other products on the Established & Sons website. The serif shelves below are even more gorgeous: manufactured in polyester resin, and painted in a "bespoke" polyester colour, and finished with polyurethane lacquer. Hadid also created the colours of these shelves herself, so it'll almost be impossible to find a knockoff.

Anyways, back to Design Miami/Basel. Before I finish off this advertising plug of a blog, might I add: who better to be the Director of the design fair than Italy's chic and stylish "it" girl Ambra Medda. She's the real guns here, dressed in stark black and white, connecting the world's greatest designers, curators, critics, collectors and dealers. Oh, and she's only 25. And hangs out with Brad Pitt, of course. What parallel universe did she exist in where she was able to do so much in so little time?

So essentially, having great designers alone can't heighten a show to its high-life, upscale, exclusive status. You need a woman who has the European intellect and looks to represent the fair, especially for a trade where appearance is everything. Can you imagine what the show would have been like if someone that looked like Edna Everage was the director?

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