The Intersection of Art and Design at Art Basel Miami The Intersection of Art and Design at Art Basel Miami

The Intersection of Art and Design at Art Basel Miami

by Jill Singer

December 21, 2012

Sou Fujimoto’s No Dog, No Life house for a Boston terrier, made from square panels of Japanese cypress and transparent acrylic board, creates storage for dogs or humans. In the background is Kazuyo Sejima’s super-fluffy papasan-style house for a Bichon Frise, which we frankly wouldn't mind having for ourselves.

We weren’t so sure about Reiser + Umemoto’s face-covering Cloud for a Chihuahua, though the architects swear by it: “[It] responds to the Chihuahua’s love of burrowing and playing ‘hide and seek.’ In the Cloud the dog is warm, protected, and secure. Furthermore, it serves as a veil that neutralizes preconceptions about the size of Chihuahuas.”

Nearby at Louis Vuitton was a delightful collection of travel accessories called Objets Nomades, though don’t let their diminutive nature fool you: Most of the prices could compete with the blue-chip artworks on view across the bay. Shown are Barber Osgerby’s solar-powered Bell Lamp ($3,350) and the Campanas’ hanging travel cabinet ($51,500).

The most surprising piece was this posh, relatively straightforward update of a stadium seat in prototype form, by Maarten Baas. The experimental furniture designer often works in flowing forms, hence Moncica's shocked assessment: “It doesn’t look like it’s melting!”

After staying in Miami for the week in a quad room with bunk beds at the new Roman & Williams–designed hipster hostel The Freehand, we were intrigued to see the airiness of Le Cabanon, a 1:1 reproduction of Le Corbusier’s one-room French seaside retreat, on view at the Cassina showroom. Let’s just say the man had a serious way with built-ins.

Faux windows replicating Le Corbu’s view.

Back at Design/Miami, everyone was talking about the Snarkitecture-designed canopy entrance (which somehow managed to stay classy, despite evoking bawdy comparisons to two kinds of gender-specific organs). We also liked these funny, ghost-like lamps by the Brooklyn-based duo on view with our old friends Claire and Sam at Volume Gallery.

Two booths down, fellow American gallerist Patrick Parrish of Mondo Cane was showing work by Sight Unseen favorites RO/LU. We’ve been coveting that bookshelf on the left since it launched, but apparently we’re about $18,000 too poor for it: It sold for $19,800 to another New York dealer with impeccable taste, Paul Johnson of Johnson Trading Gallery.

Another crazy amazing RO/LU masterwork.

Speaking of Paul Johnson, as the American emeritus at the fair, he took a break from commissioning new work and instead showed a personal collection by the late artist and design picker Robert Loughlin, who painted the same brooding figure over and over again on furniture and canvas. We’re slightly obsessed with the car seat edition of this series.

Jill Singer is the co-founder of Sight Unseen, an online magazine about process and inspiration in design and the visual arts.

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The Intersection of Art and Design at Art Basel Miami