In the Mix
Welcome to Beautiful Basel!
Best of Show Awards and other highlights from Design Miami/ Basel 2023
The latest edition of Design Miami/ Basel opens to the public today, and we’re thrilled to share all the beauty that our community has curated for you. Each of our exhibitors and partners brought their A-game to offer an elevated experience showcasing the world’s most collectible design objects—past, present, and future!
Best of Show Awards
Carrying on one of our community’s most beloved traditions, we announced the Design Miami/ Basel Best of Show Awards at our Welcome Cocktail a few nights ago. The deserving winners were, as always, painstakingly selected by our illustrious Vetting Committee: Simon Andrews, Collectible Design Advisor and Specialist; Lee Mindel, FAIA Architect and AD100 Hall of Famer; and our own Grela Orihuela, Design Miami/ Senior Vice President of Fairs.
“Design Miami/ Basel 2023 uniquely celebrates the very best in design,” Mindel notes. “Unlike any other assemblage, this enfilade of galleries offers an intimate and diverse educational experience—from contemporary textiles by Gjertrud Hals and sculptural recycled metal furniture by Hamed Ouattara, to classic modernist ceramics by Suzanne Ramié and lighting by Gino Sarfatti, and, of course, sophisticated collectible treasures by Giacometti, Lalanne, Perriand, and Prouvé. Perhaps Friedman Benda best summed up this year’s fair with the title of their own museum-like presentation, ‘Iconoclasts and Icons,’ live and in real-time.”
Best Gallery Presentation: LAFFANOUR-Galerie Downtown, Paris
Mindel explains, “The 2023 Excellence in Design Award goes to LAFFANOUR-Galerie Downtown—not only because their presentation is exceptionally imaginative, thorough, and elegant in its juxtaposition of Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouvé alongside exciting emerging artists, but also because of the gallery’s continuous contributions over years. They have set the bar very high!”
Singing a few bars of the golden oldie by Petula Clark, Mindel adds, “When you're alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go—downtown! When you've got worries, all the noise and the hurry seems to help I know—downtown!” He concludes warmly, “Thank you, Francois Laffanour and the Galerie Downtown team.”
Best Historic Work: Caryatides High Table by Diego Giacometti (c. 1976), presented by Galerie Jacques Lacoste, Paris
According to Andrews, “Diego Giacometti’s 1976 Caryatid Table is a sublime and masterful expression of an artist confident in his fluency. Of impressive scale and assured presence, the sensitively modeled bronze structure delineates space to command authority. Alongside his brother Alberto, Giacometti defined sculptural language to celebrate the poetry of timelessness.”
Best Contemporary Work: Bone Chair by Joris Laarman (2006), presented by Friedman Benda, New York City
According to Andrews, “Joris Laarman’s aluminum Bone Chair synthesizes a mastery of technical innovation, inquisitive form, and pioneering material structure to deliver a new language for the 21st century. Since its launch at Design Miami/ 2006, examples of the Bone Chair have been acquired by major European and American museums, underlining the ongoing importance of recognizing and nurturing new talent and for providing the appropriate platforms to allow new thought to be shared.”
More Design Miami/ Basel Highlights
We wish we could mention every single one of those who have made this show such a success, because we couldn’t do it without them. We’re sending a big thank you to our entire community, including our amazing partners Audi, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, and Google ATAP!
Below, some additional standout moments:
This year’s edition marks two exciting gallery debuts. Galerie Gastou’s inaugural presentation features an eclectic array of brutalist and surrealist historic works, including pieces by Dominique Zimbacca, Ugo la Pietra, and Ateliers de Marolles founder Jean Touret. And Foreign Agent’s offering includes contemporary work by Burkina Faso-based Hamed Outtara—who transforms local, discarded objects (engine oil drums and the like) into designs that carry stories of environmental injustice and global consumerism—alongside Mozambican Gonçalo Mabunda’s striking Big Chair, composed primarily of of decommissioned firearms. As founder Olivier Chow tells us, “There’s been a great response. For many people, there’s a sense of discovery, and a real appreciation for the stories these collections are telling.”
Flap³ - Cyril Lancelin (2023), presented by Google ATAP
Finally, in the fair’s foyer, visitors can enjoy Cyril Lancelin’s Flap³, an interactive installation presented by Google that investigates the relationship between viewer, artwork, and technology. The kinetic, cube-shaped sculpture uses 12 Soli radar sensors—miniature radar developed by Google ATAP that comprehend human motions—to respond to visitors’ movements and speed, resulting in a dialogue between passersby and the artwork. Depending on the time of day or the setting, Flap³ further engages by displaying animations, mimicking bird sounds, changing colors, and more—playful layers that encourage further thought on the merging of digital, physical, and virtual worlds.
Thanks again to all our wonderful Design Miami/ Basel 2023 exhibitors and partners!◆
The 17th edition of Design Miami/ Basel is open to the public through June 18, 2023. Tickets are available for purchase online here.