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Design Miami

7 gems of collectible design that await you in Basel

With less than two weeks until the doors open at Design Miami/ Basel, we’re sharing one last sneak-peek report on the wonderful works that await visitors to the fair. Today, we’re spotlighting gems of collectible design—standout historical icons and contemporary conversation pieces that attract the most serious collectors out there.


Croismare Ecole de Verrerie by Jean Prouvé, 1948

Presented by Galerie Patrick Seguin, Paris

Photo © Galerie Patrick Seguin

No one has done more to raise the profile of Jean Prouvé than Paris-based gallerist Patrick Seguin. Spurred by Seguin’s meticulous research and exegesis, the mid-century French architect’s designs have become widely recognized as exemplars of the noblest principles of the modernist movement. Collectors today clamor for Prouvé furniture valued in the six digits—and his rare demountable structures go for ten times as much or more. Thanks to Seguin, you can experience Prouvé’s 3-meter-high, wood, steel, and glass Croismare Professional Training School for Glassmakers in person at Design Miami/ Basel.


Bibliothèque Tunisie by Charlotte Perriand, 1953

Presented by Jousse Entreprise, Paris

Photo © Marc Domage; courtesy of Jousse Entreprise

Likewise, Paris-based gallerist Philippe Jousse’s contribution to the global appreciation of French mid-century design cannot be understated. In 1987, he organized the very first retrospective of Charlotte Perriand’s visionary design work from the modernist era. Ever since, his expertise has been a vital, highly influential resource for both institutions and private collectors. In Basel, Jousse will present Perriand’s iconic Tunisie Bookcase, designed for La Maison de la Tunisie, Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, during the era of idealistic postwar rebuilding in France. Only 40 or so Tunisie Bookcases were produced by Atelier Jean Prouvé. The unique color scheme was conceived by vanguard French artist Sonia Delaunay.


Flipping Chair by Ron Arad, c. 1994

Presented by Paul Bourdet Fine Furniture, Paris

Photo © Paul Bourdet Fine Furniture

While mid-century French tops the collectible design market at the moment, works from the 1990s are one of the fastest rising areas with tremendous untapped potential. Paul Bourdet is leading the charge with his Paris gallery, which is dedicated to the as-yet undervalued design of the 1980s and 90s. His booth in Basel will include the very rare Flipping Chair, designed by rockstar design Ron Arad for German brand Dirk Hainlen in 1994. As the name suggests, this chair can be flipped upside down to accommodate different sitting positions. Only a handful were ever made because the design was too complex for mass manufacturing at the time.


Technocrat Coffee Table by Atelier Van Lieshout, 2007/2012

Presented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery, London, Paris, and New York

Photo © Carpenters Workshop Gallery

The limited-edition Technocrat Coffee Table by Dutch collective Atelier Van Lieshout was created during the years when the market for collectible design first took off. In the mid-aughts, “design-art” became the sobriquet for the new category of objects that defied traditional definitions, embracing both fantasy and function simultaneously. And the iconoclastic, conceptual works of Atelier Van Lieshout epitomized the era. This bronze coffee table is outfitted with an intricate model for a utopian community.


Charles X Desk by Stefano Trapani for Hebanon Fratelli Basile, 2019

Presented by Stefano Trapani, Paris and Milan

Photo © Mahaus Di D’ambrosi; courtesy of Stefano Trapani

In the world of contemporary collectible design, top collectors are fueling a renaissance in the forms of traditional decorative arts—sumptuous objects made by hand using the materials and techniques that predate the modernist movement. One example is the work of Italian architect Stefano Trapani. His passion for antiques finds au courant expression in his Charles X Desk, a contemporary reinterpretation of an 18th-century secretaire expertly crafted in Italy in opulent materials like white ebony and gold leaf.


Remolten Self Organization Mirrors by gt2P, 2021/2022

Presented by Friedman Benda, New York

Photo © gt2P

Contemporary design collectors also relish disarming material experimentations, like Chilean studio gt2P’s Remolten N2 Self Organization Mirrors, represented by New York gallery Friedman Benda. Inspired by the local landscape, the studio pours volcanic rock sand into pile-like forms dictated by gravity and then heats them in a kiln until they return to their former state of lava. Once cool, the lava becomes like solid stone. Every remnant of the process can be ground back into sand and used again.


Quobus Bookcase by Marc Newson, 2021

Presented by Galerie kreo, Paris

Photo © Sylvie Chan-Liat; courtesy of Galerie kreo

One of the most lauded living designers today is Australian-born Marc Newson, whose career began to skyrocket in the 1990s. In the aughts, his limited-edition designs broke auction records before he began to focus on high-profile collaborations with major global brands like Louis Vuitton and Montblanc, to name just a few. Last year, he developed a new limited-edition modular bookcase series for Galerie kreo in Paris. The components can be arranged to fit any space, from the petite to the monumental. This sleek design is at once highly rational, highly desirable, and highly collectible. ◆


Design Miami/ Basel is open to the public June 14-19, 2022. Preview Day, by invitation only, is June 13.

Tickets are on sale now! Purchase here.