A Better World

Curator, author and consultant, Maria Cristina Didero has been the new curator of Design Miami/ since January. With a first part in Basel from June 14 to 19 and the inauguration in October of a Parisian edition, the international fair is going through a golden age in 2022. The Italian curator explains why.

In the wake of Art Basel, Design Miami/ introduces a Parisian stage in the fall and places its three events under a common leitmotif. How will they fit together?
Each of the three salons will interpret the theme “The Golden Age” from a different angle. In Basel, we will explore the historical perspective; in Paris, the present; while in Miami, we will project ourselves into the future. The launch of a new fair in Paris is a very exciting challenge, I look forward to seeing how the French capital will inspire us.

After two years of pandemic and today the war in Ukraine, can we really speak of a "golden age"?
If we had obviously chosen our theme before the conflict broke out, “The Golden Age” expresses, now more than ever, the aspiration for a better world. We are living in a pivotal moment in terms of design, but also of culture in general. The concept invites us to reflect collectively on a more harmonious mode of cohabitation with nature and among ourselves. In June, we will examine how resilience and adaptability have led humanity towards innovation and hope.

Based on your experience, what vision of design do you intend to defend?
I believe in the power of design: it can help us meet the challenges of our time. In my opinion, beauty or self-expression are not incompatible with the issues of sustainability, accessibility and equality which should remain the priority of the sector.

Four must-sees for the next edition in Basel?
For Podium, a new curatorial format, I have selected museum quality works – historical and contemporary – related to “The Golden Age”. Among them, a sofa, “How High is the Moon”, exhibited by Friedman Benda. With its archetypal shape, this seat by Shiro Kuramata reverses the typology: visually fragile, it is made of a solid metal mesh. The “Sakura TRP” vases by Dutchman Maarten Vrolijk for the Open Scene Gallery push back the technical limits of blown glass. I would also mention the mystical jewels of Daniel Kruger, shown by Galleria Antonella Villanova, true treasures of the present. Finally, Carlo Mollino's bunk beds, dated 1955 and offered by Galleria Rossella Colombari, will engage visitors in contemplating functional beauty.

Do you plan to connect physical and digital experiences during the fair?
In recent years, Design Miami/ has diversified significantly and expanded its business across the real and digital world, becoming a multi-channel platform. In 2022, it will be possible to join our conference program in person and on the internet, or to buy the pieces available on the stands online.

Design Miami/ Basel , from June 14 to 19, 2022 in Basel. Hall 1 South, Messe Basel.

Interview by Corine Stübi
from: Maisons et Ambiances , number 02/22