When does design become art, and when is art design? Hybridity is the mixing of mediums and disciplines, which ultimately leads to innovation. Also known as a mash-up or re-mix, familiar forms and materials are
reinvented through juxtaposition and re-contextualization, ultimately
resulting in more emotionally evocative and sensual work.
Design Miami, a show that runs tandem with Art Basel in Miami each
December on the north end of the Miami Beach Art Deco district, did not
disappoint. It promises some of the best contemporary design objects
money can buy, and it delivers. The following are some of my favorite pieces:
Ancient and innovative—familiar elements emerge out of darkness and the
effect is at once luxurious, mysterious, and seductive. Kropholler has reinvented concrete by removing the cement part and replacing it with bitumen.
Black gold indeed, bitumen is extracted from crude oil, which is
referred to by the same moniker. Kropholler uses both the natural high
gloss and matte properties of bitumen to artistic advantage. Using blue
stone from Holland and pink stone from England, the piece of aggregate
is framed like a diamond in a velvet ring box.
Stories in stone—like the sky over the ocean cascading white light falls
into the deep azure, Callico Wallpaper creates a ceiling to floor ombre
of ground pigments (pictured at left). For centuries untold, artists have
hand-ground stone to a fine powder, which is then called pigment. It is
mixed with crushed mica to add shimmer. Artists Nicolas and Rachel
Cope brush the rainbow of hues from light to dark on linen panels. With
walls like these it is a travesty to put furniture in front of it!
However, the best furniture you could pick to pair with it is the
sculptural work of Dutch designer Lex Pott. Using Belgian blue stone
(the same used in the Copes’ wallcovering), Pott tells a story about
extraction and refinement with the Fragment series of tables. Finely
honed marble emerges from rough-hewn cleaves of rock. Both the
blue stone and the marble come from the same quarry and serve as
a testament of place as well as time.
Fashion in a head-on collision with furniture—the latest collection by
the infamous L’Enfant’s terrible Campana Brothers derives its inspiration
from the swashbuckling, horse-riding bandits of 19th-century Brazil.
Think Captain Jack Sparrow meets Roy Rogers. Billy the Kid only
dreamed of such cowboy finery. Ornamentally tooled leather applique
in psychotropic colors is emblazoned with brass studs, the only thing
missing is fringe.
By Grace Jeffers
➤ continued on page 28
DESIGN MIAMI 2015
A peek at what the show offered, through a designer’s eyes.
Torpedo lighting by
Fragments wallpaper by Calico Wallpaper