Carpenters Workshop, Design Miami/Basel 2015. Photo by James Harris.

 While Art Basel has spawned an array of satellite fairs, there’s nothing quite like Design Miami/. Launched in 2005, Design Miami/’s two fairs run alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami each December and in Basel each June. Presenting furniture, lighting, and decorative objects from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Design Miami/ serves as the perfect complement to Art Basel’s smorgasbord of modern and contemporary art.


Pipe table by Paul Evans, 1960s. Courtesy of Hostler Burrows.

Held next door to Art Basel in Messe Basel, Design Miami/ attracts some of the world’s most influential collectors, designers, and curators, thanks to its roster of top-notch dealers. Exhibitors are known to go to great lengths to create booths that are visually arresting and chockful of exceptional objects by design legends and emerging artisans alike. According to Bob Aibel of Moderne Gallery, who has been exhibiting at the fair’s Basel edition since 2015, “Design Miami/ brings to a single location much of the best and most important modern and contemporary design currently being shown in the world.  And those in attendance are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about design, leading to a very rewarding and exciting fair experience with an amazing energy level.”

Chest of drawers by Arne Jacobsen, 1933. Courtesy of Dansk Mobelkunst.


 Design Miami/ 2016, which will take place June 14-19, is poised to be another knockout show. Among the must-see exhibitors are Dansk Møbelkunst, specialists in modern Scandinavian design, who will be offering a pair of wall lamps by Palle Suenson and a chest of drawers by Arne Jacobsen; Demisch Danant, who will have a geometric glass and aluminum table by Pierre Paulin on view in its booth; and Hostler Burrows, who will be exhibiting works from a range of periods, including a Paul Evans table from the 1960s and a wall sculpture by the contemporary artist Maren Kloppmann.

Ceramics by Makoto Yabe. Courtesy of Moderne Gallery.


Moderne Gallery will present a solo show of George Nakashima works fleshed out with ceramics and metalworks. Aibel says, “[Guests will] step into a contemporary space that is fully furnished with the work of George Nakashima and stroll through the dining room, living room, bedroom, and office to experience the unique ambiance that is created with the 1950-1990 work of America's premier designer/craftsman. The room settings are accented with important works by French ceramicist Karima Duchamp, American ceramicist Estelle Halper, Japanese-American ceramicist Makoto Yabe, and the rare, stunning Japanese metalwork of Gyokusendo."

Conoid cushion chairs by George Nakashima. Offered by Moderne Gallery.


If you come to the show for the design, stick around for its exceptional programming, which includes curated exhibitions, panels discussions, and special commissions. Among this year’s programming highlights is Design at Large—a section of the fair dedicated to presenting large-scale works of historical and contemporary design that transcend the traditional gallery booth. This year’s program will focus on the theme of landscape and includes a meditation space created by Enea Landscape Architecture and a school complex that was built in a Paris suburb by Jean Prouve in 1956. Also be sure to catch the panel discussion Forces of Nature, which features designers Formafantasma, rugmaker Alexandra Kehayoglou, and jewelry artist David Bielander in conversation about nature’s influence on design. The panel will be moderated by Christian Larsen, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Design Miami/Basel will also include a special exhibition dedicated to the late architect Zaha Hadid, who passed away in March. Best known for her geometric and decidedly futuristic designs, the Iraqi-British architect was the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Prize. The exhibition will celebrate her innovative work in the field of architecture and design.

For more information about Design Miami/Basel, click HERE.