Design Miami / Basel 2016

For this article, we’re glad to welcome on-board a special guest. Owner of the gallery Kissthedesign in Lausanne, Corine Stübi specialised in twentieth century design after graduating from Geneva University of Art and Design and from Cologne Academy of Media Arts. Internationally awarded, she opened in 2010, together with Yanick Fournier, the gallery that quickly became a not-to-be-missed address for all vintage design enthusiasts and high-end furniture’s collectors.

And now, she is guiding you through this 11th edition of Design Miami/ Basel.

From June 13 to 19, art collectors from around the world converge to Basel for Art Basel. The design is not left aside, as the show hosts since 2010 the largest international design fair in Switzerland, Design Miami/ Basel. Thus, over the course of a week, about forty galleries among the most prestigious ones gather in Basel to present their best selection of unique or limited edition and twentieth century design.

Amidst the plethora of beautiful objects, here are those that have caught our attention!

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The Nilufar Gallery pays tribute to Brazilian design, in continuity with its recent dedicated exhibition. Among the beautiful pieces showcased on this stand, the small Reversível armchair, designed by Martin Eisler and produced by Forma Brazil (1955), stands out immediately. All in curves, the seat is covered with velvet. Graceful, it invites to relaxation. Its value is nothing less than 40’000 Euro, as it is a rare piece and Brazilian design is currently much sought-after.

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At Kreo, we love the latest creation of Jean-Baptiste Fastrez. This serie of three vases – Ra, Osiris and Anubis, each limited to 8 pieces + 2AP – is inspired by the canopy jars of Ancient Egypt. The vases were intended to receive the viscera of the deceased. However here is nothing bloody left, only the meaning remains, paying tribute to the gods and sacred connection with the death. In ceramic decorated with glossy glazes, mats and golden, each vase recalls the divinity whose name it bears.

WTSS-3-DesignMiami-AlainMarcelpoil©Galerie Alain Marcelpoil

At the gallery Kissthedesign, we especially like the « mobilier à tigettes » furniture by André Sornay, that is why it is a pleasure to find it on the stand of the Marcelpoil gallery. Alain Marcelpoil is a well-known expert specialized in the furniture of the Lyon-based designer, in particular when it comes to its Art Deco period. There is therefore no surprise that this aspect is emphasized for the first participation of the Parisian gallery at the fair.

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It is rare to see an original Corbusier Parliament lamp, but it’s now done on Laffanour’s stand, one of three Parisian specialists in the triumvirate Charlotte Perriand, Le Corbusier and Jean Prouvé. Designed in 1963 for the parliament of Chandigarh in India, the model is reissued by Nemo since April.

WTSS-5-DesignMiami-Gate5©Corine Stübi

For a first participation, the Monegasque gallery Gate 5 is making an impression with its stunning Italian design collection. Signed by Gio Ponti, the enfilades 2129 in walnut are a rare edition of Singer & Sons, here they are perfectly accessorized with two 1959 sconces, also spotted in the US. Apparently, these two sconces were to be seen on a picture with JFK!


Postmodernism enthusiasts will rush to the stand of Erastudio Apartment to see the sofa and armchair « Flying Carpet » designed by Ettore Sottsass, leader of the Memphis movement. This avant-garde model is simply impossible to be found, because success has been elusive when it was released in 1974. The gallery also exhibits a unique light mirror by Nanda Vigo. Produced this year by the Milanese gallery and named Tris 06, the mirror is adorned with post-baroque trompe-l’oeil effect.

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It is true that the Finn Juhl Poet Sofa is a classic of Design Miami, like the Jean Prouvé’s homes, the Charlotte Perriand libraries and Serge Mouille sconces! However it is no reason to stop liking it. Indeed, how could we not fall for this small two-seater sofa designed in 1941 presented at Dansk Møbelkunst Gallery: it is comfortable in all positions and simply timeless. This applies also to the model reedited by Onecollection, presenting the significant difference of a round base, compared to the original model.

WTSS-8-DesignMiami-RCompagny© R & Company

Indeed, it may not be the most impressive piece of the show but the coffee table by Greta Grossman that we have discovered on the stand of the American gallery R & Company is quite remarkable. The table consists of an “ironing board” shaped top made of California walnut on a curved brass base. It comes from the house of the Scandinavian-turned-American designer itself. R & Company has also acquired the whole estate, a smart buy when observing the current value of Greta Grossman’s work!

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The pair of Ico Parisi chairs for Cassina combines wood, fabric and metal; a gem with a saturnine look that is on top very comfortable. These rare pieces have been sold right away, at the preview already.

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The Kimono chair by Mathieu Matégot, less known than the famous Nagasaki, presents a curved rattan seat and a back in rigitule – perforated metal patented by Matégot – on a tripod structure. The model designed in 1954 is no longer published, but still demonstrates Matégot’s experimentation work with the different materials.

WTSS-11-DesignMiami-GaleriePascalCuisinier-Frenchcollection-creditgeraldinemorand©Geraldine Morand

Finally, one point goes for the scenography of the gallery Pascal Cuisinier that took us on a mid-50’s mid-tropical journey. Talking about tropical, it is impossible to miss the Dimorestudio’s tent and its decadent colonial look of the 1920s aristocracy.

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Text by Corine Stübi, translated by Geraldine Morand