Spotlight on Bina Baitel
I had the pleasure of touring NextLevel's Design Miami/ Basel booth with designer Bina Baitel on Monday, the morning before the fair opened for their preview. Bina's concept for her booth all began in 2008 with the prototype design for Aurelia, an LED table lamp composed of flexible silicone embedded with optical fiber.
Upon meeting Isabelle Mesnil from NextLevel Galerie in Paris, Bina began working with a seasoned leather worker, formerly of Hermès, to encase the fiber-optic infused silicone lamp shades in leather. The result, the Harebell lamps are meticulously hand-stitched, right down to their leather-wrapped electrical cords.
Still working with the leather craftsmen, Bina, who is a trained architect then started fusing two different functional objects by one flexible "skin," as in Pad, which merges her now-familiar bell-shaped floor light form with a floor mat. Bina chose a very special material for the design of Shagreen, a piece she calls "the queen of the show." Tarah and Grimm XL are further explorations to merge two functional objects: storage with rug, and mirror with wall light.
For her latest work (too new to have been photographed professionally before the fair), Bina worked with a saddle-maker to produce this swing, her first piece to foreground the subject of movement, a subject she plans to explore further in her upcoming exhibition at NextLevel.