Bigger in Basel

Cultured Magazine
Jun 3, 2013 7:01PM

Design Miami/ continues to push the boundaries of traditional design thinking. This year’s Basel show is no exception with new platforms, expanded programs and a brand new space. Sarah Harrelson checks in with Marianne Goebel to get the inside scoop.

Tell us about the layout of the new space at Design Miami/. How did this change come about? With the completion of the new exhibition hall designed by Herzog & de Meuron, we got the opportunity to move to our fourth location after staging Design Miami/Basel at the Elisabethen church (2006), the Markthalle (2007/2008) and Hall 5 of the Basel fairgrounds (2009-2012). Design Miami/Basel will now take place in Hall 1 Süd, one wing of the spectacular new hall, which creates a bridge across a part of the main exhibition square.

Does the new location provide more physical space? The move to new hall allowed us to expand the number of participating galleries by 20 percent as well as to create new platforms within the cultural programming.

Tell us about the new design installation you’re presenting. Beginning this year, the fair will develop a design experience with a different designer each June, which will greet fair guests as they enter the venue. The nearly 2,700-square-foot event hall is a new space for design experimentation, which we’re launching with a week-long commissioned performance by German designer Judith Seng entitled ACTING THINGS IV: Material Flow. 

The designer investigates the making of objects through the performing arts in order to unveil the aesthetic, energetic and social dimensions of production processes. By looking at production as a dance, a play, a social ritual, ACTING THINGS explores means of making beyond the scope of traditional design thinking. It stages a poetic evolution of material, movement and objects over the course of the fair—seven days, eight hours a day. 

How will these changes affect the experience of the fairgoer? The generous proportions of the new hall enabled us to further develop the fair’s innovative interior layout, which abandons the typical trade show grid in favor of a non-traditional “scatter” pattern. The design concept allows for surprising sightlines and encourages the visitors to explore and engage with the fair’s unique geography in a very intuitive way.

You are more connected to Art Basel in your new spot? Do you think this will attract new collectors? We do indeed hope that the location on the main exhibition square will attract a new audience of first-time visitors.

Has the new space affected how the galleries are approaching their booth’s layout or their presentation? The galleries exhibiting at Design Miami/Basel have traditionally developed sophisticated and elaborate presentations. They create true design experiences, which go beyond a mere product presentation. This year, we can expect particularly spectacular installations—from the total environment of an eccentric collector, who juxtaposes 17th century antiques with contemporary design to full-scale architecture, period rooms and solo shows, which reflect the vision of an individual designer.

Are there any new developments with the Design Talks program? Yes, they will be held in a dedicated space. We have a new Design Talks Studio situated at the fair entrance, making it easily accessible directly from the exhibition square. The series is open to the public free of charge and we look forward to welcoming a growing audience. 

Visit for more on Design Miami/Basel, including interviews with dealers and designers and highlights from the fair.

Cultured Magazine