Design Miami, the high-design fair that runs with the giant, Art Basel Miami Beach, exhibited two objets d’architecture over the Miami Art Week, and named an architect, David Adjaye, as its 2011 Designer of the Year. Both objets were sculptural pavilions: one is an installation by Adjaye, commissioned for the fair, and the other a restored modernist icon with a utopian agenda. Adjaye’s pavilion Genesis was sited just outside the entrance to the Design Miami fair tent. Constructed with digitally cut timber planks, Genesis is triangular in plan, with an ovoidal interior space that opens to two sides, a smaller window on the third side, and an oculus above. Called by Adjaye “architectural furniture” because it’s not exactly a building, but almost a sculpture meant for human occupation, Genesisbecame a civic amenity for fairgoers, and gave the parking-lot site a feeling of a plaza. The other pavilion was in a vacant lot in the Design District. Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome prototype was an early experiment in inexpensive prefab shelters and environmental, off-the-grid living. The dome, one of only three ever made by Bucky, was restored by Design Miami’s founder, Craig Robins. It was joined by the Fuller’s “omni-directional transport system”, the Dymaxion 4, restored by Lord Norman Foster using his own original Dymaxion as template. The 24 foot-wide prototype dome is a tessellation of hexagonal fiberglass panels with plastic bubble dome windows that seem to radiate from refracted light. It appears strong, but lighter than air, as if a white cloud of geometric purity is floating just along the ground. It was paired with Fuller’s Dymaxion Car as part of the traveling exhibition, “Architecting the Future: Buckminster Fuller and Norman Foster” curated by Lady Elena Foster (Long before he was knighted, Foster worked with Fuller.) The dome will be permanently installed in Miami’s Design District, in a plaza being developed by Robins. The Miami fairs have always been cross-disciplinary, beginning in the early years with the spontaneous creation of the “Miami model”: part serious fair, part social event, part bacchanalian party, part educational experience, and part clearing house for other creative media. Design Miami showed how naturally design-as-art can fit into this maelstrom. Perhaps architecture, although it has always played a cameo role during Basel week, will move in the same direction.
Posts tagged with "Genesis Pavilion":
Sometimes it seems like our world is peopled entirely by yesterday’s and tomorrow’s Designers of the Year. But at least DesignMiami’s Global Forum for Design’s Designer of the Year Award comes with a nifty commission. This year the honor goes to David Adjaye and he will be designing a site specific installation for the entrance to the fair’s temporary structure on Miami Beach, open from November 29 through December 4. Adjaye will have no trouble following in the footsteps of past honorees including Zaha Hadid, Marc Newson, and the Campana Brothers. He is an old hat, as well, at devising cool pavilions. His mesmerizing minimal installations made in collaboration with Olafur Eliasson and also with Chris Ofili have been stand-outs at past Venice Biennales. His multi-media Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, a permanent installation, is as much event as architecture. For MiamiDesign, the architect has designed Genesis that is described as being made of hundreds of vertical wood planks that—thanks to CNC milling—devolve into organically fluid seating with views to the sky. Last year’s Designer of the Year was Konstantin Grcic. His piece, called Netscape, was a steel shed with impressively twisted slats full of hammocks. And the year before that Maarten Baas from The Netherlands played off the Dutch tradition of a cabinet of curiosities, only his was large enough to hang-out in and admire the designer’s own collection of thingies from around the world. As the folks down in Miami know so well. The best part of having a Designer of the Year in the house is the chance to party. Oh, yes, and a pavilion with someplace to sit.