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Design Miami 2012

We attended Design Miami yesterday and truly enjoyed the exhibits – which span galleries highlighting historic collections of design gold-standard pieces to innovative new technologies, furnishings and experimental pieces. Its a great combination of these factors actually – to see both where we have come from and to experience where we are going in the same place. The pavilion, unlike so many of the Art Basel spin-off fairs, is a manageable size, easily navigated in a couple of hours. The highlights for me were the pieces that were on display that showed the integration of technology in unexpected ways. An installation with black-and-white flat screens that interacted in innovative ways with the user at a distance (I assume an xbox/kinect hack was at work here) but it was inspiring – new ways of making music, art, visuals – the possibilities are really phenomenal. Another booth from a gallery in Paris showed an innovative temporary printer – a large flat white panel mounted on the wall that would expose an image captured right in front of it using a combination of LEDs and some kind of UV sensitive surface – the temporary image would start to fade out almost immediately – a kind of poetic commentary on the ubiquitous aspects of photography around us. Audi had a great installation showing off the steps they followed in developing a new, carbon-fiber chair. It’s a bit Darth Vader in appearance but the process steps and thinking were great to see illustrated and the final product has an amazing combination of light weight, flexibility and strength that is almost disconcerting to engage in – we are so used to the weaker traditional materials that it takes a conscious leap of faith to understand that the chair has the strength to bear you. Fascinating. We’re taking a lot of inspiration from this event and hope that it informs our work going forward in innovative ways.