Monday, December 5, 2011

Design Miami

"How much does your house weigh?"

Buckminster Fuller's famous aphorism-in-the-form-of-a-question brilliantly raised concerns that had escaped the focus of architects, but would become central to the practice of many of the twentieth-century's key figures. Fuller's interest in efficiency and his close study of natural forms led to the invention of the geodesic dome, the dymaxion living units and the concept of synergy. Design Miami worked with Fuller's friend, Norman Foster, to bring two projects - a restored fly's eye dome and a new dymaxion car built by the British architect - to the Design District this week. It was spectacular to spend time poring over both, as well as the accompanying exhibition of photographs and drawings. And that's not all Design Miami had for us this year...

Inside the Design Miami tent in Miami Beach, the Downtown Gallery's booth featured a number of pieces by Jean Prouvé, who has been well represented at the last two fairs. The Antony Chair (left) is a particularly elegant design. Like the work of Prouvé's contemporaries, Charles and Ray Eames, the Antony Chair is delicate (without being fragile), efficient (without being miserly) and elegantly separates the sensuous wood surface - where the chair comes in contact with the body - from the steel frame.

Fuller and Prouvé have both enjoyed a revival of interest in the last decade, which is wonderful. It's also necessary as we try to ground discussions of environmental and social sustainability in historical analysis. These questions have been raised before, and some of the early attempts at answering them deserve renewed scrutiny.

Now if we can only revive interest in the work of Eleanor Raymond...

UPDATE: check out the great Jean Prouve page at Artsy.

1 comment:


    great video posted on dezeen :)