Design Miami: good for the profession or a distorted lens?

Check out some of these highlights from Design Miami:

This type of design is unbelievable in my opinion. I feel it portrays design as just another way to sell something useless at an exorbitant price for wealthy people to brag about to one another at a cocktail party.

Now, to be clear, this is not the only type of work being displayed at the show. It is the minority, but the media seems to pick up on it. Perhaps just the art media.

What do you think? Does this raise awareness for design? Does it do us good or harm?

I had to read the article to discover what I was looking at. A “coke slab” as legitimate “design”? Com’on… What’s next, a hammered silver hypodermic receptacle?

A flat fine for $250,000… all this does is convince people (mostly Americans I fear) that more “stuff” is needed. It doesn’t make any difference what it is, or does, or if it’s even needed. We just need it… … . I

“I believe as artists and designers we have the responsibility to question the structures that categorize our pre-established notions of art and design. The tables are beautiful and would definitely look great in a living room; but at the same time, they are truly mysterious and feel almost like two white, floating coffins. Ross’s flowers painted over the photos feel really powerful, almost like a father burying his dead son.”

Complete drivel. … do another line, maybe it will clarify things for you Sebastian.

edit- there is a fine line between “art” and “design”… Errazuriz’s work is purely “art”.

My thumbnail definition of the distinction between art and design is that design has constraints, art doesn’t.
Art means you can do what you like, so in creeps the ego and indulgence. Design has cost or manufacturing or a boss telling you to pull your head in.
If a designer can make a spectacular windfall from some one-off bespoke pieces, then good on them. If Design Miami builds a few profiles then fine.
I think the main issue with Design Miami isn’t $250,000 coffee tables but simply bad art. Charles Saatchi ripped them a new one just a few days ago:

Being an art buyer these days is comprehensively and indisputably vulgar. It is the sport of the Eurotrashy, Hedge-fundy, Hamptonites; of trendy oligarchs and oiligarchs; and of art dealers with masturbatory levels of self-regard…Do any of these people actually enjoy looking at art? Or do they simply enjoy having easily recognised, big-brand name pictures, bought ostentatiously in auction rooms at eye-catching prices, to decorate their several homes, floating and otherwise, in an instant demonstration of drop-dead coolth and wealth. Their pleasure is to be found in having their lovely friends measuring the weight of their baubles, and being awestruck.

That coke table example- exactly what Saatchi is having a go at.

I read that Saatchi article a few days back, I love that he is calling it out!

I’m not even sure why it is called Design Miami, why not Art Miami? Was it ever about design? Sure doesn’t seem so going on all the media coverage. Somewhat reminds me of the Salone di Mobile in Milan, which also seems to feature more and more one off projects which are more art than design.

All in all, just another instance of the dilution of the word ‘design’…

  1. It’s great to be in art today. Due to the crappy economy and poor real estate market, the 1% have turned their eyes to other assets.

Nov 11, 2011 - $4.3 million for a photo, a new record. It’s not alone, records have been tumbling left and right for the last three years in all kinds of art. Mind you, the artist doesn’t make the scratch, he probably sold it for a few grand.

I think art is grabbing a hold of the design tag because they realize they have ****ed out their own domain. Partly because the tools have become so cheap and available. Partly because the skill set has become so widely known (albeit, less developed). Partly because of the shallow and novel work of the last 40 years. Design means more now so everyone is grabbing for it (see, Lady Gaga, these artists).

Yes, it does hurt us. 1. It confuses people about what design is. 2. Unqualified people BS their way into projects, can’t deliver and then design gets blamed for the failure.

do you remember a couple years back there was a pretty hot thread concerning a show of one-off furniture that some art critics reviewed.
there was a lot of debate as to whether the objects belonged within “Design” and how critics comments reflected on ID…?

All the more reason for professional certification…it would push these doofuses out of the conversation.