patricia urquiola and daniel libeskind for moroso and MAI marina abramovic institute
(above) patricia urquiola’s portal chair




the ‘portal chair’ by patricia urquiola has been presented alongside the ‘counting the rice’ table designed by daniel libeskind at design miami/ during art basel miami beach 2014. the limited-edition design objects collection is a result of the partnership that has been established between the brand moroso and the marina abramovic institute (MAI). the first creations were exhibited during the art basel event-week in miami.

a view into the design miami presentation of moroso for MAI




‘it’s not a chaise longue, it’s not an armchair. it’s a portal, an hardware that represents a doorway leading to another location, period of time or dimension. a material instrument that could give mental comfort as well as physical and visual. that can be transported by a ‘porter’, in the latin ethimology of portarius, ‘gate keeper’. that helps you going from one dimension to another…’, explains patricia urquiola.

a view into the design miami presentation of moroso for MAI




designboom reported on the ‘counting the rice’ table earlier this year, it comes in two versions: one made out of wood, the other made out of concrete. 

‘counting the rice’ table designed by daniel libeskind, available in a limited edition of 30




‘I wanted to create something austere and beautiful that speaks to marina’s work in a very direct way, but also celebrates the level of craftsmanship and design that moroso brings to life in the project’, says daniel libeskind. ‘high performance cement folds over itself — the idea is to both enfold the body and push it to carry out the endlessly repetitive performance.’

geometries are embossed on the surface of the concrete to give a further sense of visual fragmentation

close-up on ‘counting the rice’ table 

‘counting the rice’ tables in wooden version, a first presentation at milan design week 2014

rice counting




the exercise involves separating and counting grains of rice and lentils for a minimum of six hours while remaining seated, exploring the performer’s physical and psychological limits and transforming an everyday action into a meditative ritual.

a view into the design miami presentation of moroso for MAI 



how a moroso design comes to life
video courtesy of moroso




marina abramovic


is a new york-based, serbian-born performance artist who began her career in the early 1970s. active for over four decades, her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. abramovic was awarded the golden lion for best artist at the 1997 venice biennale. in 2008, she was decorated with the austrian commander cross for her contribution to art history. in 2010, abramovic had her first major US retrospective and simultaneously performed for over 700 hours in ‘the artist is present’ at the MoMA. upcoming exhibitions include solo shows at london’s serpentine gallery and new york’s sean kelly gallery.


MAI, the marina abramovic institute, acts as an immaterial institute, hosting events and performances at locations around the world. counting the rice, a performance art exercise, was conceived by abramovic as part of a series of workshops staged by MIA around the world.