Design Miami returned for its 15th edition under the curatorial helm of Aric Chen. The global forum transcended the world of design this year as jewellery brands, fashion houses and tech giants had their share as well. The forum marked some balance between commercial opportunities and cultural programming.
A collaboration between Vermeil and Luis Pons Design Lab, the works in this collection are assembled by interlocking wood or composite panels to build cabinets that can be grouped together to create multiple configurations.
Just as manufacturing companies recall faulty products, Broached Commissions is recalling the applied arts of the Victorian era, which have fallen out of favor, and reimagining them with a contemporary aesthetic.
Balenciaga and Crosby Studios teamed up to spread the message of sustainability through the Balenciaga Sofa, whose shape is inspired by an overstuffed recliner and is stuffed with unsellable clothing and off-cuts from the Balenciaga warehouse.
This limited-edition lamp collection combines exotic, richly grained reclaimed woods with niobium, a rare metal commonly used in the tech industry that transforms chromatically without any added pigments.
Marcin Rusak explores the beauty of botany in the latest variation of his Perma furniture collection. Off-white resin is sliced lengthwise to reveal a world of natural adornment: petals, stems, and buds appear like veins in marble or cavities in fossilized stone.
This project uses changing light emitted by programmed LEDs to harden and solidify resin. The resin, growing like an iceberg, shows various expressions in the changing lighting, growing into a new shape. In a process that incorporates the principle of nature into artificial operation, this real-time installation created a new “crop” that is neither natural nor artificial.
This immersive installation by Roberto Lugo, which seamlessly fused high design, graffiti, hip-hop, craft history, pop culture, and porcelain, consisted of two large-scale funerary urns, a ceramic teddy bear, and graffiti-inspired wallpaper that evoke the makeshift memorials for victims of gun violence often found on the sidewalks in the neighborhood where Lugo was raised.
Rooms Studio gives a second life to iconic public benches from the Soviet era with two bus stop benches, one composed of reclaimed wood that visitors could interact with by carving their own names and messages, and one made of stone in collaboration with Georgian hip-hop and visual artist Max Machaidze.
This new series of sculptural objects by Swedish-Mexican designer Alexander Díaz Andersson and his brother, artist Andreas Díaz Andersson, blends clean Scandinavian lines and whimsical elements of traditional Mexican design in everyday industrial and reclaimed materials.
These 3-D printed ceramic vessels are made from scans of real-life sitters that produce the exact likeness of the subject, referencing portraiture traditions from classical busts to selfies. Collectors could sit for a 3-D scan on site at the fair and customize their vessel’s form and finish.
This showcase of furniture for children by key mid-century designers, including Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Isamu Noguchi, Harry Bertoia, and Alvar Aalto, highlighted modernism’s ambition to enrich the living spaces of whole families, not just adults.
Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq pioneered twentieth-century French functionalist design. The award-winning design and architecture duo mastered the ability to graft the industrialism of postwar design with the aestheticism otherwise left behind in early twentieth-century design.
These four artists rechannel their cultural stories through their work: Basil Kincaid is interested in quilting as a way to collaborate with ancestral energy and as a method of empowerment. Linda Lopez’s work reimagines utilitarian objects. Donté K. Hayes’s sculptural works pay homage to materials that would have been used in African ceremonial headdresses. Lee Kang Hyo has brought back a Korean stoneware production tradition that dates to the fourteenth century.
French ceramicist Karen Swami finds inspiration in the very surface of the Earth. Dry, fractured, and cracked ground is her essential point of reference, as she revives similarly “injured” surfaces of her works with washes of pure gold.
This installation showcased African sculptures that adorn daily life and address various social needs, such as maintaining social order or territorial integrity and fostering social cohesion by reinforcing belief systems, praising deities, or modeling ideals of behavior.
Bas Fisher Invitational and Bridge Initiative presented Coral City Camera by Coral Morphologic, the culmination of years of studying the ecosystem of Biscayne Bay, continuously monitoring one coral community utilizing a 360-degree livestreaming underwater camera installed at PortMiami.
Fairgoers got a glimpse at French filmmaker Jacques Tati’s humorous satire on modern lifestyle, consumerism, and our built environments at large as portrayed in his acclaimed 1958 film Mon Oncle in an installation that pays homage to Tati’s visionary designs and whims with a limited edition of three visually appealing but completely impractical seats.
The Miami Design District has chosen the London-based Mexican designer Fernando Laposse for their 2019 Neighborhood Commission, where he debuted Pink Beasts: long, pink sisal tassels, hammocks, and sloths suspended through the trees. Laposse explores materials and techniques native to Mexico and has collaborated with likeminded designer Angela Damman as well as local artisans in Sahcabá, Yucatán. Visitors at Design Miami/ had a chance to encounter members of the sloth family up-close.
The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, presented newly commissioned multiple works by conceptual artist Barbara Kruger produced in collaboration with the Finnish furniture company Artek. Kruger’s Untitled (Kiss) formed the starting point of a new collaboration between the ICA and Artek, a series of artists’ customizations of Stool 60, Alvar Aalto’s iconic piece of modern furniture design. Untitled (Kiss) offered a humorous, feminist perspective on commerce and identity.
Panerai’s Submersible collection—survival instruments for modern heroes—inspired the theme of its exhibition, the exhilarating underwater playground where the brand was born. The submersible assortment is the only stand-alone collection focused on professional diver watches, high-tech materials, and patented pioneering innovations. The collection has three distinct traits: professional diving specialization, precise survival instruments, and conscientious material innovation, all targeting the world’s adventurers.
Vertigo is Stephen Webster’s concept borne of illusory deception, the perils of quick judgement, and constant uncertainties. A fine jewelry collection for our times, Vertigo is a playful material response to the dizziness that many of us are currently feeling. Inspired by radical architecture, Vertigo combines technology with tradition and the mixed materials of titanium and ceramic enamel, precious metals, diamonds, and exotic baguette-cut spinels.
This installation was Sevan Bıçakçı’s attempt to deconstruct his soul and share it through art. The craftsman designated interior designer Yesim Dilaver to curate a space that takes visitors through visual vignettes that bring his homeland to life. Nestled within are Bıçakçı’s one-of-a-kind jewels and timepieces, which are infused with the nostalgia surrounding both modern-day and ancient Istanbul’s stories. The Inspiration Room included photographs and illustrations, rare Ottoman toys, tiles, collections of locks and keys, calligraphic art, antique textiles and shoes, furniture, and jewelry boxes.
ONE, ALL, EVERY is an art and environment initiative born out of the belief that art can and will move mountains. OAE presented See A Clean Future, a line of sustainable eyewear designed by Vidal Erkohen of RVSSustain and internationally renowned visual artist Ugo Rondinone. The frame shapes have different color lenses representing the four elements: Earth (green), Fire (red), Air (grey), and Water (blue), and each is inspired by the work of an environmental pioneer: Jane Goodall, E. O. Wilson, Sylvia Earle, and Wangari Maathai.
USM Modular Furniture celebrated the North American launch of On Display, its Haller E line of lighted furniture, in a presentation made in collaboration with de Vera, which unfolded over the course of the fair’s six days as USM’s modular Haller E system reconfigured to illuminate curiosities from Federico de Vera’s storied collection of antique Venetian glass, eighteenth-century figures, and unique jewelry creations.
Joseph Walsh Studio presented functional and sculptural works made in response to Design Miami/’s yearlong theme of Elements. The installation included works from the Enignum series in ash, the Lumenoria series in ash and cast resin, and the Eximon series in green marble from Connemara, Ireland, all representing an ambition to advance material science through an innovative pursuit of research and development that enables new forms and compositions.
All the above information has been sourced from Design Miami/’s website, and press releases.
Design Miami/ ran from the 3rd till the 8th of December, 2019.