From December 5–9, Design Miami/ is presenting a diverse roster of presentations from 33 exhibitors. On view from the world’s top galleries are 20th and 21st century objects, furniture, lighting, and collectibles. In addition to participants like Carpenters Workshop Gallery, CONVERSO, Friedman Benda, The Future Perfect, Galerie Patrick Seguin, Gallery ALL, Kasmin, LEBRETON, R & Company, Salon 94 Design, Southern Guild, Side Gallery, Thomas Fritsch, first-timers this year are Didier Ltd. from London, Etage Projects of Copenhagen, and Functional Art Gallery of Berlin. Special for the fair this year, as well, is a site-specific installation in the plaza of a work made of two large-scale steel pylons entitled Unite by Design Miami/ Visionary Award winners Pedro Reyes and Carla Fernández.
The fair’s platform, Design Curio/, gains attention with 11 participants, including highlights like: Calico Wallpaper’s first-ever Curio project, The Color and the Shape, presented together with London-based designer Philippe Malouin; Monique Péan’s “The VAAS Series” presentation; and kurimanzutto’s presentation “Sillas de México” by Oscar Hagerman.
This year, the fair boasts a full programming of talks throughout the week with design and culture leaders like Antonio Citterio, the Haas Brothers, Studio Drift, Dominique and John de Meni, Virgil Abloh, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Mattia Bonetti. The discussions are being presented in a unique space, the Talks Theater, which was created by architect Francis Keré, inspired by the ancient agoras of Greece and the Burkinabè tugunas of West African villages.
In addition to the fair’s engaging programming, visitors can also enjoy an array of notable collaborations and satellite presentations, including: Fendi’s presentation “The Shapes of Water” by Sabine Marcelis; Perrier-Jouët’s immersive “HyperNature” environment by Bethan Laura Wood in the Collector’s Lounge; Panerai’s exhibition of its newest Luminor 1950, exclusively available for sale at the fair; Louis Vuitton’s presentation of its Objets Nomades collection, with new pieces from Atelier Biagetti, Atelier Oï, and Tokujin Yoshioka; Lexus’s “The Future is Limitless” installation, showing the LF-1 concept vehicle; Jewelry designer Sevan Biçakçi’s new Colección Paraiso pieces; the (RED) Auction with Theaster Gates and Sir David Adjaye, supporting the fight against AIDS; and more.
But for Whitewall, there’s always a focus on the booths. Galleries from all over the globe travel to Miami to present their best art of the year, and for that, we’re paying close attention to our five highlights listed below.
Friedman Benda has transformed its booth into the “Zen Garden”—an immersive environment that mimics a traditional Japanese dry rock garden. With a simple twist, using design objects and furniture as the “garden,” with natural and industrial pieces by Byung Hoon Choi, gt2P, Faye Toogood, Joris Laarman, Florian Idenburg (SO – IL), Najla El Zein, and Calico Wallpaper. The gallery also presented a special cozy collaboration between KAWS and the Campana Brothers in a solo presentation.
Carpenters Workshop Gallery is showcasing a variety of lighting and furniture design pieces with a focus on material. We see a mix of materials like: a solid marble chair by Rick Owens called Curial (Alabaster); an elegant, low-sitting table by Vicenzo de Cotiis made of swirls of marble, Murano glass, and silvered brass; a sculptural table lamp with a tall lamp shade made of black portoro marble, brass, and light fittings by Giacomo Ravagli; an intriguing grandfather clock made of brass and digital equipment (showing a fogged time face with a human in the background drawing on the minutes and hours hands) by Maarten Baas; and a unique yellow ceramic vase by Roger Herman.
R & Company is presenting a large, enticing mix of fun lighting pieces by artist Katie Stout, in addition to a curated selection of new contemporary design pieces by Rogan Gregory, Sebastian ErraZuriz, Jeff Zimmerman, Kelly Lamb, Thaddeus Wolfe, and Ashley Hicks; alongside historical furniture by Joaquim Tenreiro, Wendell Castle , Sergio Rodrigues, and Jose Zanine Caldas. Especially intriguing is a sculptural Pele de Tigre marble tub, Bathy Bates, by the Haas Brothers.
Erastudio Apartment-Gallery glowed with a blue neon light, drawing us in to admire a tufted pink armchair, a transparent flamingo, and a multi-part bed on wooden platforms entitled Buon Compleanno by Gianni Pettena. There, we also explored gorgeous offerings by artists and designers like Nanda Vigo, Ettore Sottsass, Dadamaino, Matteo Thun, Mario Bellini, Sergio Colantuoni, and Urano Palma.
Lastly, we found ourselves cozy and inspired at Barcelona-based Side Gallery’s booth. We couldn’t ignore the elegant yet oh-so-fluffy combination of a bed, table, and carpet made of Tibetan sheep fur and glass by Guillermo Santomá. Certainly a not-to-miss piece, the unique creation drew a crowd to other pieces like a red ceramic piece entitled Red Black Relieve by Aneta Regel, a stone stool by Pedro Reyes, and the Totem Light 170 by Sabine Marcelis.