Design – Until December 5, Design Miami/ 2021 takes over the so-called Magic City “shining a spotlight on design-led visions for a more equitable and interconnected future,” explains the new curatorial director Wava Carpenter. Back to Pride Park, opposite the Miami Beach Convention Center, the 17th edition of the fair features over 35 gallery and Curio exhibitions, alongside an exciting lineup of partnerships and collaborations.
“Design Miami/ 2021 explores the theme of Human Kind,” continues Carpenter. “Those operating at the cutting-edge of design thinking bring together works, ideas, and presentations to spark conversations around the current state of the world and where we need to go.”
Studio Proba and Enjoy The Weather – the winners of the fair’s 2021 Annual Design Commission – transform Miami Design District and the entrance to Design Miami/into an interactive playground through a series of joyful sculptures, seating, and ornamentation designed by Studio Proba. A dedicated app developed by Enjoy The Weather harnesses AR technology and proximity beacons to allow visitors to ‘collect’ and customize Studio Proba’s shapes and place their own custom totems throughout the neighborhood and beyond.
THE GALLERIES – The core of the event are the international galleries, many of which responded to the Human Kind theme. For example, threats against black, indigenous people and other minorities triggered a design response by Los Angeles-based artist Tanya Aguiñiga for Volume Gallery. Nigerian American ceramicist and sculptor Ebitenyefa Baralaye re-interpreted the African diaspora through ceramics for Friedman Benda.
R&Company presents Studio Job’s Impact series, which viscerally encapsulates humanity’s fascination with moments of tragedy. Southern Guild presents the ceramic work of Andile Dyalvane, Zizipho Poswa, Madoda Fani and Chuma Maweni, four leading artists working with ceramics. Rick Owens presents the perfect functional escape for Carpenters Workshop Gallery.
CURIO is the exhibition platform inviting designers, architects, curators, innovators and gallerists to present environments challenging and contextualizing familiar design narratives. For Twenty First Gallery, Polish designer Marcin Rusak presents limited-edition ‘floral’ cabinets exploring ideas of ephemerality, decay, and preservation. HOUSE OF TODAY presents a new collection by Lebanese designer Khaled El-Mays developed in collaborations with craftspeople in Mexico City.
PARTNERS – FENDI has invited Mabeo, the furniture and accessories brand and associated design studio from Botswana, Africa, to develop products that build on their ongoing research into craft specializations. KOHLER and New York-based artist Daniel Arsham pushed the boundaries of 3D printing and pioneered a new manufacturing technique to create Rock.01, an edition of 99 authentic 3D-printed vessel bathroom sinks. For Champagne Perrier Jouët, Austrian duo mischer’traxler created a cabinet of curiosity filled with suspended species from all over the world. At the centre, a video installation projects the viewer’s silhouette in real-time animation representing different ecosystems.
This year, the fair launched the Design Miami Mobile App that allows both visitors and those who could not make it there to enjoy the event through 3D tours and click-to-buy exhibited works. On top of that, cryptocurrency payments for any pieces available on the online marketplace are accepted.
A highly curated collection of NFTs – Non Fungible Tokens – is up for sale through the OpenSea platform until December 30, 2021. It features pieces by Job Smeets, Katie Stout, Sebastian Errazuriz, and Studio Proba, presented by R & Company, and designs by Misha Kahn from Friedman Benda.
All images by James Harris – unless stated otherwise -, courtesy of Design Miami/ 2021.