With the last few years of unsettlement in the world, there’s a craving for optimism: cue Design Miami 2022 and the theme ‘The Golden Age: Looking to the Future'. Where better to explore this than in sunny South Beach and its surrounds. But, amongst the swirling champagne and glittering crowds, there is an important message, 'it is now urgent to act', says creative director of the 18th edition of Design Miami, Maria Cristina Didero of the design emergency we’re in. 'The Golden Age indicates the best possible status of happiness and harmony,' she continues.
While Design Miami Basel 2022 in June looked to the past, the undercurrent of the Miami edition’s positivity was one with purpose: 'The world post-Covid needs to rethink itself,' says Didero. 'We need to reboot the roots of our relationship with nature and collective structures, ecospheres, and urban contexts.' But how? 'By embracing advanced technologies, greater inclusivity, and integrity in all we do, by any means possible fostering the potential to become The Golden Age of today’s humanity,' she states.
With exhibits exploring spirituality, the metaphysical, merging cultures, craft and more, Didero hopes audiences will feel 'optimistic, free and responsible'.
Explore our highlights below.
DESIGN MIAMI 2022: BEST FROM THE FAIR
'Shroom Cactus' by A$AP Rocky and Gufram
Some may know A$AP Rocky for his musical talents, but most recently, he’s been turning his creative attention to design with a new studio HOMMEMADE. Launching at the fair as a Curio with radical design brand Gufram, the collaboration sees Rocky realise the Shroom Cactus – a version of the brand’s Cactus, designed by Guido Drocco and Franco Mello which is celebrating it 50th anniversary. For the Curio, the booth will be set up like a ‘utopian forest’ for visitors to indulge in the whimsical designs.
Triclinium by Lukas Gschwandtner and Fendi
The fashion brand returns with its annual experimental project, this time with Austrian artist Lukas Gschwandtner, a move away from its usual designer collaboration. This year’s commission – Triclinium by Lukas Gschwandtner and Fendi – brings the fashion house’s home city of Rome to Miami beach with the Vienna-based artist creating canvas sculptures inspired by female figures.
'Inkundla' by Southern Guild
Handcrafted objects come together in a domestic setting for the South African gallery’s showcase. Including ceramic works by Zizipho Poswa and a hand-painted server by design duo Dokter and Misses, the set-up aims to reflect the meaning of the Xhosa term ‘Inkundla’ – described by the gallery as 'a communal space for the sacred and mundane, for the exchanging of ideas, the unpacking of the day-to-day and the welcoming of all people'.
'Next Level’ by The Future Perfect
'It is, of course, about scale in the literal sense, but also the common drive we feel to lift ourselves up and move beyond paths already trodden,' says Laura Young of The Future Perfect’s exhibition title this year. With nearly 30 new pieces, highlights include an abstract mirror by Floris Wubben, and a collaboration between Chen Chen & Kai Williams and Cody Hoyt that sees a melding of experimentation and craftsmanship – see stone offcuts transformed into mirrors that look like artworks.
'Stroll Garden' by Lily Clark
The power of nature’s elements is also explored in Los Angles-based artist Lily Clark’s Curio. Creating an atmosphere of reflection, architectural fountains formed from stones from nearby Palm Springs are coupled with woodwork by furniture studio Prísma to present a serene landscape that mimics Southern Californian gardens to stroll around.
'Extreme Surfaces' by Ippodo Gallery
A newcomer to the fair, New York’s Ippodo Gallery is presenting a deep dive of kogei: contemporary Japanese art and craft. The booth will include Shigeru Uchida’s 1993 ‘Ji’An’ teahouse, a space for spirituality and ‘an invitation to experience Japanese sensibility’. The design sees an innovative melding of bamboo and Hinoki to form an architectural cube that plays with shadow and light.
‘Transcendence’ by Nada Debs and Kohler
Offering a moment of meditation in the design fair environment is a modern hammam by Beirut-based designer Nada Debs, made using sustainable tiles from Wisconsin-based brand Kohler’s WasteLab. Tapping into the idea of rebirth and rejuvenation via materials, the immersive experience links to the idea of the ‘Golden Age’ for humanity. 'Debs has a great sensibility in realising a new tile with the WasteLab of Kohler, underlining once again the commitment of both designer and company regarding sustainability,' says Didero.
'Chronos' by Objects of Common Interest
From Greek, chronos translates to 'time'. This Curio by Wallpaper* Design Awards winners Objects of Common Interest, and curated by Milano-based creative factory Mr.Lawrence, looks at the time dedicated to an object. The project kicked off in 2019, but finally comes to fruition in Miami after a long period of contemplation during the pandemic. ‘Aristotle treated time as a measure of motion. Motions of things, motions of human beings,’ the team muse. ‘Chronos’ will examine the existence of an object through the time it takes to make and use it, and will feature three lamps made in resin in vivid hues.
'Mexican Golden Age' by Maestro Dobel Artpothecary
The 1970s universe of pioneering architect Ricardo Legorreta is being celebrated at tequila brand Maestro Dobel’s Artpothecary installation. Curated by Mexico City-based design studio Clásicos Mexicano, the display will feature original designs from Legorreta's ‘Vallarta’ collection from Hotel Camino Real – a modernist structure with contemporary ideals.
'Altis Ornamentum' by Moniomi Design
Where did athletes in ancient times used to hang out? This is the inspiration for this Curio. A collage of tapestries, rugs and wall coverings make up an environment that creates a contemporary vision of sports fashion, featuring ping-pong tables and mini hoops in a graphic and playful set-up.
‘Reflecting Women’ by Emma Scully Gallery
Nine women designers working in mediums including plaster, lighting and ceramics feature in Manhattan-based Emma Scully Gallery’s Curio. Championing female empowerment, the works by Bec Brittain, Simone Bodmer-Turner, Rooms Studio, Jane Atfield, Ibiyanε, Jaye Kim, Kaja Upelj, Nel Verbeke, and Jenny Min ask visitors to take time to reflect. 'Emma challenged me to tackle scale for this exhibition,' says Bodmer-Turner of her sculptural plaster mirror. 'It’s something I've been able to achieve in site-specific plaster workaround mantles and shelving, but never before in a freestanding object.'
'Planted Air' by Garance Vallée and Maison Perrier-Jouët
Our connection with nature is again a theme with this year’s Maison Perrier-Jouët commission. ‘Planted Air’ reframes the ecosystem of the champagne vineyard through an interactive journey through sculpted vines that aims to trigger the audience to consider their symbiotic relationship with the living.
‘Through and Through’ by Tuleste Factory
The history of the colour blue is in the spotlight at Tuleste Factory’s showcase. From Yves Klein’s infamous tone to the Ancient Egyptians’ associations, the serenity of the palette, from the sky to the sea, is explored through works including a blue resin table by Ian Alistair Cochran.
AROUND TOWN: MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT, WYNWOOD AND MORE
'Rock | Roll' by Germane Barnes
An ode to the polyethnic culture of Miami, this year’s neighbourhood commission in the Miami Design District will be created by Miami-based architect Germane Barnes. The interactive piece will see swinging capsules activated by the public – all in vibrant colours. ‘Rock | Roll’ will be a gathering area for talks which have been curated with University of Miami’s Center for Global Black Studies and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami.
'Come Stai?' A chair by Gaetano Pesce with Matthieu Blazy for Bottega Veneta
This is the first time the Italian fashion house is partnering with Design Miami, and it comes on the back of the colourful Bottega Veneta S/S 2023 show set in Milan, which creative director Matthieu Blazy appointed design pioneer Gaetano Pesce to realise. In the multicoloured haven, guests sat on resin chairs, including the ‘Come Stai?’ (Italian for ‘How are you?’), which is a signifier of Pesce’s individual aesthetic. There’s a chance to purchase these bold and candy-coloured chairs both at the fair and at the brand’s Design District store.
153 NE 40th St, Miami
‘Nudo’ collection by Kelly Wearstler at Grupo Arca
Over in Wynwood, American designer Kelly Wearstler is taking on the beauty of natural stone in an installation with Arca. The ‘Nudo’ collection utilises sculptural pieces of stones including Calcite Blue, Rainbow Onyx, Rosso Verona and Verde Tikal. ‘A nuanced and sensual interplay of suppleness and strength’ is how Wearstler describes her new range.
260 NW 27th St, Miami
'Tapajós' by Espasso and Arthur Casas
Inspired by the Amazon rainforest, this new line of furniture sees the architect’s research of the rich culture of the rainforest referenced in a wooden coffee table, desk, sideboard and dining table. ‘This collection is deeply influenced by my time spent in the Amazon and highlights the cosmopolitan aesthetic of Brazilian design,’ says Casas. In the Miami gallery, in addition to the collection, there will be a preview of the new book Arthur Casas: Architecture.
7010 NE 4th Ct, Miami
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