Design Miami 2023 explores how design responds to the world around us

Design Miami 2023 (until 10 December), curated by Anna Carnick, is guided by the theme of ‘Where We Stand’

Design Miami 2023: Rive Roshan
(Image credit: Paul Barberra)

'There’s a quote I return to often,' says Design Miami 2023 curator Anna Carnick, as the fair opened this week. 'Activist and novelist Elif Shafak wrote: ”Stories bring us together. Untold stories keep us apart.” Storytelling is how we access one another’s humanity. At pivotal moments such as this, an exchange of stories feels all the more urgent. Stories – whether crafted in words or wood – matter.'

Throughout the fair, her curatorial touch highlights 'design inspired by place, community, and heritage', evident in the work presented by the specially developed Curio projects, as well as selected pieces across the fair's participating galleries. 

Design Miami 2023: ‘Where We Stand’

Nifemi Marcus-Bello shows at Design Miami 2023

(Image credit: Jide Ayeni)

'The theme is an invitation to consider design objects from around the globe as anthropological markers that reveal an array of narratives about the world in which they were made,' says Carnick. 'Particularly now – at a complex moment marked far too often by polarisation – Where We Stand highlights the storytelling power of design, and, in turn, its potential for nurturing connectivity.' 

What is important about this year's edition is the effort to represent multiple points of view across design, by emerging and established designers, and introducing themes that explore social and environmental justice, spirituality, cultural preservation and community building. 

render of a wall sculpture

Omi Iyọ by Nifemi Marcus-Bello

(Image credit: Courtesy Nifemi Marcus-Bello and Hublot)

Particularly fitting responses to the theme include Nifemi Marcus-Bello's Design Miami debut with LA gallery Marta – titled ‘Oríkì (Act II): Tales by Moonlight’, his sand-cast metal furniture collection spotlights Lagos’ micro-craft community. Bello's installation at the fair's entrance, meanwhile, Omi Iyọ, was commissioned by Carnick for the fair and reflects on the world’s growing immigration crisis. 

'Marcus-Bello’s poetic, potent works hold a mirror up to this moment, honouring communities and craft heritage while also encouraging thoughtful discourse on some of the most pressing issues of our day,' said Carnick as the piece was awarded the fair's Curators’ Choice: Design for Good Award. 'His narrative-driven practice shines a light on locally inspired but globally resonant stories, demonstrating design's potential to connect beyond borders.'

Design Miami 2023 Victoria Yakusha

'The Land of Light' by Victoria Yakusha

(Image credit: Rosa Bertoli)

Similarly, Ukrainian designer Victoria Yakusha of design studio Faina presents a limited-edition collection dubbed 'The Land of Light', a response to war and violence in her native country (and elsewhere in the world). She conceived the installation to 'be a sanctuary of hope and core values, striving to instil optimism', she says. 'The four “animals” are here to help one keep one’s inner light and guide a path amidst darkness, hate, and destruction.'

Design Miami 2023: Rive Roshan

(Image credit: Paul Barberra)

'If we teach our minds to shift perspectives through curiosity and reflection, we learn to open our minds, bridge divides, and make more progressive choices,' say Amsterdam designers Ruben de la Rive Box and Golnar Roshan of Rive Roshan, whose work is introduced to Design Miami by Rademakers Gallery. Their response to the fair's curatorial theme includes ridged, pink-hued glass sculptures and 3D-printed sand vessels, with the intention of shifting our perception of objects in space, while offering a poetic sanctuary within the fair. 

Design Miami 2023: Gallery Fumi

(Image credit: James Harris for Design Miami)

With its experimental richness of concepts, materials and techniques on view, London's Gallery Fumi crowned its 15th anniversary year by being awarded the 'Best Stand' accolade by the fair. Its stand offered an overview of the gallery's exciting approach to collectible design, with a new ‘Armadillo’ sculptural screen by German designer Lukas Wegwerth, and the debut of ceramic objects and lighting by American ceramic artist and designer Jeremy Anderson

Design Miami 2023: Nacho Carbonel

‘One-Seater Concrete Tree’ by Nacho Carbonell

(Image credit: Rosa Bertoli)

Presented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery, the ‘One-Seater Concrete Tree’ by Nacho Carbonell was named 'Best Contemporary Work'. Handcrafted in concrete, steel, mesh, and cork with a canopy featuring twinkling lights, the throne-like seat was dubbed a 'monumental fantasia' and chosen for its regal effect combined with Carbonell's experimental craft approach. 

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Design Miami 2023: Lara Bohinc Utopia at Design District

(Image credit: Courtesy Bohinc Studio)

Specially commissioned projects at Design Miami 2023

Bless Fendi Design Miami 2023

(Image credit: Alecio Ferrari)

Among this year's specially-commissioned projects, Bless' interpretation of Fendi's universe stood out for its ability to elevate the traditional collaboration model into a deeper dive into the company's most intimate aspects. The large-scale screens partition the booth offering a glimpse into Fendi's HQ and its inner workings –including the company's utility room, faithfully replicated in intarsia onto a blanket. 

Fernando Laposse Maison Perrier-Jouët Design Miami

(Image credit: Courtesy Maison Perrier-Jouët)

Meanwhile, Fernando Laposse's ‘The Pollination Dance’ for Maison Perrier-Jouët celebrates nature's interspecies collaboration through a poetic, dynamic installation. 'Design has a power, our job as creatives is to interpret and simplify the world around us,' he said during a talk as part of the fair's programme. 'But also to bring complexity to some aspects to create empathy in people and curiosity to learn.'

Design Miami is on view until 10 December 2023

Convention Center Drive & 19th Street
Miami Beach

See more design highlights around town during Miami Design Week 2023

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.