Staging a design fair in Miami that overlaps with NYCxDesign might sound risky to some, but to the organisers of Maison & Objet Americas, it was the right choice. ‘The city is just incredible,’ says Maison & Objet managing director Philippe Brocart. ‘You’ve got amazing architects, amazing interior designers working on different projects, you’ve got smart developers such as Craig [Robbins], or the Related Group, Alan Faena – all the ingredients are here to develop a platform for North and South America where all interior designers, all the architects, all the high-end retailers have the opportunity to meet our fantastic creative brands.’
Three-hunded exhibitors from across the globe set up shop at the Miami Beach Convention Center this week, and the products ranged from Martone Cycling’s vivid bicycles, to Monte Carlo-based perfumer Alex Simone’s line of home fragrances, to The Rug Company’s Vivienne Westwood-designed carpets.
Highlights included Kinsa’s bulbous vases, handcrafted in Peru, that stood on three legs with three round openings; and the Bosa 'Infinity Clock' by Nika Zupanc, a whimsical tabletop timepiece mounted on rockers. At Clima’s outdoor furniture stand, Vondom showed off the glorious clamshell-like 'Ulm Daybed' by Rámon Esteve; while, elsewhere, Blackbody designed a stunning illuminated booth of hanging lights.
Loloey presented its Daniel Libeskind Collection, a series of rugs emblazoned with bold, chaotic abstract prints; Ritz Marwitz had Bauhaus-era ceramicist Hedwig Bollhagen’s striped vessels on display; Lumifer showed its minimal wood and steel 'Saturn' table; and Canadian artist Pascale Girardin hung a set of striking lights sculpted of unbreakable, thermoformed polycarbonate titled 'Ondulations'. Maison Montaigne lined up three of Dominique Roitel’s 'Misericorde' chairs, which – made of lacquered beech wood – were inspired by the small stools in Middle-Age churches that priests would use to rest on. In addition, Laboratorio Mattoni unveiled its Luca Mattoni-designed shiny outdoor kitchen.
L’Appartement, a new concept store located in Miami’s Wynwood district and modeled after a French apartment, showed its wares, many of which are made by French brands like La Chance, Ibride and Petite Friture, and exclusively available from the retailer in the US.
Some of the best designs at Maison & Objet Americas came from its Rising American Talents lineup. Six emerging designers – Los Angeles-based Ben Medansky, Chile’s Great Things to People, Mexico’s Ad Hoc, Panama’s Javier Gomez, New York-based Samuel Amoia and Brazil’s Guilherme Wentz – displayed their creations. Santiago-based Great Things to People featured a new series of ceramics made by Cappellini, a special project using Miami colours, and a marble and bronze stool made for Friedman Benda. Meanwhile, Wentz exhibited three of his minimal 'Um' lamps, which consist of a long, narrow moveable bar attached to a cylinder with Lumina LED lighting.
In honour of being named as the fair’s 2016 Designer of the Year, Rafael de Cárdenas created a bold installation entitled ‘Neon Jungle’ decorated with tropical foliage as a reprieve, in which visitors could enjoy popsicles from PopLab in the Design District.