Pedro Reyes and Carla Fernández to receive the Design Miami/ Design Visionary Award 2018

Mano Silla
Mano Silla, by Pedro Reyes, 2012.
(Image credit: Pedro Reyes and Labor Gallery)

Today, Design Miami/ announces that Mexican artist Pedro Reyes and fashion designer Carla Fernández are the recipients of the Design Visionary Award for 2018. Annually, the award (which is unconstrained by field or discipline) is given to pioneering creative talents who have made significant contributions to design, particularly noted for their tangible and lasting impact on the world.

The married couple (who showed us around their ‘caveman of the future’ Mexican home back in 2015) will exhibit a collaborative exhibition at the December fair in Miami. Forming a retrospective, it will capture the socially- and culturally-engaged essence of both artists' oeuvre to-date. ‘The exhibition offers us a chance to present to the attendees at Design Miami/, pieces in which design has a social dimension, either by addressing social justice and peacemaking,' Reyes explains, ‘as well as the importance of handcrafted products in a world where most processes are being automated and millions of people are losing their jobs'.

Pedro Reyes and Fernanda Marquez

(Image credit: Ana Hop)

Pedro Reyes and Carla Fernández.

The exhibition will both introduce and document Reyes' impressively multi-discipline work, which breaches performance, sculpture, design and architectural intervention, while maintaining his now famed commitment to confronting injustices and imagining solutions for fairer, more dynamic societal systems. Key works on view will include Reyes’ Metate chairs, which are inspired by pre-Colombian artifacts made with three legs, and formed using simple, tools unchanged in 3000 years. Also on view will be examples from Reyes’ Disarm (2008) project, in which destroyed firearms were transformed into musical instruments.

Fernández’s textile works will also be on display. Likewise, her practice engages with the cultural, positive development of society. Through her Mexico-city based fashion label, her interest lies in preserving the cultural heritage of Mexico’s indigenous communities, by partnering with craftspeople and artisans throughout the country who specialise in centuries-old techniques to create clothing, textiles, and housewares with a contemporary take on handcrafted methods.

Ramiro Chavez Courtesy of Carla Fernandez

(Image credit: Ramiro Chavez)

Artist Joan Jonas wearing Carla Fernández.

As well as designing the presentation booth’s overall structure, which will feature curved steel walls, Reyes and Fernández are also creating the graphic identity for the fair as a whole. Their design language here draws inspiration from the bold graphics of handmade protest signs, posters, and ephemera from the volatile period of civil unrest in France in May 1968; a revolution that signalled a social and artistic pivot worldwide. ‘Fifty years after the 1968 demonstrations in Mexico, Paris – and around the world – it is more important than ever to listen to the voices of our global society,' Fernández adds, ‘which is why we were inspired to incorporate the colours, images, and messages from this movement into the identity, as they reflect our ongoing commitment to action and social change.’

See more from Design Miami here

Graphic design by Pedro Reyes and Carlo Fernandez

Reyes and Fernández’ graphic identity for Design Miami 2018 draws on ephemera from the May 1968 Paris uprising. 

(Image credit: Reyes and Fernández. Courtesy of the artists and Labor Gallery)

Metate chair, by Pedro Reyes

Metate chair, by Pedro Reyes

(Image credit: Pedro Reyes)


For more informtion, visit the Design Miami website

Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.